For the next seven Saturday’s I will be reviewing all the Harry Potter books – except for The Cursed Child, because it’s a play and not an actual book, and also the side books that had been made for Comic Relief. This is all about Harry Potter and friends, so I shall be going back to that first year at Hogwards all the way up to the end of the Dark Lord. Warning now, there is more than likely going to be spoilers if you haven’t read the books, or seen the films (?) – I haven’t seen all the films so there might be things that were missing in them that are in the books.
So, Harry Potter. For those of you who don’t know about the series – and perhaps some of you have avoided the series – the first book introduces us to Harry Potter, the son of a murdered mother and father at the hands of an evil wizard called Voldermort, who now lives with his non-magical family on his mother’s side the Dursley’s.
This is the book that started the ball rolling for the series, it was intended as a kids book and it does show. I was nitpicking at this book while I read it, which I have heard that critics back in 1997 – jeebus has it really been that long? – also questions Rowling’s writing skills in this novel. Also let me repeat that this is clearly not gospel, but I have heard people say that about the first book, and it should also be mentioned that as Rowling wrote on with the series, her skills in writing evolved, listening to critics helped her works as she went on.
So Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this is the book that introduces us into the world of wizardry, or more Hogwarts and a sprinkle of the wizarding world if we are honest. This is Harry’s learning curve, he needs to learn about his own fame, get to grips on know magic and also trying not to get into trouble in the new world he has found himself in. Along the way he finds himself some friends, two close one’s Herminone and Ron, along with other characters that always swing by the scene at points.
It’s a great read, but like I said, I did nitpick because it isn’t for my own age group, there were moments where I was wondering why was something being done and for what reason? Along with other things that now confuse me and wonder if the story was written in the here and now, would Rowling change it up a bit?
The main nitpick that I have though is the fame aspect of it. Harry isn’t used to being the centre of attention, he is more used to being questioned and possibly getting into trouble without any provocation than anything else, which is a common theme that could have gone throughout the books in regards to living with his Aunt and Uncle and then being in a wizarding world that is completely different to how his life used to be, maybe he had PTSD? It wouldn’t be surprising given how his life was at his Aunt and Uncles home, and… there is just so much that could go into that. Would Harry actually be willing to spend a lot of money on himself when his Uncle had clearly impressed upon him that he costs to much money and that’s why he gets hand-me downs in clothing? Maybe he would have spent a bit, but then felt guilt at it, even after seening how much money he had at the bank? Maybe a fanfic could be in the works.
Another nitpick is the descriptions of the Dursley’s, Uncle Veron and Dudley are the main problems. Fat, obese, stupid, slow, every word that can be used as a negative to people who are overweight is used here, fat shaming people inside a book. Yes I understand it’s to make people see that Dudley is a product of his parents and with them coddling him he gets everything he wants and is spoiled and thus over weight, but is that really the best way to show it off? We see later on in the book Malfoy who is similar to Dudley but without being overweight, instead called a weasel/ferret faced boy and that’s it, no more talk about his weight that could link to how stupid he is or anything, just a simple ferret faced and then moved on to talk about his glare ect. The final problem I have in this, in regards to the Dursley’s is Harry’s Aunt, his mother’s sister. Out of the three Dursley’s I would have expect her to be the one worrying about neighbours catching on that Harry isn’t normal, instead it’s Veron who is all up in arms about it. I sort of wish that the roles were reversed, that Petunia was dealing with the whole Harry going to Hogwarts theme, but maybe Vernon takes her paranoia and that’s how they wind up on a island with no TV or land connection.
However the novel itself is still enjoyable, it’s a thrilling read, awesome to be reading about these characters again and it’s great to be reintroduced to these characters again.
No I haven’t read this series in a few years and I have only just bought the Kindle set and if you are also wanting to get the set, please do, there is new covers for the books and the Kindle set makes life easier if you are always on the go.
Now, what house have you been sorted into, and have you re-read the books? Do you find anything that could have been improved on? Or are they pretty much like Mary Poppins?