Books I read

Something I found in my diary of way back in 2013: another more chatty review of Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

30/12/2013

I have avoided reading the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. All for religious reasons! Imagine. But I figured the other day, reading about witches and wizards is not going to add or take anything away from my salvation. There is not some magical power being exerted by the book that will enchant me. Everything in life depends on decisions. In the words of Albus Dumbledore ‘It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’ (From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). So we started reading it…

We started at the beginning Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling. It is a book written about the orphan Harry Potter that was raised by his mother’s sister and her family. The Dursleys are seriously a horrid family and one can’t help but sympathise with Harry Potter and what he has to keep up with living by his cousin Dudley and his parents, Vernon and Petunia. It is a great adventure to learn with Harry how he ended up with the Dursleys and who his parents really were. I absolutely loved how love and kindness through Hagrid engulfed Harry for the first time in his life. JK Rowling takes one on a wonderful adventure of discovery while Harry makes his first friends, learns everything there is about magic, get to know this life where he is accepted and respected and even learns about his own talents in popular wizarding sports! I am not going to write further otherwise I’ll be giving the story away! When danger looms, Harry and his friends search through secrets together, break some school rules and ultimately work together to rid Hogwarts and the wizarding world from He Who Must Not Be Named! I should stop writing more about the plot otherwise you will know the whole story soon!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a fast paced book with not one page of dull writing. JK Rowling has managed to sketch characters that come to life! She also managed to keep her writing up-beat with sprinkles of humor all around. I think every chapter was very cleverly written with almost short story quality in the sense of thoughts and adventures completed in one chapter but enough secrecy to lure the reader onto the next chapter. Brilliant. The boys and I could not put this book down. It wakens everything a good book should in its reader. Curiosity, anxiety, relief, anger, excitement, hope, suspense and all in one chapter. The question what comes next tend to be the most asked question after a nerve wrecking passage!

I can’t find anything wrong with this book. It is well written. It is exciting. It’s fast. It does not talk down to children of all ages but it also doesn’t talk too high. Young readers and older readers can follow. I did not however like the extreme bad in the book. Yes, I’m a sucker for believing the good in people. There is nothing wrong with the darkness in the book. I think in certain societies in this beautiful world of ours, this darkness is probably tame compared to the reality. But less intense bad is still my personal preference. The evil characters and plans were very evil and very dark. It was so well written that I could feel the evil in them. SHUDDER! This probably does not count as a negative of this book but more of a preference.

I loved this book. I’ve watched the movie many years ago and must admit that many blanks were filled in by the book. Another example of why watching the movie after reading the book is advised. A lovely read aloud, brightly colored in but probably not the best reading material for just before bed! We cannot wait to read the rest though.

Just for the giggles!

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