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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly compulsive
Whil I was very cynical about these books from the hype surrounding the film, once I actually sat down to read them I was comepletely hooked from the very first page.
People whinge and whine about the formulaic plots and two dimensional characterisation, but it's strangely complulsive and very very addictive. The characters are not two dimensional - or maybe they are...
Published on 10 Jan. 2002

versus
188 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but some caveats
I think most people considering purchasing this set have previously read some or all of the Harry Potter books. So we all like Harry. The question is do we like this set.

I read all the reviews here before I purchased. The comments about the quality of the paper, the binding, the small margins and font, the inconsistencies of the spines and the damage to the...
Published on 29 Jan. 2010 by K. McConville


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly compulsive, 10 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
Whil I was very cynical about these books from the hype surrounding the film, once I actually sat down to read them I was comepletely hooked from the very first page.
People whinge and whine about the formulaic plots and two dimensional characterisation, but it's strangely complulsive and very very addictive. The characters are not two dimensional - or maybe they are if your imagination is completely infertile, and does not engage with the characters and looks deeper than what's written on the page.
Make no mistake, these are not brainless books - if you want to derive maximum enjoyment from them you have to throw yourself in, but it's really worth it. Don't expect to be spoonfed every detail either - let yourself go and you'll find yourself wanderig along the Gryffindor Corridors, standing in the Quidditch Stadium or waltzing around the Yule Ball. I can't wait for the other three - the story that begins it's genesis in Book 4 is an incredibly dark and adult one, and a thrilling cliffhanger too. Thoroughly enjoyable and seriously worth your money - you'll read them, you're kids will read them, and there's a big chance that your kid's kid's will read them too.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Preferred Over American Editions of These Books!, 23 Dec. 2001
By 
James Dawson (Woodland Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I enjoyed the first two Harry Potter books so much that I knew I was hooked. I wanted to read the next two books in their original (British) versions. (I had the American editions of the first two volumes.) When I saw amazon.co.uk's great price on the four-volume hardback box set, I ordered immediately.
THESE BOOKS ARE WONDERFUL! The British versions have much, much nicer covers; I like the fact that the dustjacket art is printed on the hard covers of the actual books, "schoolbook style." Text-wise, a few words here and there are changed for American readers ("tank" instead of "cistern"), and I personally enjoy encountering the original Britishisms (such as "gormless") instead of the American "translations."
THE MOST IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UK AND US EDITIONS: The US editions of the books have small black-and-white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter which usually give away important plot points and completely ruin the suspense of what is going to happen. What a terrible idea! I prefer no illustrations at all, UK-edition-style.
The one drawback to the British editions is that they are not printed on paper that is as good as the US editions (although the UK books' paper quality is vastly improved by book four). The first book's paper is worse than the paper used in most paperbacks; a real disappointment, quality wise. But the stories are so good you won't care!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is it about Harry Potter?, 1 July 2003
By 
Fisket (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I mean, he's just irresistable.
I put off and put off reading any Harry Potter books, but finally I succumbed to the allure of magical mischief and picked up this set, thinking I may as well read all four while I'm at it.
I read the first three in five days flat.
There's just something about these stories... They pull you in. You can start off determined to hate them, but they draw you in. You end up wondering if J K Rowling went to the same school as you, because you could swear you knew kids just like these when you were at school. Okay, so you did maths and science instead of divination and defence against the dark arts- but Rowling puts in character traits, situations and feelings that anyone can relate to.
Take, for instance, the way the Dursleys treat Harry when he stays with them in the summer holidays- I found myself growling out loud and grinding my teeth, wondering how Harry didn't blow the roof off, and empathising with his anger, as well as his long-sufferance. When Harry won the quidditch match, I actually jumped out of my seat and cheered. (I scared one of my cats witless)
I think the best thing about these books is their unpredictability. You can't see some things coming at all. It's amazing. I love the way small details end up meaning something really important by the end of the book.
Read these books- you really won't regret it at all. And if you want something your kids will enjoy, I read some Harry Potter to the kids I babysit and they love it. Just be prepared to make up some interesting different voices for the characters. ^_^
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Muggle Admiration, 3 July 2002
By A Customer
I too would like to heap praise on the literary delight that is Harry Potter. Despite being something of a late convert I am now one of the rank and file who willl extoll the virtues of this book for many moons. I spent five days reading the books for hours at a time, thoroughly enjoying the narrative style and quirky sense of humour on pratically every page. I am an avid reader, but very rarely has a writer ever catapulated me so convincingly into another world on the pages of a book. I hadn't seen the film until I read all the books and I was for once, not too disappointed with the translation onto screen. I would be hard pushed to pick a favourite installment of Mr Potter's adventures thus far, each one being distinct from another but working together well. I thank J K Rowling for bringing us a book which evoked such excitement and relish normally confined to childhood years. She has engineered a story that will grasp the oldest and most jaded of imaginations as well as bringing about a much needed renaissance to childrens' literature and the kids' accompanying interest levels. The level of committment and nurture that these stories demanded is not to be underestimated. I was amazed at the attention to detail which goes on to weave an intoxicating mystery adventure coupled with comedic nods and genuine moments of pathos. I simply cannot wait for the next tale - undoubtedly as fantastic as the ones before it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did it take me so long?, 1 Dec. 2002
By A Customer
Having ignored the Harry Potter hype for as long as I could never having seen the films and laughing at my friends who had read what I essentially thought were childrens books, I finally relented and bought them for my 6year old son last week as part of his christmas presents.
I thought I'd take a sneaky peak before I wrapped them and in 3 days have read all 4 and am desperate for the fifth to be released. In 3 days I have been transported back to my childhood not least because I have to read the books in secret and have taken to reading them under my quilt! I have now ordered the dvd of the first film and whether he likes it or not am dragging my husband to see the second next weekend!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars and a Golden Snitch!, 14 July 2003
By 
L. Newman "l_m_n" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Firstly, I have to say, I love these books!
It's been such a long time since I've wanted to pick up a book and read and re-read, over and over (not since I read all of Roald Dahl's books actually). I have to say an almighty thanks to JKR for writing all about The Boy Who Lived.
From the first page she had me gripped, and I was carried off into Harry's adventure, into Diagon Alley, The Hogwarts Express, meeting Ron and Hermione...I could go on! Suffice to say I could not put the book down and finished it in 3 hours, I had the first four finished in about four days, and I couldn't wait to start all over again. I've definitely found a new obsession!
My favourite book so far is Goblet of Fire, mostly because it's so in depth, and we get a hint of something going on between Ron and Hermione, which is interesting.
These books should appeal to anyone and everyone, I'm 21 and I love the books and I honestly cannot ever imagine growing tired of them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely spellbinding, 16 Oct. 2001
I bought this boxed set to see what all the hype was about. It sat in my bookcase for a month or two until I gingerly made a start on book 1. Book one was finished in 2 days, as was book 2 and subsequently book 3! I am now savouring Goblet of Fire and dreading the last chapter (how will I survive?!) I adore these stories, enthralling and comical. They have everything to capture anybody's imagination.
I am a 44 year old woman with no children living at home!
Excellent, highly recommended.
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327 of 351 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better quality and value compared to the Adult Edition, 17 Feb. 2009
I spent a long time deciding which version of the paperback books to buy (the adult or children editions). Although the front cover art-work on the adult editions is more attractive (to me, as an adult), the print is terrible in comparison (tiny, blocky font on cheaper/rougher paper), and sadly makes the books feel very cheap. I went for the children's edition, and have not regretted it! The books in this edition are set on good quality paper, with a easy-on-the-eye font, and come in a sturdy flip-top cardboard case. Look no further!
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant reading not just for children..., 23 Nov. 2001
By 
karen@garmond.com.au (MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA) - See all my reviews
Harry Potter Books 1-4. I've read them all and loved every word. I couldn't wait for the next book to come out as I was captivated not just by the story but by the fact that someone had all this stuff in her head. J K Rowling has produced such a work of art from her imagination. One can only wonder at how she managed to actually get it onto paper.
Hogwarts Castle has been conjured in my imagination and I hope the movie reveals that I haven't lost the child in me. The characters, so magnificently described, captivated me. Such places like Diagon Alley and Billy Botts where such a diverse range of critters, witches, goblins and students could all hang out together. I loved the Quidditch Championships where they all camped in tents of magnificent beauty and upon entering turned into the most exquisite homes. I loved the twists in the characters themselves so you were always guessing who the bad guy was, brilliant. And of course Harry's Aunt, Uncle and cousin sound perfectly horrid and easily imaginable. Every one has a relative they can use as a model for these characters.
Where you can conjure up a portal, travel through a chimney and a mirror needs a password there has to be an extraordinary mind at work JK Rowling has inspired me to read just for fun. Not to worry whether the books are recommended for children or not. The first two books were a gift and I took one on my trip overseas not really thinking I'd have time to read, but let me tell you I couldn't put it down, I read the whole book and wished I'd taken the second one too..... Simply put, these books are fantastic and if you don't read them then you have missed out on something truly wonderful.
KAREN FEATON, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AGED 40)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, mayhem, spells and.. blast ended screwts?, 7 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry has turned out in full, magic, mayhem, Quidditch and all! A spell binding, captivating roller coaster ride through the (sometimes perilous) adventure that is Harry Potters life so far. Suprises, scuffles, spells and blast ended screwts, not to mention the infamous run ins with you know who.. This box set is an absolute treasure trove of danger, adventure, magic and wonder. Children and adults alike will love it! Straddle those broomsticks and get ready to fly...
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Harry Potter Audio Boxed Set (Harry Potter Signature Edition)
Harry Potter Audio Boxed Set (Harry Potter Signature Edition) by J. K. Rowling (Audio CD - 1 Nov. 2010)
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