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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) Hardcover – 8 Jul 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,222 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Classic ed edition (8 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747542155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747542155
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The worry, when faced with the follow-up to books as good as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (both winners of the Nestlé Smarties Prize Gold Award), is that it won't be as good. With J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban any concerns are banished from page one. This, the third in the series, continues where the previous two left off and is a fantastic adventure of mystery, magic and mayhem combined with liberal doses of humour and plenty of suspense.

Forced to do his homework in the dead of night and forbidden to refer to his magic skills or his life at Hogwarts School, Harry Potter is forced to endure the summer holidays with the dreaded Dursleys. The arrival of Aunt Marge is the final straw and, in a fit of anger, Harry breaks all the rules and casts a spell on her, causing her to blow up like a balloon. Running away from his dreaded relatives, Harry expects to be expelled from Hogwarts for his blatant flaunting of the rule not to use magic outside term time. However, the arrival of the mysterious Knight Bus and a meeting with Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, result in Harry enjoying the rest of the holidays in the wonderful surroundings of the Leaky Cauldron.

The escape of Sirius Black--one-time friend of Harry's parents, implicated in their murder and follower of "You- Know-Who"--from Azkaban, has serious implications for Harry for it would appear that Black is bent on revenge against Harry for thwarting "You-Know-Who". Back at Hogwarts, Harry's movements are restricted by the presence of the Dementors--guards from Azkaban on the look out for Black--however, this doesn't stop him throwing himself into the new Quidditch season and going about his normal business, or at least attempting to. Despite warnings Harry is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Sirius Black--how could this one-time close friend of his parents become the cause of their deaths? And why does the presence of the Dementors have such a devastating effect on him, causing him to hear the last moments of his mother's life?

With another four Harry Potter novels planned, Jo Rowling is creating a series of books which will become classics to rival C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia--books written for children but loved by adults too. (Ages 9 and up) --Philippa Reece

Review

'I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I encountered an author who has had this effect on me. For the first time in years the book lives up to the hype ... perfection' Daily Express 'Extraordinarily vivid and exceptionally well-imagined' Independent on Sunday 'Rowling deserves all the plaudits that are being heaped upon her. For once, the word phenomenon is an understatement' Scotland on Sunday 'The most remarkable publishing sensation for a generation ... the story is told with such momentum, imagination and irrepressible humour that it can captivate both adults and children' Sunday Express

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said by someone here? It was absolutely amazing! I've loved the Harry Potter books since I read the first one last spring, but this is my favorite of them so far. The beauty of it, the layers of betrayal and friendship that are slowly peeled away chapter by chapter, are all simply breathtaking.
I started Prisoner of Azkaban one night as I got into bed, planning to read only a few chapters and then sleep. 435 pages and many hours later, watching the sun start to come up, I finally put it down, having finished the entire book. In the process of those 435 pages, I laughed, I gasped in surprise, and believe it or not I cried. The emotions of the characters expressed in this book as, bit by bit, the story of what really happened that Halloween night that Voldemort killed Lily and James Potter, were absolutely perfect.
One of the finest books I've ever read!
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Format: Audio CD
I thought Harry Potter couldnt get better after the Philosophers Stone but then I discovered The Chamber of Secrets and now, to surpass them all comes The Prisoner of Azkaban! Stephen Fry continues to amaze me with his ability to draw the "listener" into the story. I listen to Harry Potter every morning and evening on the way to and from work. Before discovering Harry, I used to get frustrated with the hours drive home in traffic queues but now look forward to having a long journey home, just so I can hear more of Harry. Im an addict - officially! Im 25 and my partner thinks Im crazy for being into this "kiddy" thing - well im here to tell you that imagination doesnt stop when you leave school and I find this the perfect antidote for a stressful life - I can escape it all and listen in bliss to the great Stephen Fry excelling himself and complementing the already brilliant Harry Potter!
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Format: Paperback
Rowling manages the rare trick in an author of making each of her books better than the last. Harry Potter’s history is slowly revealed throughout the books along with his day-to-day schooling at Hogwarts and the current danger imposed by Voldemort or one of his underlings. It is the sewing together of these three strands that makes Harry’s adventures so gripping and original along with the increased maturity each novel brings (the themes of love, death and evil are intensified in each new book). Whilst the Philosopher’s Stone was suitable for a wider audience each subsequent book grows alongside Harry meaning Prisoner Of Azkaban may not be suitable for children under 12 or as well appreciated.
With the inclusion of more wonderful characters to add to the storyline such as the sinister dementors, Lupin and Sirius Black POA excites with the unfamiliar but still retains those elements that make Harry Potter books what they are. Time travelling, flying griffins, a map that changes and a certain pet rat’s history adds to the Harry Potter series’ charm and for over three hundred pages Rowling transports you to a new world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frankly, there is no need to give a review. I expect 95% of today's readers understand and appreciate how popular the legendary Harry Potter is. I am only writing one for this book because it is by far my favourite in the series. Rowling equips the story with the same sense of light humour and typical exciting games of Quidditch (standard!). The exceptional point that really marks this book as turning point is the slow-but-sure revealing of the truth. Harry's idolisation of his father is dented by Snape's remark that not everything is as it seems. However, Harry's adored vision remains firmly emphasised throughout. For me, I no longer saw Snape as purely biased bully of a teacher; his character spurred me on to find out what exactly happened between him and James Potter.

Regrettably, I am amongst those who liked the series too late. Fortunately, the HP rave seems to go on forever so reading it for the second time is just as good as the first.
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Format: Paperback
It took me a while to succumb to Harry Potter fever, but now infected, I never want to be cured! I've seen both the films and enjoyed them so much, I was inspired to start reading the books. I hope any child who picks one up realises that they are reading one of the best, most imaginative, most delightful series of books since C.S Lewis' 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and Enid Blyton's 'The Famous Five'. 'Prisoner of Azkaban' in particular I literally couldn't put down and there is as much, if not more in there to appeal to adults as well as to children. Although slightly darker in tone than the others in the series, it none the less remains wonderful escapism for all ages. A large plus point is that J.K. Rowling doesn't assume prior knowledge of the other preceeding books, and 'Prisoner' is perfectly capable of standing alone - characters, situations and locations are re-introduced and 'what's happened so far' summaries are comprehensive while remaining brief for those who have read the other books - although I feel that anyone who just reads the one is missing out on a treat!
I haven't enjoyed a book so much in ages, and I sincerely hope J.K Rowling never tires of Harry and his friends at Hogwarts!! I certainly shall never tire of reading about them.
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