This is a review of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J. K. Rowling. It is the 1st novel in The Harry Potter Series.
I had a nostalgic notion to re-read all of the Harry Potter novels again. No doubt it was brought on by my recent read of Rowling’s new novel for adults: “The Casual Vacancy“. They hardly need reviewing, but this is my blog and I will review whatever I please. Plus I purchased a box set of the whole lot last year, and have yet to read all of my new unblemished set cover to cover from book 1 to 7 all in a row.
Yes I like to re-read my novels. What of it?
As I have mentioned before, I first read this novel when I was in primary school, not long after it had been published. I have re-read it many times since then. Over and over as I grew older. I will never tire of it. I love it. I love all of them.
If you haven’t read them because you have a silly notion that they’re no good because they were so popular, or that you won’t enjoy them because you’re a “grown-up”. I seriously urge you to reconsider.
And even worse, if you haven’t read them because you suffer from the absolutely incorrect notion that because you’ve watched the movies, you have basically read the books too, please re-think your decision!
I actually hated going to see the movies.
While the first two were quite good, from movie number three, they really started making a mess of things (in my opinion). I always went to watch to see if I’d be happily surprised, but so many times I was left disappointed. And I would have moments of distress (yes, utter distress) and indignation: why change that? Why leave this out? Why add something that never happened?! The frustration!
A few major gripes of mine: why cast Sirius Black so poorly? In my head he was something akin to Viggo Mortenson.
My Dream Sirius:
Why burn the Weasley’s house down?! That never happened. Why weren’t books 4, 5 and 6 split into two movies too? So much was lost. What the hell was that train station scene in the 6th movie? Wtf? Where was Peeves? Or Piers Polkiss? Or Winky?
Anyway, I digress.
Harry Potter lives with his horrible Aunt and Uncle and his despicable cousin Dudley. He sleeps in the cupboard under the stairs, and is neglected, treated with disdain and resentment. He wishes he had somewhere else to go. But he doesn’t. All the rest of his family are dead. Including his parents, who died when he was just a baby.
And odd things seem to happen to him, things that he can’t quite believe or explain away. His Aunt and Uncle have no trouble attributing the blame to him regardless.
Shortly before his eleventh birthday, a letter arrives for him. It’s an odd letter, precise enough to mention the cupboard he sleeps in in the address, there can be no doubt that the letter is meant for Harry. But his Uncle Vernon forbids Harry from opening it.
When more arrive, getting increasingly persistent and numerous, he decides to remove Harry and the others from the house in order to escape the letters.
When someone finally comes knocking, Harry is pleasantly surprised by the news imparted to him. He’s a wizard. And the letters are from Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
But with this exciting news comes other information, and Harry discovers what truly happened to his parents.
Full of wonder, hope, friendship, courage and written expertly, this novel is a treasure for both children AND adults. Read it. You won’t regret it.