So much has already been said about the Harry Potter books and films, the unicorn’s hair is nearly poking out. I’m sure most of those who want to read it have and those who haven’t simply aren’t interested. I use the American title here, I’m aware the original British title is “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” I’m not sure if there are any other differences between the American and British editions. I noticed some differences between the book and the film, for instance in the book, the Boa Constrictor, which escapes the zoo in the book is from Brazil, but in the film is from Burma. You’d probably need to be living somewhere like Burma to be unaware of the Harry Potter phenomenon.
The Harry Potter of the title is a boy wizard, who has grown to the age of 11 with no idea of his wizarding heritage, brought up by a family of Muggles (non-wizard folk), who treat him in a way not dissimilar to the way Cinderella’s step family treated her.
At the age of 11, Harry is invited to attend Hogwarts school of wizardry, despite his Muggles family’s attempts to prevent this. He soon finds himself on board the Hogwarts Express, finding he has a lot of catching up to do. He meets a ginger haired boy called Ron Weasley, from a family of wizards, which intrigues Harry.
“Are all your family wizards?” asked Harry.
“Er- yes, I think so,” said Ron .”I think mum’s got a second cousin, who’s an accountant, but we never talk abut him.”
There is a lot of humour in the book, which makes it easy to read. This is the first book of the series and goes through Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, where the curriculum includes such treats as herbology, potions, defence against the dark arts and flying broomsticks. It is wonderful escapism if a little simplistic.
I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to reading one of these books, my reading choies do tend to be rather random. I will look out for the second book, to see if the characters get more fleshed out.
My rating : 4 out of 5