on 11 December 2000
Since 1 month we are reading this book in our english lesson in Germany, and we both think it's really marvellous. It's the first interesting and funny book in school, and we're also glad to get more information about the author and her story. We talk about the timetable of Harry and about different parts of his lessons (just like palm reading) so we can really imagine what Harry's life is like. We like the funny characters of the different people in Harry's school and the easy, but very entertainment way how J.K.Rowling describes the life of this young, extraordinary boy. It's so much different reading this book than always reading Shakespeare or something else what is not from our time. It's easy to read and we don't have to look up every word. The interesting thing about the story of Harry Potter is the great dfference between his first, quiet hard life at the family Dursley where he has to live in a cupboard under the stairs. Nobody likes him, and the family he lives with is really strange. But when he get's the inviting to the Hogwarts school, his life changes totally because now he only meets persons who live a life which is so much different from the Muggle life. Suddenly he joins a world full of witches, wizards and other unbelieveable creatures. First he just goes to school like all the others, but during his year he and his best friends Ron and Hermione try to rescue the Philosopher's stone. In the end the reader can really feel how Harry fights against Lord Voldemort. This part of the book is so interesting and exciting like a crime that we can't stop reading. All in all, it's a fantastic story for children and adults, and we can't get enough of it. Stefanie and Kristina
on 25 June 2000
J.K. Rowling seems to be the printed version of Steven Spielberg--and she can't seem to miss! And refreshing it is to see a series of "children's literature" become so succesful--owing to its page after page of exciting delights! In Book 1 of this incredibly successful series (financially and otherwise), we find probably the most famous 11-year old in the world--Harry Potter!
We meet young Harry as the ward of some very repulsive relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin), who clearly detest Harry (they make him sleep in a broom closet!). It does not take the reader long to sympathize with Harry. And then--something magical happens. He is visited by a representative of "the other world" and is invited to attend Hogwarts, a school for wizards and witchcraft. Suffice it to say, Harry is permitted to attend Hogwarts and there the fun--and adventure--begins! Of course, Hogwarts is not without its villains, secrets, and "good fellas"! Harry proceeds to "learn the ways" of wizardry! Harry's destiny seems clear--that he is to follow in the footsteps of his parents, who, unbeknownst to Harry for the past 11 years, were wizards themselves. Exciting adventure after exciting adventure follow--and we are introduced to the sport of the century Quidditch, a soccer-like game where players compete on broomsticks. Under all the hoopla, of course, is the "secret of the philosopher's stone"--the principle plot concern here!
Harry's--and the readers'--adventures have just begun! Already three in this series have been published, with the long-awaited fourth set for July! I can just imagine the frenzy when Book No. 4 appears! I can hardly wait!
on 16 January 2000
I bought the first book for my then-seven year old son, thinking that we could enjoy them together. Although he is a wonderfully capable reader, I didn't know whether he would be able to sit down and read such a large volume. Well, within one chapter I was dismissed and banished from his room, where he stayed until finished! I had to play catch-up to be able to discuss it with him. We have since had a lot of fun reading the first three books to one another. We purchased them to keep....the school library has 6 copies of each book and the waiting list is 50+ long FOR EACH TITLE! IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!
A word to anyone who has a concern about the "witch" content of these books. (This was a rallying point for some U.S. fundamentalist religions which did not want members' children reading the books). Don't let your children miss out on these stories because of hearsay....it simply isn't true! Rowling's stories are fiction, they are not a blueprint for becoming a witch any more than Star Wars is a blueprint for becoming a space-travelling Jedi! These stories are wonderfully moral, and provide numerous opportunities for talking to your children about fair play, courage, loyalty, responsibility, the obligation to do good....the possibilities are endless! I'm thrilled that this generation of children has a worthy talisman of literature that I am certain will remain popular for as long as there are books! But, Jo, could you maybe, just for me, do what the wonderful Malcolm Saville did with the Lone Pine books and let us have TWENTY volumes instead of just the seven??????? Thank you so much for this wonderful series.
on 2 August 1999
A friend of mine has been trying for months to get me to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but I refused to read it, insisting it wasn't the type of book I would would enjoy. Afterall, witches and wizards were just some of those things that can't happen and I never really liked books about the "impossible." However we made a deal where she would take me to our favorite restaurant if I'd read Harry Potter. So, I unhappily began reading the first chapter, half expecting to find that the book was a good book after all. But, it seemed a rather slow start that was boring. Same thing with the second chapter. Somehow I managed to get to the fourth chapter and I was surprised to find that somewhere along the line I'd gotten interested in the story. I read on, growing more and more interested as I read. The characters that seemed so dull and boring at first were now blooming into real characters! I found myself changing some opinions I started with. Hermione had seemed like such a know-it-all type of person at the beginning and by the end I was starting to like her. Her vast knowledge really helped Harry and Ron. Hagrid turmed out to be a friend to Harry and his friends. The story had a marvelous ending that only a brillant author like Joanna Rowling could have created to be fitting to this exceptional story. Some people have written reviews saying that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone doesn't live up to all the hype surrounding it. That's simply not true. Harry Potter may very well someday be a classic, like Charlette's Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Besides knowing that this book really was great, I know one more thing. I got the better end of the deal with my friend: Now I will get to go to the restaurant AND have had the opportunity to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. :o)
on 12 April 1999
I am a forty year old rather cynical mother of two and when I came upon this book I bought it for my TV and Pop Music obsessed 8 year old daughter in the hope that it may interest her more than Nicleodeon and the Spice Girls. I thought I had no chance but gave it a go anyway. After I read her the first chapter she was captivated (and if you knew my daughter that is not an easy thing to do to her if you are not wearing enormous platform shoes and singing) - Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was a wonderful story which both of us enjoyed more than any other book either of us had read. It was funny - The characterisation of the Dursleys and Hagrid was inspired - exciting, atmospheric and somehow although you were reading fantasy it was so engrossing that that you never felt that anything was in any way improbable. The plot was complex and demanding for an 8 year old, however my daughter followed really well and talked about the book non-stop during the times when we wern't reading it. She also laughed and laughed at some of the dialogue which was witty and funny to the point of hilarity in some passages! I, personally just loved it! Everyone should read this book - young and old - it is just a real old fashioned feel-good book which engrosses from the first line to the last! We can't wait to read the rest of the series. I have recommended it to my daughter's school as I am sure that it would make an excellent class project read - it is sure to become a classic! It reminded me of some of the books I read as a child, the like of which are rarely seen nowadays.
on 14 March 2002
I hope this will qualify as focused upon content, as the content of the audiobook is more than the story being told. American audiobook customers are offered a competent but lackluster reading by someone calling himself Jim Dale (come now, is that Joe the stockroom boy, or what?). His pronunciation is acceptable and his apprehension of the story sufficient, but his voicing of a not-short narrative provides no interest of its own and begins to drag down the proceedings. UK fans are blessed with direct access to what amounts to a brilliant performance in Stephen Fry's reading of Harry Potter's first four adventures. Any other performance this striking, with distinct characterizations and pace-conscious narration, would be likely to distract from the story. But Stephen Fry must be every bit the magician Harry Potter is, because he brings subtle detail and wild dynamism to every paragraph, and inhabits the story like a dragon inhabits his scales. It's a feat of alchemy equal to anything in the books. If I had to go down to the bank and change my dollars for Euros I would have this audiobook collection by overseas shipment.
My wife, the family's true Harry Potter fanatic, opines that Stephen Fry would have been ideal in the motion picture series in the role of Hagrid, the animal lover. When Hagrid regards the baby dragon he says, "he knows his mummy," and when Stephen Fry reads the line, I'm inclined to agree with her. When a job calls for whimsy and gravitas in equal measure, Fry has no equal.
on 22 January 2008
I would thoroughly recommend reading this book as a great way of improving your Spanish and having an unputdownable read at the same time. I was looking for something to read in Spanish, in order to improve my language skills, and, as I had loved all the Harry Potter films, but hadn't found time to read the books, I thought 'why not try to read Harry Potter in Spanish?'. I'm really glad I did! True, I need my big thick Spanish/English dictionary to hand to understand many of the words - but it does get easier the more you read, and my Spanish skills have improved noticeably since I've begun reading this book!
Thank you, J K Rowling, for a really enjoyable read - and for improving my Spanish!!!
on 30 November 2011
No need to tell anyone what this book was about. Indeed, with so many reviews it seems silly to even review it but I'm going to anyway. For full disclosure I was a Harry Potter fan when it was first cool, when the Lord of the Rings movies were coming out and people used to argue on forums about if JKR or JRRT were better writers. I read the books, wrote my fanfiction, stayed up all night for the release of the last book (becuase, seriously, how often in life do you have the opertunity to go to a midnight release for a book?) and put them down and moved on. Recently, though, it occured to me that as I haven't re-read the books but read them as I got hold of them I've never read it all the way through. So, with three weeks to go before I go back to uni an have to pack lightly I picked them back up.
And I'm genuinely surprised by how good this book is. When I read them the first time I was 17 and easly impressed but if anything at 24 with more book knowledge under my belt I'm even more impressed. This is a really nice book and worth the praise it recieved. The plotting is nice and tight, the characters are lovely, fleshed out so vibrantly. It's engaging and makes your brain work to keep up with the connections (but not in a way a child couldn't handel, but in a way that would no doubt be engaging to them). It's a very good book, and easy to see why this turned into the massive beast of a fandom that it did.
on 30 October 1999
When I first read this book, I couldn't believe how good it was! And all the stuff about houses and points and the bad house being called "slytherin" and the name starting with an "s"... it took me back -- oh how it took me back (the opposing house at my prep school had a name that started with "s")! All of a sudden, I wanted to be about 11 years old again and living in a magical world. (I'm a grown-up Muggle).
So, I did the only thing I could do when I got to the end of the book -- I went straight back to Page 1, and read it all over again. And I haven't done that with a book since I read Swallows and Amazons when I was 6 or 7, and funnily enough, there are only two series of books that I would need with me on my desert island. You guessed it -- one is Swallows and Amazons; the other is Harry Potter.
Why did I have to start reading it all over again? I don't know! I wanted to, but I was also compelled to -- it's the perfect fairy tale, and I guess Harry's magic reaches further than just being able to defeat he-who-must-not-be-named (Vol---- no, I can't quite bring myself to do it)!
I'd say that if you don't own this book (and the others in the series), put them on your Christmas / Birthday list NOW. If you know someone who doesn't own them, here's the best present you could get 'em this year! And if I could give it 6 crowns I would!
on 23 November 2000
Add me to the list of readers who absolutely adore the Harry Potter series of books. I can't get enough of them! Like so many of the other people making entries here, I was hooked on Harry Potter by the end of the first book. I now have a Harry Potter calendar on my wall at work and am looking for a t-shirt with a style, fabric, and color that suits me.
Harry and his friends, even in a totally imaginary world, are so real in their thoughts and actions, that I feel as if I know them. They are full of youthful curiousity, and aren't afraid to take on things of which they know nothing. Let's hear it for them!
It is wonderful to read writing that is intelligent and articulate in a world of popular fiction that is filled with "realistic" dialog and action that leaves me tired. J.K. Dowling can tell a story more simply and directly than perhaps any other author I have ever read. I have gone to bed many a night envisioning Harry Potter swooping through the sky playing Quidditch. I marvel to my friends (to the point of idiocy, it seems) at the incredible imagination Dowling must have to have invented Quidditch, brooms with characteristics similar to the newest, sleekest sports cars, and creatures so bizarre that only their equally bizarre names can describe them.
I have become a Harry Potter fan for life. Muggles, Unite! Harry Potter Lives!