Friday, September 18, 2009

The First Harry Potter book

After years of holding out I finally listened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Melanie and I listened to it while driving around Lake Michigan during out August vacation. J.K. Rowling and David Sedaris were the two authors we agreed that we both would enjoy.

I'm glad I entered the book version of the Harry Potter stories in the audio format because I probably wouldn't have finished this book if I had been reading it myself. It was an enjoyable time passer in a car going down an interstate but it's not something I would spend hours on in my reading chair. Honestly, it wasn't that great. There were a few scenes that were wonderful and there are some great characters but as an overall work it was a little weak. The plot twist at the end was cheap and the universe she created has a lot of holes in it. She never really reconciled to me the problem in the Harry Potter universe: the disconnect between the world of the Muggles and the world of the wizards and witches.

The reader, Jim Dale, did a marvelous job bringing the book to life, although the voice he adopted for Hermione caused me to laugh a couple of times. I did notice that his performance was recorded before the movies were made and the characters Professor McGonagall and Hagrid sound almost identical to how they sound in the films. If I remember correctly the audio book was recorded well before the first film was made. I wonder how much he inspired the creation of the characters vocal styles for the film?

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