Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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I know it might come as a surprise to many people when I confess that this is the first time I’m reading Harry Potter. HP is such a staple in children’s fantasy, which is one of my favourite genres (probably the most). But the way circumstances would have it, I only picked up the series a couple of weeks ago.

I’ll keep this review brief, because I think everyone by now is familiar with the series.

Rating: 5/5

Needless to say, I enjoyed it. It was a lot more whimsical that I thought it would be. I did see 6 out of 8 movies, and I had the impression the books would be as dark and mysterious as the movies made the story seem to be. But I think it’s a lot more like Diana Wynne Jones’s books than anything. It’s got a very endearing quality to it, and I’m not surprised at all why so many people fell in love with the book.

I found the characters to be slightly different in the book than they were in the movies. I felt as if the movie got one dimension of their characterization right, but the book gave such great nuances that the movies didn’t have time to show off. Harry, for example, was a lot sassier than he was in the movies. Ron was a lot funnier, although I do remember Rupert Grint making me laugh hysterically when I watched the films as a kid. Hermione was so intense; she was really milking the smarty-pants stereotype so hard, I couldn’t even find her annoying for it. And Neville! Whoa, I was surprised how much screen time Neville got. He was always that outlying character in the movies, but here, the gang really seemed more like a quad than a trio. I have a feeling I’m going to really love Neville even more in the following books.

Overall, I feel like I understood the story better now. As a kid, I never quite knew what was going on — only that there were things going on with Harry and he needed to fix them, hehe.

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4 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

  1. So glad you enjoyed – I think you make such a great point about books to movies in general- books just have soooooooo many more details and little things that just add so much to your appreciation of the whole story. (Though I will say for the later HP movies, they cut a lot of extraneous junk out – JKRowling got a little obsessed with te books getting longer and longer ……)

    Which 2 movies did you not see? The last ones? I think the first, third, and fifth are the best – the fifth one doesn’t follow as closely – but it’s fun.

    You’re right – Neville does have a much bigger role in the books – though, there’s one part in the fourth movie that Neville does something someone else did in the books – oh, and in the fourth movie they completely ignore Hermione trying to change the world! It’s a funny little side plot that they don’t really explore in the movie. But it adds another layer of depth to Hermione’s character. I think you’re right that she came across as more sympathetic in the books – she comes across as extra know it all y in the movies. (Not that I don’t sympathize- I feel like she is a good analogy for the way I feel a lot of the time – except, unfortunately, I haven’t found friends like Harry and Ron who are willing to look past it!).

    I know it’s a lot of pages – but I hope you keep up with it! I look forward to more of your thoughts!

    1. I didn’t see the last two movies. I think I also tried to watch the 6th one, but got bored and fell asleep. So it’s probably more accurate to say that I really saw 5 movies.

      Ah, I can’t wait to read about Hermione’s little stunt to change the world! I totally know what you mean about sympathizing with her character even though it was clear she was supposed to be annoying. I think for a lot of us who grew up at the time the books were coming out, we didn’t have a lot of heroines who were bookish and cared about the rules and following them. Even now, the bookish heroines are all about being unconventional. I don’t know if this is what you meant, but this is how I feel towards Hermione. It’s great to read about little rebels like Eugenides, but I’m far from being one myself, hehe.

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