'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 14 June 2013

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
My first ever attempt to review the first book in the series that I love above anything else in the world of literature. I don't even know how this is going to go. This is my first re-read since I was in sixth form, so that is roughly four years ago and the book still blows me away. I cannot profess my love for this series enough. It's so unbelievably imaginative and captivating that it is impossible to hate. The characters are wonderful and I know that we all wanted our own Harry, Ron and Hermione's! J. K. Rowling is a master of words and I was so incredibly (and still am) reluctant to let go of this magical wizarding world that she created.

It's ridiculous how much this series means to me. This is the book that started it all. Did Rowling even process that this could have happened? That this world wide phenomenon could have developed from her mind? I doubt it, but I am so thankful to her for sharing her imagination with all of us. The first book follows Harry's first year at Hogwarts and serves as a 'set up' book, introducing the various characters, friendships and rivalries. It's our insight into what happened to Harry as baby when he came face to face with Voldemort and then how he handles his second facing with the most powerful Dark Lord of all time. 

I loved the interactions between the characters and the world building is just immense. So much work has gone into these books, from the researching of names for not only characters but objects in this new wizarding world. Rowling has created so many real characters. We all know someone who is similar to various characters within these books. It's a world I am reluctant to come out of; I just want to stay in this little wizarding world forever! It's always a nasty snap back to reality when I put the book down, and I'm positive that I am not the only one that has this feeling. 

Not only has J. K. Rowling created a wonderfully inventive world, but she also introduces so many real issues in her series. Issues such as race and slavery, class structure, the corruption that can come from power. Being older and now studying the series, I find it so interesting that there are so many issues within the series that are explored. Money and a persons worth are connected highly, something which still isn't any different from the 1990's. I am so excited to delve in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the millionth time to see what will be unearthed there!

An absolutely amazing book and I am so glad that;

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”


  1. Lovely review! I totally agree: snapping out of it hurts so badly, I just want to live in the books forever! And the depth of the series never ceases to amaze me; it's a children's series but it has so many adult topics even at 20, 40 or 60 you can enjoy the books so much.

  2. Yes you and Ula are right! I started re-reading this last week, and I'm taking the slower route and doing lots of research and discussion, but every time I force myself to put the book down after a chapter or so, its a little slap in the face that says - you cannot really go to Hogwarts!

    I'm going to be coming up on my first ever review of the Harry Potter books in the next few weeks, so lets see how it goes. I think did a fantastic job. I'm going to be posting a discussion of the first few chapters on Sunday - hope to talk to you then! :)


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