Thursday, 7 February 2008

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (also published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
Author: J.K. Rowling

What is special about the book? This is the first of the Harry Potter series. There are six books following it. Yes, this is the one that started it all:-)

(I am sure most of you who are reading this are ‘encyclopaedias’ of Harry Potter searching for any new scrap of information. Sorry to disappoint you but this is yet another review of the first Harry Potter book specially for those who haven’t read the book yet, but curious about it.)

What is the story?
The Dursleys were an ordinary family. There was Mr. Dursley who was the director of a drill making company. Mrs. Dursley managed the home with equal interest in household chores as well as other people's business. Dudley, their only son was nothing but an angel (only for them, that is). And there was the ten year old Harry Potter, Mrs. Dursley’s sister’s son.
Harry Potter was an orphan; his father and mother had died when he was a baby. From then on he had lived with them.

Harry’s life with the Dursleys was miserable. To begin with he slept in a small cupboard under the stairs. It was not as if they did not have rooms. Dudley had two rooms- one for him and one for his toys. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia never showed any affection towards him and preferred to consider him as a non-entity. To top it all he was constantly bullied by Dudley. He had no friends and all he could wish for was a way to escape from that horrible place.

Then one day he received a letter. It was unusual in itself since he had nobody to write to him. The address said ‘Mr. H. Potter, Cupboard under the stairs,… Surrey’ as if the sender had known exactly where he was living! There was no stamp on it either!

However he did not get a chance to open this curious letter since Uncle Vernon had grabbed it from him. But it seemed that the anonymous sender was determined to make sure that Harry received the letter. So there began a shower of letters. Nothing that Uncle Vernon did to stop the letters from getting into the house succeeded. Finally Uncle Vernon had to take drastic measures. He made them move into a deserted island where he thought no letters could make its way in. Well, he was wrong.

This time it was not the letter but a gigantic man who came in search of Harry. The fact that there was a fierce storm outside and that they were in an almost untraceable place had not stopped him from finding Harry. As Uncle Vernon, Petunia and Dudley watched totally astounded the giant delivered the letter to Harry.

What the giant, Hagrid, told him was beyond his belief. He was not just an ordinary boy but a wizard! His parents were wizards too and they had not died in an accident as his guardians had told him but were murdered by the most evil and powerful wizard of all time.

The letter was from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry informing him that he had been accepted as a student.

This marked a huge turning point in his life. He did not had to think twice to join this special school. Away from the dreadful Dursleys he found a new home at Hogwarts, made friends, learned extraordinary stuff and more importantly learned a lot more about his parents’ murderer and his own importance in the wizarding world...

I had not read any Harry Potter books while watching the two movies of the series ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’. Interestingly the first book that I read was NOT the first book of the series, but the FOURTH book ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’:-D Thus the suspense of the third book ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ went 'puff'!! It was then that I read the first three books.

Hope I have confused you enough! My point simply is that eventhough I did not read the books in the proper order I absolutely loved them. I faithfully watched all the movies as well but the books are of course much better than the movies. Why? Because books give a very detailed account whereas movies are only condensed adaptation; because the book triggers one's own imagination and no movie could surpass that!

This is a story of good vs total evil. Wonderful book. If you haven’t read it till now, then I would advice to read it as soon as possible!


Ms Cris said...

This one is still my favorite of all the 7!

Novice Writer said...

My favourite is the last one..