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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fry shoots, he scores!
I have read all three books and was astounded by the amazing storyline! I have listened to the tapes and in doing so have come to the conclusion that Stephen Fry should be the narrator for all the books. His use of voices for all the different characters alone is enough to keep anyone interested, but combined with J.K Rowling's amazing suspense filled storyline, it is...
Published on 4 Jun. 2000

3.0 out of 5 stars bent
I love the book but part of it is bent and has affected each page. Is there anything you can do?
Published 19 months ago by jem

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the CD - Brilliantly read, 4 Jun. 2007
Stephe Fry's narration is far and away the best that I have listened to over many years of enjoying audio books. Each and every character has their own distinctive and perfectly-judged voice, so that you know instantly who is speaking before the name is given. This makes it so much easier to simply enjoy the wonderful story without being distracted by confusion as to who is saying what, as so often happens with other narrators. We bought all of the other Harry Potter CDs, and they have all been great. I recommend listening to these stories whilst curled up on the sofa on a Winter's evening over any T.V program that I can think of.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly written piece of fantasy, 6 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
I bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in a bookshop to read to my two sons (7 and 9), and they were enthralled; my wife could hardly believe her eyes when she interrupted the showdown at the finish and discovered them both sitting bolt upright holding their breath! When we found the Chamber of Secrets in the local library we had to get it out immediately. I found it even better than the first, to the extent that I could not wait to read it at bedtime before finishing it. To my mind it is better paced than the Philosopher's Stone, which I felt was a bit slow in setting up the really exciting bit; the Chamber of Secrets starts to hot up about half way through in a well-judged crescendo. But it is even better at developing the characters, including the ever so vital Hermione, who gets a bit more get-up-and-go just when it's needed. This is not a great children's book; it's just a great book. When the paperback is out, we'll be getting a copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the film, 2 Dec. 2002
Stevetrumpet (Beds UK) - See all my reviews
Stephen Fry is superb in the way he brings Harry and co to life in this unabridged reading. It is long with 6 cassettes, but it moves along at a good pace.
The way Fry plays Lockhart is the best part of the reading. He captures the right voice and tone for this character, much better than Kenneth Branagh in the movie, although to be fair Branagh is not given all the lines. This is the book as written by J K Rowling, every last word.
I would highly recommend this, especially if you have children and are faced by long car journeys.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money well spent!, 30 Nov. 2002
By A Customer
I bought this audio book for my six year old daughter last year and she can now practically recite the whole thing by heart! She is allowed to listen to it in bed on weekend nights and she also takes it on car journeys and its even been to America and back with us. We also have The Philosophers Stone on CD and we are saving up for The Prisoner of Azkaban. Stephen Fry's adaptation of Rowlings characters really bring them to life and I don't know when I have ever spent my money more wisely. Also, with the number of times my daughter has played them, I am very happy that we invested in CDs as opposed to cassettes. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another five starrer that dares to be darker than its predecessor, 2 Jan. 2007
Having read the Philosophers Stone, this was a worthy sequel. Deliberately moulded for a slightly older audience i just couldn't put it down even at the age of 34. S This book is far darker than the first and sets a darker trend as the series progresses. Gone is the young carefree Harry who knows nothing about the wizardry and Voldemort and the new Harry is here to stay. Harry is still as brave and modest as he was in the first book but we can now see a side of him that is rebellious and destructive as well. I feel this adds to the book and makes harry seem more human and a more likeable hero.

The delights of Fred and George are even more thrilling in this book and the little you do hear of them is very entertaining. Ginny is also a very pleasing character and her relationship with all her brothers was very amusing. Watch out for Dobby, he comes out more useful than he really thinks he is.

Another Page turner
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Praise This Excellent Recording Highly Enough, 12 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
Stephen Fry's superb readings of the Harry Potter novels have already become contemporary classics: they are far too good to be left for children only. I am delighted that they have been re-issued on cd, as the cassette medium is all-too-fragile and many repeated plays leave the cassettes in an all-too-worn state. CDs are much more durable. And believe me, though these recordings are expensive, they are well worth the money as they will be played over and over again.
Stephen Fry is a highly talented comedian and actor with a very wide range. Without seeming to try too hard, he gives each of Rowling's characters their own voice, which is necessary in a reading of this sort, but the voices he uses are so cleverly chosen and executed that they do far more than merely help us distinguish one character from another. By assigning each character a specific accent he places them in the Great British Class Battleground and with his excellent sense of timing and nuance he accentuates Rowling's satires with his own sly wit. I actually prefer Fry's readings of the Harry Potter novels to the novels themselves, as Fry adds a whole new dimension to the books, grounding them firmly in the debates (squabbles?) of modern British life. An especial joy in his reading of Chamber Of Secrets is his interpretation of the ghastly Gilderoy Lockhart, who becomes almost frighteningly alive and believeable in Fry's hands. I would not be at all surprised to find the Loathsome Lockhart popping up on Start The Week! He'd fit right in...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witchcraft, wizadry and rattling good morality, 14 Jan. 2002
By (A Brit in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan) - See all my reviews
The second book in the Harry Potter series and Rowling's consistency to date is good. The Chamber of Secrets is remarkably like the Philosopher's Stone in the way that it begins, has a well structured middle and a very exciting end.
Most novels, even those that form part of a series like this one, rarely seem to have the same number of reminders that Potter has. Book two begins with a series of notes about who Harry is and why he's famous, who Ron and Hermione are, and so on. Of course, anyone picking up this book without having read the first one may need such information; but not necessarily. I think the characters establish themselves very well without being introduced in this way.
I have found both books to be very readable and have been impressed by Rowling's use of language. In an age when British kids and adults are being swamped by TEEVEE talk, Rowling has resisted the temptation to use words and phrases like movies, right now, momentarily; and provides us all with well written stories whose language is of a good standard for an English language reader based in the UK! I did notice, however, that Rowling and her editors have a problem with honorary: spelling it as honourary at least twice!
The format of this book is that the characters all assemble at Hogwarts at the start of the academic (is that the right term here?) year, they are introduced as goodies and baddies and teachers (who can also be goodies and baddies) and the plot goes from there. The final analysis in both books is that Harry has to take on a demon and beat it before the book can end; and he must do this almost alone ... read the book to see why I say almost alone! This is good old fashioned good against evil stuff, with good triumphing over evil. I feel that this structure makes a nonsense of the calls for banning Potter from school rooms and libraries: witchcraft and wizadry are merely pegs to hang this story on and whilst they do provide some very light moments, they are not the be all and end all of the plot by any means.
Whilst there are light moments in this book such as when spells and demonstrations of spells go wrong, I think I'm right in saying that there is no outright humour in the book. I was never struck by any of the children or the adults being downright funny: no jokes, no one liners ... experiments that go wrong, figures of fun, but no jokes. I don't think this is a problem, just an observation and will happily stand corrected.
The biggest figure of fun and most damnable teacher because of it has to be Gilderoy Lockhart: the teacher who has written so many books on the subjects of witchcraft and wizadry and who talks a good fight; but when it comes down to it, he's inept and has clearly never done what he claims to have done. Again, not a problem, except that it might cost Harry his life as he marches on to meet the demon that he must try to destroy.
On the lessons for good children (and adults) front, I do find a number of messages, perhaps cunningly hidden, that we can all learn from: Lockhart the braggart is the focus of many lessons; the overcoming of good by evil; and friendship and loyalty are all in evidence in this book, as they were in the Philosopher's Stone.
Perhaps the best message centres around the very secret diary that features both within the story and as a very dramatic part of the end of Harry's triumph. We can put the diary into the context of the internet and imagine a child innocently communicating by e-mail with a paedophile or similar fiend. The child is innocent and the fiend is plotting, cunning and very powerful. Without realising it, the child is swept up by the power of the fiend and may live to rue the day ... until a saviour (Harry) comes along.
I am happy to have read the two books that I have and I recommend them as good reading material for all children and know that many adults are happily ploughing their way through them. Both books have exciting finishes and definitely leave the reader begging for more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Anya J form Shepley, 14 Mar. 2013
Miss C (Huddersfield) - See all my reviews
Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets.

Harry Potter books are based on a boy named Harry potter who is nearly killed by Voldemort, a powerful villain, but he failed and instead lost his power and only a lightning bolt shaped scar across Harry's forehead remained afterwards.

Harry grew up with the Dursleys (Harry's Aunt, Uncle and cousin) who Harry hates and the Dursleys hate him back. In the land of wizards and witches they call humans Muggles, and Muggles, are not allowed to know about the wizard life.

In the book, the chamber of secrets has been reopened and Harry and his friends are the only ones who seem to be finding anything out about its second opening. Harry Potter's friends are Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger. Harry's worst enemy is Draco Malfoy and he pesters Harry like Draco's his magnet. The opening of the chamber is bad because there is a horrible creature lurking in there and can kill someone with one stare, but the person it is staring at, has to be looking into the monsters eyes at the same time. Harry, Ron and Hermione are desperately trying to capture the beast and get the chamber closed again for the safety of the school.

Hagrid the game keeper is blamed for opening it at first, but is he the real opener of the chamber? Hagrid is a wizard too but he got expelled, so he just lives in a little hut in the gardens of Hogwarts. He ends up making friends with Harry and his friends and helps them along the way to defeat the powerful villain (Voldemort).
I would personally give this book a 5* rating. It is full of adventure and I couldn't stop reading it! This book is the 2nd one in the series and the first one is Harry potter and the philosopher's stone and then it's Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the goblet of fire, Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix, Harry Potter and the half-blood prince, Harry Potter and the deathly hallows.
(I can't wait to read them all!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, 2 Jun. 2010
I was happy to find that Chamber of Secrets was the same awesome book I remembered it to be the second time around.

After languishing at home all summer with no word from any of his friends, Harry receives a visit from Dobby the House Elf, which lands him in a heap of trouble, but answers the question about his lack of letters. (Dobby stole them all.) Luckily, not long into his incarceration, the Weasley brothers show up with a magical rescue. Just barely making his escape, Harry spends the rest of summer delighted at the Burrow, with the Weasley family.

His bad luck continues, however, when he and Ron fail to make the train to Hogwarts. After crashing into the barrier to their platform, rather than disappearing through it, Harry and Ron make a hasty retreat from all the attention they've attracted, and decide their only course of action is to take the bewitched family car and follow the train to school. Said bewitched car happens to have a few flaws though, like a faulty invisibility switch. So not only is there the issue of crash landing in the whomping willow, there's the front page of the paper informing their teachers that they were spotted along the way.

Sure that this means expulsion, Harry and Ron can't imagine feeling any lower, and are overjoyed to find out they won't be expelled after all---though they've used their last strike.

All these mishaps prove an apt beginning to the year, which doesn't get better, and for Harry often gets only worse.

First, there's the entirely inept and arrogant Lockhart, new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, who seems convinced that Harry is out for fame, and accosts him at every turn with unwelcome advice. The arrival of new first year Colin Creevey does nothing to help, as he's snapping pictures of Harry every chance he gets, to send home to his father.

During the year's first Quidditch match, a bewitched bludger has it in for Harry, finally succeeds in getting him, breaking his arm. He still manages to catch the snitch and win the game, but his happiness is quickly subdued as Lockhart removes all the bones from his arm while attempting to mend the broken one.

On and on it goes. During a dueling class, Harry calls of a snake that's about to attack a classmate, and learns the hard way that he can speak a language he didn't even know about. A language that's caused most of the school to think he's evil. The Heir of Slytherin mentioned in a message left on the wall the night the attacks at school started.

Eventually, things calm down, and it seems the bad times are over. People slowly start to come around. Then another attack happens, followed by a disappearance. Dumbledore is gone, Hagrid's locked up, there's talk of closing the school, and only Harry and Ron have any idea how to solve the mystery.

But can they do it before it's too late
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still some teething problems, 8 Feb. 2010
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
Harry has had a miserable summer. None of his friends have written to him and he wonders whether Hogwarts and the world of wizardry that he discovered the year before is just a dream. Four weeks before he is due to return to school he has a visit from Dobby the House Elf who warns him away from returning to Hogwarts. And so we embark on another year at Hogwarts and another mystery - this time involving the Chamber of Secrets, of the title.

I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as the first. The main reason for this was the clumsy need to recap that Rowling displayed. The worst instance was when Colin and Harry are walking to the Quidditch pitch and Harry has to explain how it all works - it isn't completely unforgiveable since Colin has only just started at Hogwarts, but I felt it was superfluous nonetheless, and this was not the only instance.

My other reason for the half star being dropped was Gilderoy Lockhart, a very tiresome character who boasts constantly about his achievements. I can see how some people might regard him as humourous but I begrudged any of his 'screentime' and wished he hadn't been introduced.

In this book the fright factor is increased. There is a spine chilling scene in the Forbidden Forest, especially if you are not that fond of spiders, and I still have nerves when Harry faces off against Tom Riddle and he reveals who he actually is. Some younger readers might well be scared by some of the moments in this story.

Once again, the characters are fleshed out fantastically, even minor characters such as Lee Jordan (who commentates the Quidditch matches in a very entertaining manner). All of them are extremely memorable and, even in just this second book of the series, very familiar to the reader. It is a tribute to Rowling's writing of these characters that I never mix up my Professor Sprout with my Professor Flitwick - each of the people who roam the wizarding world have their own characteristics and personalities.

The little details also charmed me. I love the fact that the students have to turn in essays of a certain length in inches on their rolled parchment, rather than word count or pages. I enjoy the Dickensian element of the story - the quills for writing, the clothes and robes. The descriptions of the feasts are unbelievable - they make you wish you could be transported to eat there.

This is not my favourite of the seven in the series for reasons detailed above, but it is still a great read!
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