Thursday, 20 December 2012

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Author: J K Rowling
Series: #1
Pages: 223
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 26th June 1997

I don’t think you would find many people who had never heard of the famous Harry Potter. It has been translated into 67 different languages and has sold over 120 million copies of this book alone. But what is it about a boy wizard that has captured the world???

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

It all started with that humble sentence and I was hooked. JK Rowling was able to provide so much vivid detail about every part of this magical world that you have no choice but to believe that it is real.

Harry isn't your everyday kid who simply walks to the letterbox one day to find his letter from Hogwarts. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley proud as punch to walk him to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters to board the Hogwarts Express. A tear sliding down Aunt Petunia cheek as they wave him off.

No … Harry’s is a scrawny, underfed boy in too big hand-me-down clothes, who sleeps in a closet underneath the stairs. His Hogwarts letter is first delivered by owl through the slot in the front door. Then ‘pushed under the door, slotted through the sides, and a few even forced through the small window in the downstairs bathroom.’ Next they appear rolled up inside a dozen eggs. It isn't until the Dursley’s have packed up their car and are sleeping in a broken down house, perched on a rock, in the middle of the sea that Harry finally gets his letter. Hand delivered by a giant man with a face covered in shaggy wild hair. Three chapters in and the world of Harry Potter has already been brought to life.

The book starts with us meeting the Dursley’s. Vernon, Petunia and their baby son Dudley, on what seems to be a typical day. While it may be a typical day in the Muggle world, wizards from all over the country are celebrating the news of the downfall of the Dark Lord (He Who Must Not Be Named). It is said that Voldemort went to the Potter’s house, and while he succeeded in murdering Lily and James he was not able to kill their little boy Harry. His powers somehow broke and the Dark Lord vanished. Harry, now an orphan and with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, is left on the doorstep of his Aunt and Uncle’s house. Too young to remember why everyone in ‘his world’ will know him as Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived.

Harry grows up in the shadow of his spoilt cousin, with his Aunt and Uncle pretending that he doesn’t exist. It isn’t until he receives his letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that he learns the truth about himself. He is a wizard. Harry is thrown into a world of potions, spells and magic, without a second to wonder whether it is all real.

We follow Harry in his journey as he learns about the Wizarding World in which he is famous. We learn to cast spells, brew potions, fly on a broomstick and play Quidditch. We question why Harry survived as a baby against the most powerful dark lord of all time. We make friendship, learn of the true power of love, and join Harry as he is forced to battle against the person who killed his parents.

If you have never read Harry Potter then there is a world that you are missing out on. I suggest you go and read them. I promise you will not be able to put them down, you won’t be able to stop until all your questions have been answered and the story with never leave you.


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