Confession: I was, up until recently, a Potter virgin!
How can I sum up / review this book and say anything original? I spent most of my teenage years reading novels such as Birdsong and The Colour Purple. I never got into Harry Potter despite the fact that my generation were brought up with it. It was my friends (and an ex boyfriend!) who I queued up with in support for the release of the next novel. It was they who I accompanied to the movies to watch the adaptations. I did not however, pick up the first book until Thursday. The movies are being played over Christmas on national TV and I thought that it was about time I finally read them! Plus Waterstones had a lovely boxset edition of them (yes, the Children’s edition) so really – I had no choice!
I read this first book in less than 24 hours. Of course, I know the story well. I have watched the movies and know how it ends – always aware that Snape is not the villain that JK Rowling does so well to keep the reader thinking. That being said, there were some areas of the book that I wasn’t aware of. Now this could be because: a) shock, horror! The movie is NOT as good as the book; b) I was clearly not paying much attention to the movie!
For example, I did not know (and still don’t) why Hagrid was expelled at the end of his third year. I am really hoping I find out and it was for something hilarious – it can only be something ridiculous right? Please don’t tell me! Also, since when did Hogwarts have a school song?! Did I miss that completely in the movie or did that just not happen?
Rowling’s pace of writing is nothing short of masterful. You race through the tense moments and take your time over the detail she provides you knowing full well that this will be referenced again later in the story whether it be in this book or the next. Whether my reading it after having seen the movies and knowing the full story makes reading the stories different to me than if I knew nothing of it I am in no doubt over. However, whilst this has distinguished much imagination over the look and feel of the characters (always seeing Alan Rickman in my mind’s eye) this does allow me to look out for those nuanced details that perhaps I would race through in my speed reading style. Who knows.
I have really toyed with the idea of reading all 7 in one go however, I think the book hangover will be way too strong so I will read another book in-between although I reckon that won’t last for the last two books…
Are there any other Potter virgins out there? If not, what was your favourite part of this book?
Recommended for: everyone!
Favourite quote: Dumbledore on music: “A magic beyond all we do here!”
Thanks for reading – I hope you enjoyed it!