Monday, June 11, 2007

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 1998, Scholastic
Category: Young Adult/Fantasy
Rating: 9/10

I'd planned to do a complete re-read of the Harry Potter series before the last one releases, but I'm afraid I'm not going to have time! 7/21 is coming up here and there are about five other books going on sale before then that I really want to read. I'm going to try though. I'm guessing I'll get completely sucked in once I get into #3.

I don't really have to give a synopsis, do I? Unless you've been on Mars for the last decade, you know the story. :)

So, what struck me on this re-read? I enjoyed reading all the descriptions of setting---Privet Drive, Howarts Express, Howarts itself---we know these settings so well by now that it's fun to go back and see Harry's first impressions of them. And I love seeing the three kids first meet and become friends.

I am on the lookout for clues for what's going to happen in book 7, but I had no epiphanies in this one. One scene I didn't remember was when Harry has a nightmare early on in which Quirrell's turban is talking to him and trying to get him to switch out of Gryffindor and into Slytherin. This is obviously foreshadowing for the climax of this book, but it also hints at the strange mental connection between Harry and Voldemort. I'm always wondering just how thought-out the whole story arc was when Rowling started these books. She does such a good job of going back and picking seemingly unimportant details from earlier books and making them vital to later plotlines. It's one of the reasons her books are so eagerly anticipated, I think, because we love to try to figure out what we know that we don't know we know, if you know what I mean. (Maybe not. LOL)

I remember when I first read this book, I thought, well that's very nice. Cute, clever, funny, really charming---but WTF? What's the big deal? Why are all these people such crazy rabid fans? Because this book is lovely, but I was not the hard-core fan I am today until I'd finished the third book. By that time, the whole complex world had sucked me in with a force that is just magical. Ack! I want to go to Hogwarts.

Now I've gotten myself all excited again. I need to go hunt up Chamber of Secrets. LOL.


Marmee said...

Too much recovery time after surgery means yr marmee has managed to read them all, and the sixth book twice (and #7 had better have a happy ending after all the adolescent angst of #5 and the unrelenting bad news of #6, I'm just sayin' is all), and I still have a month to go until the new one.
Hmmm. But then someone sent me a Thursday Next book, didn't they?
And I really need to read all the others before I read the new one, don't I?
Enjoy the Chamber, and give us another column (or two) of Harry Potter speculation before the big day -- and thanks for the bonus reads.

Wendy said...

I remember when I first read this book, I thought, well that's very nice. Cute, clever, funny, really charming---but WTF? What's the big deal?

LOL - I listen to these on audio, and after #1 I thought, "Oh I get it, it's like Cinderella for boys!" I was well and truly hooked though after #2 and my favorite in the series so far has been Goblet of Fire.....

Marianne McA said...

Book One completely won me over. I had the strangest feeling that I was reading a book that I had adored as a small child, just never happened to have read before.
But books one and two are very much children's books - whereas as the series goes on it's moved into YA territory.
As for the story arc, I'd a theory for ages that Book Two was a fill-in book - that the story arc proper started in Book Three, and Book Two was just an unconnected adventure that didn't really matter. And then Book Six comes out, and Book Two suddenly makes sense...

Mailyn said...

I so looooove HP!!!!! Can't wait for the movie!!!!

Rosario said...

I had this careful plan about how I'd schedule my reread, ending in early July, so the wait for #7 wouldn't be that long, but at the same time, I'd be refreshed enough for it. Books 1 and 2 went well, but by the time I got to book 3 I was sucked in and read them one after the other at top speed. I ended up finishing #6 two weeks ago *pouts*

ag said...

Haha rosario, I had the same idea as yours, but guess what? I just finished Half-blood prince two weeks ago. So now, it's either I start all over again or ... and the kids and I went through movies 1 to 4 to psyche ourselves up for Order.

Jennie, look at the nostalgia and Harry loving you've stirred up. Great job! And don't you just love it when you rediscover a point which made sense of the events in subsequent books?

C2 said...

Wow, a re-read of the whole series? I'm impressed! I hope you make it. :o) I thought about just re-reading book 6 but I've passed off the whole series to a friend at work (and she is zipping through them increadibly fast!) so I think we will just discuss it after she finishes - although I did re-read about the horcruxes and the terrible happening in book 6 (I don't want to spoil for anyone) to refresh my memory.

It's amazing how these books suck people in, isn't it?

Jill said...

I'm rereading the whole series too, and am waiting with BAITED breath for the last book. Yes, my name is Jill and I'm a book geek. Sue me.H