Do the Harry Potter books live up to the hype? When I first began reading the Philosopher’s stone I was immediately struck by how good - and laugh-out-loud funny - the humour was. You usually need to read a Terry Pratchett novel to ensure constant laughter throughout but Rowling has managed to infuse this book with a lovely wit and charm that will both amuse and delight adults and children.
"Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley arrived in the kitchen with his mother. Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large, pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes and thick, blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel – Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig."
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Vanishing Glass
Now, I did not pick up the original Harry Potter book when it came out in 1997. In fact, for a while I dare say I was a Harry Potter hater. My godparents gave to me as a gift one year for Christmas, and I remember being excited to finally read the book I had heard so many good things about. That first chapter though… … Ugh! I found it dreadfully boring. Instead of being about a boy my own age, I was reading some strange book with nothing but old and middle-aged English people living in some English suburb where nothing exciting happens. Not only was there none of the magic I’d been promised, but there weren’t any shape-shifting aliens to make up for it (I should probably note that I was still neck-deep in the Animorphs books at the time). I rather quickly gave up on the book, as there were other, more interesting ways to occupy my time that Christmas.
J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter is the most successful book series of all time, and for good reason. Rowling's rare insight into universal feelings, combined with original takes on classic fantasy tropes, and a witty writing style, take this book from fun and exciting to timeless and classic.
Is all the hype about the Harry Potter books justified? In a word, yes, the books are a joy to read and possibly the most rewarding young adult’s book since The Hobbit.
Worldwide Consumer Products has announced that Hasbro has received the license to create Harry Potter games that involves the first two books in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
From the midnight book release parties to new movie releases to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, fans, the world over, love Harry and can't seem to get enough of him.
Harry Potter is a very sensitive issue to many people, especially now that a movie has been made, based on the first book – a movie that broke almost all US box office records as flocks of people came to watch it....
The Philosopher’s Stone is the first in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of seven novels that have made her the most successful literary author of all time, selling in excess of 400 million copies world-wide. The books are read and enjoyed by children and adults alike and have also been made into hugely popular films.
Oh man. Why should you care about this international publishing phenomenon, the book that launched one of the most successful series in history? The pop culture sensation that has now been sweeping the world for more than a decade? Well, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a pretty awesome book full of imaginative ideas. If Rowling were a Hogwarts student, she'd get top points for her house for her book's creativity, exciting plot, compelling characters. Plus, in Harry Potter she's given us one of those amazing characters – like Sherlock Holmes – who can become a superstar in pop culture. Harry Potter's practically become public property – we all feel like we know him.
And part of the reason why we feel like we know him is because it's so easy to relate to him. Have you ever felt like you were alone and misunderstood? Harry does. Have you ever tried to figure out who you really are? Harry has. He never knew his parents and is stuck with a cruel pair of guardians who could give Cinderella's stepfamily a run for their money.
Speaking of the orphaned Cinderella, Harry has lots of friends on the bookshelf. He reminds us of all of the great orphans in literature, ones who endured pretty rough circumstances and who went on to learn some pretty big lessons. We're thinking about Sara Crewe in The Little Princess, in Great Expectations, in Oliver Twist, Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, and, of course, Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. We all know what it's like to struggle to understand who we are and what we want. But these orphans have a tougher time of it, because most of them don't even know or remember who their parents are or where they came from. Their identity is literally a blank slate. The fact that Harry discovers his heritage and his magical powers all at once makes for one big identity explosion. Maybe we connect with him because we are all (children, grown-ups, and everyone in between) searching for our identity, and we're all hoping it will be as unique, important, and exciting as Harry's identity is.
What would be more wonderful than for a complete stranger to show up and reveal our magical birthright – magic, talent, fame, and fortune. How fun would it be if we were whisked away to a place where we were already a celebrity and where we could make friends at the drop of a hat? Even if this new world we are thrown into has its own problems – for Harry, it's defeating the evil overlord Voldemort – these problems sound way more exciting than the everyday stuff we might deal with at home or at school.
But let's face it – the chance of a Hogwarts admissions letter showing up at our door, delivered by owl, are on the slim side. But that doesn't mean different kinds of adventures and surprises don't await us. Let's let Harry inspire us and remind us that we are not alone in trying to figure out who in the heck we are. Let's use his adventures as evidence that life is full of possibilities.
J.K. Rowling should be commended for getting so many people reading and excited by books. The biggest surprise must be the effect that this novel had on the adult population, both male and female - at the time the books were published many a commuting train was spotted with Harry Potter books providing world-weary workers with a wonderful sense of escapism. This book is highly recommended to anybody between the ages of 8 and 80.
Still, the movie is shorter so that people who want a quick summary of the storyline can get it,
The book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, had many characters that the movie didn’t.