Harry Potter Tuesdays #1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Posted October 22, 2013 by Bee in Reviews, Special Events / 2 Comments

hp tuesdays banner Harry Potter Tuesdays is a new event here on Istyria book blog. I’ve wanted to re-read the books for a long time and since I finally got to do it, I decided to make it extra special. I’m going to review each book and compare the book with the movie. I was inspired by Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog when she read these books for the first time and reviewed them on her blog!

So first up is, of course, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Or is it the Sorcerer’s Stone?

Harry Potter Tuesdays #1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Pages: 223
Published on June 26th 1997
by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Goodreads

Also by this author: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

4 Stars

This review will, of course, have some spoilers. If you have lived under a rock for the past ten years or so, please join the living again. You should have read these books a long time ago.

Everyone knows Harry Potter. Well, there may be some who don’t. Those who live under rocks or something, but most people have at least heard of it. Whether they’ve seen the movies or read the books or both. In this first book, we meet him for the first time. He’s a young boy that lives with his uncle and aunt. Needless to say he’s not very happy there. When he finds out he’s a wizard, a very famous one at that, his life changes completely. He goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were he makes friends and enemies. But there’s something dark lurking in the shadows.

Every time I read these books I need to remind myself that it was meant for kids and it’s written that way. So some things are a bit more simple than the books I’m used to reading. But after a few pages, I don’t care anymore. I get sucked into that world again and the fact that I’ll never get bored of them, that’s saying something. This is the first book in the series and every time I read the entire series, I notice that the writing gets better every book. Everything gets better. But it’s so great to start that journey again and I think I love the books more every time I read them.

Here’s a little fun fact. This book is actually the last one I read in the series. Pretty weird, but it’s true. And I get confused about the title every time. In some countries it’s the Philosopher’s Stone and in others it’s the Sorcerer’s Stone. On my copy, it’s the first. But still. Confusing.

I don’t have to tell you how much I love these characters. I feel an instant connection to Harry Potter and I did the first time I met him. He is like a dear friend to me by now. That cute eleven year old boy. And his friends Ron and Hermione. I just love them so much. But knowing how it all ends, gives you a sad feeling too when you read about Dumbledore and the Weasley twins. And I got to hate Malfoy and Dudley all over again because they were spoiled brats and nothing more. Oh and I can’t forget about Neville! It’s so awesome to start this journey once again.

So if you have not read this series yet because you’ve lived under a rock or something, I suggest you start soon. You’re missing out on something great and in the end you belong to that awesome community called the Potterheads and you’ll wait for a letter that has yet to arrive even though your eleventh birthday is so far in the past (or not). (Seriously, I’m still waiting for mine…)

The book vs. The movie


Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by David Heyman
Music by John Williams
Released on November 4th 2001 (London) and November 16th 2001 (US)

Books are almost always better than the movies, but I think they did a pretty good job on this one. The casting is perfect. The actors playing their roles seem to be made for them and I couldn’t have imagined someone else doing them. They have been the same for 8 movies and it was fun to see them when they were younger. Especially Harry and his friends. So young and cute. Of course, some of them aren’t that great actors yet, but still. I can’t imagine someone else playing Ron or Hermione. And they all fit with the characters of the books. Hard thing to accomplish I think.

I’ve seen the movie more than I’ve read the book but when I watched this one again a few weeks ago, I noticed something for the first time. Hagrid is playing the Harry Potter theme on that flute! Seriously, never noticed.

Next to the casting, another thing that is done brilliantly is the music score. The famous Harry Potter theme is something I still hum regularly while doing stuff in the house. But the overall score is awesome and sets the mood very well.

Okay, I’m not a film reviewer, so I’m not going to say much more. Just one last thing. When a book is made into a movie, some things change or are left away and that’s inevitable. You can’t fit everything from a book in a movie unless you’re planning on making a movie from a few hours long. I still think they did a great job on this one.

autograph bieke


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