Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Harry Potter Read-Along: Book 1 The Sorcerer's Stone

Hello All! Here is my first post for the Harry Potter Read-Along I've joined. It's being hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey, and it's not too late to join in if you're interested in reading with us. Details here. As most people are all kinds of familiar with our boy-wizard's world, this won't be your average book review. I'll just talk about points that struck my fancy while re-reading. 

I actually finished book 1 last week (and am well into book 2 now) but it's been crazy and I'm just now getting the post up. :) 

So, book 1! I haven't read it for about ten years. Not long after I started college, I decided I wanted to read the Harry Potter series. I'd heard a lot of the hype and I knew a movie was in the works, so I picked up book 1. 

At the time, only the first four books were published. I was rooming with my sister and I remember her making fun of me for reading "a kid's book." (Never mind that she's now more of a Potter Head than I am! Hehe.) Anyway, I remember really liking book 1. I wasn't immediately a fanatic, but I liked it enough to pick up book 2, and the rest was history. 

When the film came out, my sister and I went and saw it, and I was impressed how close they stayed to the book. 

Now, ten years, three more books and eight films later, I--like most of the rest of the world--am pretty familiar with the story, and more acquainted with the films than with the books. It was interesting to go back ad read this again, both to re-examine the differences between book and film, and also to see where Rowling's head was clear back in the first book.

While book 1 and film 1 are pretty well in line, there were a few differences that I'd forgotten about. For instance, there is a lot more of the Dursleys. Harry goes back to their house between Diagon Alley with Hagrid and actually going to the train station. We also see Uncle Vernon pick him up at the train station at the very end. 

And then there are extra trials Harry and his friends have to go through to get to the Sorcerer's Stone near the end, specifically the one where Hermione uses logic to figure out which bottle holds the key potion, and which ones are poison.

My HP set looks like this one.
One of the biggest things I noticed, I think, being really familiar with the films, were certain lines that they gave to different people in the films. Mostly this just made me smile and think on which character said it better or from whom the line made more sense. 

As for Rowling's organization, I'm always so impressed by author's like her and Robert Jordan. Even if they didn't know the details of where they were going, they sure do fake it well. You feel like Rowling is already well on her way to her epic conclusion. She knows her world, her story, and her characters so well that the story seems entirely cohesive from book 1 to book 7. 

(Makes me feel like an amateur author who has no idea what she's doing.)

Over all, I had a great time re-reading the first book. It was tons of fun and I'm already enjoying book 2. 

When was the last time YOU read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

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