During the day, I work as a copy checker for a printing company. There, we are allowed to listen to headphones while we do our work, so I decided to start listening to audiobooks! I started out by listening to a few books that I had been putting off reading; most of them being only a few hours long a piece.
My MIL was in the process of rewatching the Harry Potter movies in the evenings, and I was reminded again how much I have been wanting to read through the books again. So the about 2 weeks ago, I decided I needed to just start! And so I downloaded the first book and started listening.
I had read the books before, back in high school, and read them all, minus the majority of Order of the Phoenix (the movie was about to come out when I was finally reading that book, and my comprehension sucks). But I kept wanting to go back to it.
I instantly was pulled into the story; noticing more the differences between the movies and the books. Questioning again why they cut Peeves out. Feeling like I was right there with Harry while he was crammed in that tiny closet. Feeling the excitement when the entire house was being filled with letters. And even feeling the stares as Harry visits Diagon Alley for the first time. JK Rowling has such a way with words!
I have so far read through [read: listened to] Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, and Goblet of Fire. And I am still hooked. I thought now would be a good time to give my thoughts on the first 4 books, since I have read though them once before, at least.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Listening Time: 8 hrs 33 mins)
OMG! It’s interesting how much a book can change when you read through it a second time. I mean, I had already seen the movies a few times before reading the book the first time (I wasn’t allowed to have anything to do with Harry Potter before I was 14…), so the first time through, I pictured the actors as the characters, no matter how differently they were described in the book. Some of the actors weren’t too far off, but others…
I loved it. The Dursleys seemed even more annoying, Hagrid more charming, and Hermione more snobbish. The other characters were different too, but those are just some that come to mind as I am typing this review.
In this book, we get to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione each show their strengths for the first time! The tasks blocking the Mirror of Erised could not have been completed if all three of them were not there, although stupid Quirrell managed them just fine… I guess he did have Voldemort’s help though.
Professor Quirrell is my least favorite of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers. I felt like he was a very timid teacher. And the little we learn about him, which isn’t much, just doesn’t make me want to like him in the slightest.
I can’t continue this article, without mentioning PEEVES! The “friendly” school poltergeist! He has got to be one of my favorite minor characters in the book. And they cut. him. out. This makes no sense, but I can’t talk about that now…
I finished the Sorcerer’s Stone in a matter of 2 1/2 days. Overall I was reminded of how much they had to cut from the book when it was made into a movie, and how much more they could have included if they made a TV series.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Listening Time: 9 hrs 24 mins)
This is when I start questioning Snape’s motives. Does he really hate Harry as much as he is making it seam? or is this just an act?
It also has my least favorite DATDA teacher… stupid Lupin. Lyin’ Lupin is more like it… The blonde-headed idiot. I don’t know why people ever thought that this man could have done any of the things he wrote about… Even the way Rowling writes about him makes me hate him so much.
And stupid Lucious Malfoy… Slipping poor Ginny that diary. Even when they were in the bookshop, I was yelling in my head, “No, Ginny. It’s a trap, Ginny. Run, Ginny.” If you pay attention, you will realize that she almost left Tom Riddle’s diary at home that school year too. They had to turn around for her to be able to go and get it.
CofS took me only about 2 days to listen to as well. Overall, this book made me hate a LOT of people, but it was still well written.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Listening Time: 12 hrs 15 mins)
This one took me a while to get through, and it’s not even the longest of the books. PofA is my favorite out of the books (but that might change after I finish Order of the Phoenix). I will mention, however, that the movie is my least favorite…
I love Sirius Black. As you can tell, I love a lot of characters. I believe Rowling did such a good job at making each and every character, no matter how major or minor, leap off the page! I also love Buckbeak!
AND LUPIN!! My favorite DatDA teacher!! I love Lupin!! Even with his sneaking around, and dingy appearance, it’s so hard not to like Lupin!!
But Wormtail [Scabbers], I started hating him almost instantly… Stupid Rat-Man-Thing.
I don’t remember quite how long it took me to get through the entirety of this one. I also would like to take the time to go back and actually read this one from hard copy! I feel like there is still so much I missed from listening to the audiobook. Hence, the short review…
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Listening Time: 21 hrs 12 mins)
Okay people. I am not going to lie. This one was draining on me. While I love the setup for this book, when you go from a 12-hour book, to a 21-hour book… those 9 hours can really take a lot out of a person.
My favorite part of this book is how well JK Rowling writes about Moody [Barty Crouch Jr.]. I once again found myself liking the guy a lot. While I already knew who he really was, I still liked how much he was doing for Harry. I also love his magical eye. And all of his magical objects in his office! It’s all so… cool!
One thing that I picked up on this time, that I didn’t the first, was that “cheating is a big part of the Triwizard Tournament.” I mean, it is the wizarding world, so it does make sense, but still. I thought that was kind of fun!
A fun fact that I also learned this time around, was that Wormtail is Left Handed! The dark mark is on his left arm, which was the opposite of the hand he chopped on off… see!
And of course we have our first major death… it hit me hard. I knew it was coming, but still.
This book took me at least 5 days to get all the way through. Overall, I thought it was long. But I thought that the end of this book wrapped up nicely. When I finished listening, I only had an hour left in my work day, and I felt so drained, and so empty, I didn’t want to start Order of the Phoenix quite yet…
I am thoroughly enjoying revisiting the magic of Harry Potter. Ever since I was first introduced to the series, a little over 10 years ago, I instantly fell in love with the entire world that JK Rowling had created.