Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Series: Harry Potter: #1

Harry Potter is such a huge thing that I’m honestly not sure what in the world I could say that would convince anyone to read/not read it that hasn’t already made up their mind. So it goes.

Short version: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is at times clearly intended for a younger audience, but it’s a solid book even for an older audience.

I’m not (and never really have been) overly thrilled with Rowling’s world building. She does an excellent job on the characters and making a magical feeling world. Some of the chapters, in particular the opening, are just downright fun to listen to. But if you really start thinking about it, the world just doesn’t feel possible.

The random things that bothered me the most about this in this book: There’s no good reason that Harry should be on the Quidditch team . Is there really no one better in the entire House than an 11 year old that has never touched a broom? Also, the teachers really should have done a better job in dealing with the issues / being able to defeat a trio of 11 year olds… On the other hand both cases are exactly the sort of things that I imagine an 11 year old reading the books would absolutely love them.

Also, this is the first time that I’ve listened to the audiobooks. It’s interesting hearing them read with a non-American accent, but I think this may be the first audiobook narrator that I just don’t care for (I have the Jim Dale versions). He does different voices for all of the characters and every single one of them grates on me. Hermione is the worst. It’s not enough to convince me to stop listening to them, but I am contemplating trying to find the Stephen Fry versions instead. We shall see.

Overall, still one of the best fantasy books out there for young (~11 year old) readers and something that it wouldn’t hurt most adults to have read either. I lost count years ago how many times I’ve re-read the entire series, they’re just that enjoyable. :)