If you have read this blog before, then there is a good chance you may have noticed my love for J K Rowling’s magical Harry Potter series. What you might not have known before was my huge childhood love of audiobooks. In particular, I have very fond memories of being tucked into bed and listening to my audio cassette of The Adventures of Portland Bill … so many times I’m surprised I didn’t wear it out! I’ve renewed this love as an adult by re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone via the audiobook narrated by the much-loved Stephen Fry.
For those who don’t know, the Philosopher’s Stone is the first book in the series, where we first meet Harry Potter with his famous lightning scar. At the time, poor Harry is leading a miserable life of neglect in the home of his cold Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, and his spoilt cousin, Dudley. But everything is to change by the arrival of an unexpected letter confirming his admission to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this hidden wizarding world, Harry is no obscure, unloved orphan but the famous survivor of the dark wizard: ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! So in confusion and excitement, Harry embarks upon his first year at Hogwarts, where he will discover acceptance, friendship, answers, magic, danger and adventure.
Sadly it has been years since I read any of this series and while I have enjoyed many watches of the films, it was great to rediscover all those wonderful extra details. I’d also forgotten just how funny and lighter the earlier books are too. What I have always loved most about this series is the whole host of colourful and memorable characters and creatures that Rowling has created – all of whom I thought were brought to life beautifully by Stephen Fry, who cleverly uses only subtle changes in tone, pace, pitch and accent to give each character their own distinct voice.
Overall, I found listening to the audiobook Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, read brilliantly by Stephen Fry, extremely comforting and fun. I usually listened to this while doing my ironing and it was so good, it made me almost want to find more ironing to do! Next I am looking forward to starting the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets audiobook. Great read.
Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Have you tried any of the audiobooks?