"“He’ll be famous, a legend, there will be books written about Harry, every child in our world will know his name!”
This line was written 1997, in the very 1st chapter of the very 1st book of a series that been rejected by many publishing houses. But I've talked about that before.
So let's see here, with this beautiful Illustrated Edition,
chapter by chapter, Reviewing & Analyzing -from my simple reader perspective- of the first Harry Potter book, why this line isn't exaggerating. Why this line came true..
Chapter One : THE BOY WHO LIVED
A two sides chapter..
First, It starts “Perfectly Normal,Thank You Very Much”. What's supposed to be a normal day for a very normal man, Mr. Dursley..
Mind his encounter with a peculiar Cat that won't be “shoo”-ed.
( -Fun Trivia ; that's the only encounter between the 2 stern characters, Mr. Dursley & Professor McGonagall.-)
Mind the Owls’ hyperactivity during the day, Mind those weird men in weirdest costumes.
(-okay, in case you didn't read it before, it's October 31, 1981, he may didn't mind much because of, you know, it's Halloween day.)
Stranger things started as we move to The Other Side, with the arrival of an old Wizard to this Normal street at night.
And the Cat is a professor, a huge man in flying motorcycle, and a little boy became an orphan by an evil man's last curse.
How and why, we don't know.. But this Boy who lived that Strange thing, must now lives with his last family, at this very Normal man's.
Good luck Harry, Doorbells Dumbledore!!
A very interesting Epic beginning. A fine example of how to grab attention without confusing readers with too much strangeness and complicated peculiar, invented names as most YA novels does.
-for example the “Put-Outer” that put out the light off street lamps, has a more complicated name but it used way later in the books-
Also it's very well paced, perfectly split between Normal life and Magical one, which is the essence of the series..
..in this Breaking Dawn of URBAN FANTASY as we know it.
Chapter 2 : THE VANISHING GLASS
Chapter 3 : LETTERS FROM NO ONE
Chapter 4 : THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS
These chapters (First Episode) are like normal, miserable drama.
The boring -with minor strange events- life of the "seems normal / yet Special" orphan boy who lives in the cupboard under the stairs at his mean relatives'. Teased by his greedy, selfish, spoiled by parents, cousin “Duddly”.
( -Fun Trivia ; these chapters full with HUGE Easter Eggs of later books, Mrs Figg of book five/ Snakes talk of book Two “no Snakes winking though”, & did you notice the motorcycle's owner name in the 1st chapter?-)
But this drama still very funny written in a way, Aunt Petunia stern acts and expressions for Harry, Harry’s wet responses, Uncle Vernon’s spoilings for Dudley.. It's really full of wet, funny unforgettable lines.
And these letters that came to Harry when he turns 11, well, changed everything.
(-Fun Trivia; Urban Myth that Uncle Vernon believed in; Witches & Wizards can't cross the water.. well, how wrong that can be!-)
And this episode ends with the big Revelation;
And the pretty Normal life is going to change forever for Harry, Thank you..very much.
Chapter 5 : DIAGON ALLEY
Chapter 6 : THE JOURNEY FROM PLATFORM NINE AND THREE-QUARTERS
Now you know pretty enough of the Harry Potter back story, the dark vanquished wizard. and why everyone in this community were celebrating 10 years ago ‘the 1st chapter’, and why Harry Potter is famous.
So Here, bit by bit you step into this Magical, Unique world.
Cleverly, interestingly, this world is revealed to you, slowly as if told to 11 years old boy who has no clue of it.
This WIZARDING WORLD , is no Normal at all, thank you very much. It's huge realm and community, yet cleverly hidden in our own Normal world.
It'll give you Wonder and Fascination from how to reach it, till being part of it.
And as Harry learns about it, he will also meet these diversity of characters, specifically this amazing family, The Weasley’s.
Yeah,this last line makes you feel that the author joining you the fun herself. It's hard to miss the fun sarcastic tone.
And, Now you see, Harry first lesson before getting to this Strange School is this ;
Wizards and Witches are pretty Normal.. the same as you and me, everyone has the good and bad.. just what you choose to be is what define who you are.
(-Fun Trivia; there's many Easter Eggs in the small details “like Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog information, which is vital this book, last book and even the next series” also for later books “like the silly Rat spell that won't work on The Rat”-)
Chapter 7 : THE SORTING HAT
Chapter 8 : THE POTIONS MASTER
Chapter 9 : THE MIDNIGHT DUEL
Now, amidst the Strangeness of the Wizarding World.. the humans there are so true and real. Hence all the situations are true and realistic..
These first 3 chapters at Hogwarts gave me a strong Nostalgia to my first days of almost every school, the college even workplaces.
Harry is 11 and his past Normal life didn’t prepare him to Hogwarts, this magnificent Fantastic Magical School. So the author's lingering on how Harry feels, even how every first year students acts in totally perfect way, and funny too.
No matter how was your experience, you will re-live it but in this Magical atmosphere..
Even you might feel you have acquaintances, colleagues or friends like one of those Harry Potter's characters in one point or another,
There's always this simple true friendly type “Ron”,
eager ambitious knows-it-all “Hermione”,
smug bully Peacock “Draco”,
always lost and confused “Neville”,
funny troublemakers “George and Fred”,
authority lover “Percy”,
this older "pet lover" who knew one of your relatives and being so kind to you as an uncle “Hagrid”,
this older guy you feel he hates you for no reason at all “Snape”,
this stern, all powerful yet super kind older woman “McGonagall”,
and you don't meet the Headmaster ‘or the Boss’ pretty often when it's your first year..but he may be like a Godfather to you later “Dumbledore”.
These chapters of the first weeks, first encounters with different so real, so human characters, first lessons, all are pretty remarkable and nostalgic.
Unforgettable lines; The Potion Master greeting Harry.
And very funny; Harry confusion about Midnight Duel with Malfoy.
And Hermione classic that the Movie Trailer made it even cinematic classic that many has been copying since.
(-Fun Trivia; Argus Filch.. his first name in Greek myth is to a guard with hundreds of eyes all over his body to see everywhere. Well, Argus alone-with a cat- watches the whole vast buildings and hallways of Hogwarts..and you really can't escape him.
There's also this theory about Snape’s first 3 questions to Harry is all related to the love of his life!!.-)
Chapter 10 : HALLOWEEN
Chapter 11 : QUIDDITCH
Chapter 12 : THE MIRROR OF ERISED
Now, first half of the book is over -that fast?!!-, the second half has been brewing slowly since early first half..
Remember there's some small package in Ch.5, you read something about a failed stealing attempt in Ch.8, then suspecting it might be the school's heavily guarded item in ch.9.
With pure chances our Harry Potter witnessed it all so far.
Now, also by chances, Harry start to suspect someone trying to steal it, from the school.
It all start with a sequence of events that may some of it give you Nostalgia, like having annoying knows-it-all colleague.
Well, then, one thing after another,
And we have a Trio ;
I want to be back in school already.Told you, it's perfect blending Between Normal, and Magic.
And with this Troll accident, this Trio start suspecting the safety of whatever in the package at the third floor.
In a Agatha Christie Mystery style, Investigations starts in Magic School,
While playing Magical Sport that once you read its rules -twice-, you'll wish to play it,
even if against the worst team ever, Slytherin.
And While staying at school during Christmas, this intimate atmosphere, The Blessing of having wonderful friends who like a new family to you..
even having family however they might be, but they're still your blood.. (as we’ll discuss that in later parts.)
And above all, if we miss someone, the importance of Not “Dwelling” in the past,
as Dumbledore said…
(-Fun Trivia;; The Mirror of Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.-)
And back to the plot.. Harry is not only investigate the safety of the parcel, or why Snape -Harry’s main and only suspect- wants to steal it ; the Trio also investigate the second owner of the parcel; He-who-next-Chapter-is-named-after.
Chapter 13 : NICOLAS FLAMEL
Chapter 14 : NORBERT THE NORWEGIAN RIDGEBACK
Chapter 15 : THE FORBIDDEN FOREST
With this Magical Urban Fantasy Novel, comes a minor element of Real Historical figure and real life myth. Nicolas Flamel, and His Philosopher’s Stone.
(-Fun Trivia; And this is “The One when every child in our world knows about the Philosopher's Stone” -expect in America. They insisted that it's just Sorcerer’s Stone.)
That's may be one great aspect of mixing this Fantastical Fictional World with our Real Not-Normal Life, Flamel is a real life Alchemist, that mix of Chemistry and Magic.
That's what makes Harry Potter a fine example of Urban Fantasy.
And in these 3 Chapters the investigations get more tense, with some events that put it in halt like, bad Quidditch referee.
Or Hagrid’s Dangerous, forbidden Hobbies.
-well, that's rich-
Which get them- as Flich would say -“in trouble”, A detention in the forbidden forest, meeting the Centaurs and their mystic creepy speakings of how “Mars was Bright that night”.
And finally there -which happens again by mere chance-, they will learn the real reason of the whole fuss around the parcel, The Philosopher’s Stone and who is behind the attempts to steal it.
Chapter 16 : THROUGH THE TRAPDOOR
Chapter 17 : THE MAN WITH TWO FACES
So now the perfect well structured Mystery and investigations, and the cleverly paced School year comes to an end.
Right after the fast “nostalgic too” summing up of the Exams days, which was so realistic,
And then, the plan is On after the exam. For the big Action of this Magical enchanting plot of the first book ; and with all the tension there, the spontaneous, natural, fun lines between the friends never ceased.
Even in the hardest parts can makes you smile.
This amazing ultimate real meaning of friends completing one another.
That’s what can really help in facing Evil.. and not fearing death.. And choose well,
As Professor Dumbledore’s wise talk;
And Love, and being Loved is the strongest power of all to face anything.
So it was story of Love, Friendship, Family and Bravery.
A perfect conclusion for a Perfect First Book in Unforgettable Breaking Point in modern Fantasy, Young Adult Novels. And in novels History generally.
A story that touched me personally, and may touched so many.. felt so connected to those amazing realistic characters..
And as the investigations part ends finally, it was moment for Truth.
-that may remind you with Agatha’s Poirot Quote ; “The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”
So, we still won't have the full answers we seek and have in our mind such as;
If this is a great story, Why would a Man even so evil as Voldemort would be that keen to kill baby Harry that much in the first place?
Will he return? Will it be convenience one?
Well, in later books you'll see that everything is connected, mostly -NOT TOTALLY-planned from the beginning.
Well… if you still think this is an overrated Book Series..and doubt the accuracy of this first line, then you're seriously have some Uncle Vernon Dursley blood in you.
But cheers, you are Perfectly Normal,Thank You Very Much.
First Read, Sep. 2002
Illustrated Ed. Read from 11 Nov 2015
To 27 Nov 2015
Full review of book one written in Nov. 2016
" Mohammed Arabey said.
"Beyond amazing! Way to start the new year! :)
I've read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone way back in High School but I wasn't able to finish it because sad to say, my book was lost. :( And now, thanks to my lovely friend Allie who gave me a copy of this book, I became interested to read it once again and bring back the old times' feels.
And WOW! Just WOW! Thank goodness I decided to read it again because it felt so magical and magnificent and totally breathtaking! -- exactly what I've felt the first time I've read this.
Harry Potter is such a great, well-fleshed out character. Despite being parentless and being bullied both in the Muggle world and Hogwarts by some kids, he still stood up and even became a great friend to Ron, Hermione, Neville, and the others.
This story had lots of exciting adventures and I really enjoyed everything that happened in this book. It was just so awesome! The secondary characters are also perfect. I especially love Hermione and her genius mind! Ron's loyalty towards Harry is also awe-inspiring, as well as Neville's adorable clumsiness. When it comes to its plotline, it's amazingly done. The twist was unpredictable and there was humor in every page that made me laugh. What's even great are the lessons and the message that are instilled to every reader, fantasy and magic aside.
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
I loved all the chapters and my favorites are:
The Boy Who Lived, The Vanishing Glass, Diagon Alley, The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, The Sorting Hat, and Quidditch.
No wonder why this book and the whole series continues to be a real sensation. J.K. Rowling is so brilliant she bewitched me with her world! So excited to find out more about this series and to see what's in store for Harry in the next books. :)
" Pearl Angeli said.
I'm 30 years old and I've finally started the Harry Potter series. I know what you're thinking- it took me long enough! I say better late than never! I remember when the first movie was released in 2001. My sister was reading the books and so was my best friend. In 2001 I was in high school, and though I loved the movie, I was reading Sylvia Plath and Wally Lamb and had no interest in the young adult genre. Now, totally different story! I'm all about reading some YA.
Since I've seen the movies, there wasn't a ton of new material in this book for me (though my I've heard that the further I get into the series, the more new material I'll come across). I enjoyed reading this one lots and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the magical Harry Potter books this year! " Christy said.
"1,000,000 Million Stars!
I'm going to hit myself on the head. Why? Well, because I'm stupid. I've always told myself that Harry Potter might be something that I won't like, something I won't enjoy. In my head, I kept telling myself that wizards just aren't my thing and all that stupid shit. I honestly don't know why I did that though. But I finally got over my doubt and picked this up and I'm speechless. In a good way of course! It was super good! Next time, for any book series I want to read, I shall never listen to that stupid little voice in my head. I will read anything I want to anytime, anywhere! Especially Harry Potter :)
First off, let me talk about Harry Potter. This guy, is fucking amazing. He is one of the few characters I've ever read about that no matter what, stays strong and doesn't let anyone influence him or change his view on things. And that's what I admire most about Harry. If he thinks something isn't right, he sets his mind to it and tries to fix it, regardless of what others say around him. Now me on the other hand, is the complete opposite. I'm the person that cowers behind people and stays quiet. I don't like drawing attention to myself. But Harry really made me see that in certain circumstances, I need to raise my voice and stand up for what I believe is right. Really, I could go on and on, but Harry Potter is just uhhh, I can't even put into words what I'm feeling right now!
Next, Ronald Weasley is super adorable! He's funny and well, just Ron. I love his personality and his quirkiness. I wish I had a friend like him. Ron is just that kind of person that can make you laugh or turn a really serious situation into something funny and silly. It's always good to know a person like Ron. Sometimes they come in handy. Also, I fucking suck at chess. I have tried multiple times to play, but I will never understand the rules and strategies of chess. Ron seriously needs to give me a few lessons on how to play chess.
Hermione Granger: she knows her facts, studies hard, and is that know-it-all-type-of-girl. At first, I thought she was so bratty. I have to admit, I wasn't really fond of her at first, but as the story progressed, I grew to like her. She's super nice and has Harry and Ron's backs no matter what. Hermione is loyal and just uhhh, again I can't put into words how much I love this girl! Plus, I have her wand. One of my aunts went to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" in Universal Studios located in Orlando, Florida like, years ago. At the time, I've of of HP but was never really interested in it. And she came back with Hermione's wand, which looks super badass, if you ask me ;) So I'm proud to say that I have some HP merchandise. To add, she also got me a HP bookmark that's a hook and you just hook it to the inside of your book.
Hogwarts is so cool! It's scary yet beautiful at the same time!
I would go on about each individual character, but that would be too many words and by the time you get there, you'd probably already be asleep xD So I'll just leave it here. About the rest of all the characters in this book, each and everyone of them were wonderful! As well as the plot! And that surprise twist at the end, I never saw coming! Magnificent book and can't wait to start book 2! :)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I feel so left out on the world Harry Potter and don't have a clue what people are talking about, so I think it's about time I read this baby. And please no spoilers! This is my first time reading the series xoxo :)
" Alyssa said.
"The first HP novel is already a classic. I have read it in the original English and the (slightly disappointing IMHO) French translation because my kid, just a few months after starting reading, plunged head first into this book and only resurfaced after the last one. I never made it past the 3td book but admittedly really enjoyed this book. It is the most light-hearted and funny of the series despite the darkness of the One Who Cannot Be Named. The universe created by Rowling is one of the most complete and compelling ones ever for kids - that I will freely admit. I obviously would love to witness a quiddich match and go to a class dealing with mandrakes and eat in that fabulous dining hall. That being said, it seems to be quite a lonely life - the idealisation in a sense of pensions for kids of rich (or in this case) magical families is perhaps a tad disturbing when you want to be a more hands-on parent and these parents apparently have no issue with only seeing their kids on holidays and during the summer. I am not sure I could do that, but that is just me perhaps.
An extremely entertaining and memorable tale that my kids both adored in both book and movie form!
Just finished reading HP1 aloud to my son in English and found it to be very enjoyable. The plot does stick together, the characters are endearing (I love Ron's little side remarks about Hermione in the beginning), and the imagination Rowling deployed to create this magical universe is astounding. I cannot believe that this first book is already 20 years old! It has really aged well. I cannot really point to any weaknesses at all. It was entertaining and a pure joy to share with my son - his first time through in English! I believe I will set a 2017-2018 goal to finish all 7 books this time around! Finished #2 on audiobook so on to Azkaban now." Michael Finocchiaro said.
" Why oh why haven't I re-read this before? That was the best nostalgia train ride of my life.________________________ This? This is everything.I wouldn't even be on here if I hadn't decided to randomly buy "that book with the cool-looking cover" all those long, long years ago— and for that, I thank you deeply and eternally, Miss Rowling. " Saania Zee Jamal ϟ said.
"Current project: re-reading HP.
My history: I was a young adult when this first book came out, and the print book never really grabbed me when I gave it a try. I found that I very much enjoyed the American audiobooks with Jim Dale narrating, however, so I read the first few books this way. But this came to an end when I misplaced the fourth book and no longer had a long commute--I never did reach the end of that wretchedly long quidditch game, so I gave up.
But here it is, 2015 and I'm trying again! This time I'm doing the wonderful Stephen Fry narration on audio. It's interesting to come into these books after all this history, both in the sense of the cultural impact of these stories as well as the knowledge of how much children's lit, as art and as industry, has changed for the better because of them.
Re-read reaction: 3.5 stars
With this first book (and I suspect with the next few), I still feel the way I did before. I admire the incredibly imaginative ideas so much, but the writing isn't quite as rich or the character development isn't quite as deep/emotional as I'd like just yet. It's a pretty straightforward story, albeit one embellished with fantastic details.
But I LOVE HERMIONE GRANGER, always have, and I've heard the later books are much darker. And it's still a lovely experience to have the books read to me like a bedtime story.
My favorite parts of this book:
The mirror of Erised, owl post (pleeease may I have an owl), and the thing hidden under the turban. And:
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
Well done, Neville. You deserved the same number of house points as the other children, in my book. " Wendy Darling said.
"Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes.
Taking arms against Harry Potter, at this moment, is to emulate Hamlet taking arms against a sea of troubles. By opposing the sea, you won't end it. The Harry Potter epiphenomenon will go on, doubtless for some time, as J. R. R. Tolkien did, and then wane.
The official newspaper of our dominant counter-culture, The New York Times, has been startled by the Potter books into establishing a new policy for its not very literate book review. Rather than crowd out the Grishams, Clancys, Crichtons, Kings, and other vastly popular prose fictions on its fiction bestseller list, the Potter volumes will now lead a separate children's list. J. K. Rowling, the chronicler of Harry Potter, thus has an unusual distinction: She has changed the policy of the policy-maker.
I read new children's literature, when I can find some of any value, but had not tried Rowling until now. I have just concluded the 300 pages of the first book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," purportedly the best of the lot. Though the book is not well written, that is not in itself a crucial liability. It is much better to see the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," than to read the book upon which it was based, but even the book possessed an authentic imaginative vision. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" does not, so that one needs to look elsewhere for the book's (and its sequels') remarkable success. Such speculation should follow an account of how and why Harry Potter asks to be read.
The ultimate model for Harry Potter is "Tom Brown's School Days" by Thomas Hughes, published in 1857. The book depicts the Rugby School presided over by the formidable Thomas Arnold, remembered now primarily as the father of Matthew Arnold, the Victorian critic-poet. But Hughes' book, still quite readable, was realism, not fantasy. Rowling has taken "Tom Brown's School Days" and re-seen it in the magical mirror of Tolkein. The resultant blend of a schoolboy ethos with a liberation from the constraints of reality-testing may read oddly to me, but is exactly what millions of children and their parents desire and welcome at this time.
In what follows, I may at times indicate some of the inadequacies of "Harry Potter." But I will keep in mind that a host are reading it who simply will not read superior fare, such as Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows" or the "Alice" books of Lewis Carroll. Is it better that they read Rowling than not read at all? Will they advance from Rowling to more difficult pleasures?
Rowling presents two Englands, mundane and magical, divided not by social classes, but by the distinction between the "perfectly normal" (mean and selfish) and the adherents of sorcery. The sorcerers indeed seem as middle-class as the Muggles, the name the witches and wizards give to the common sort, since those addicted to magic send their sons and daughters off to Hogwarts, a Rugby school where only witchcraft and wizardry are taught. Hogwarts is presided over by Albus Dumbeldore as Headmaster, he being Rowling's version of Tolkein's Gandalf. The young future sorcerers are just like any other budding Britons, only more so, sports and food being primary preoccupations. (Sex barely enters into Rowling's cosmos, at least in the first volume.)
The first half of a little piece I wrote from the Journal in July 2000. Rest is available at [http://wrt-brooke.syr.edu/courses/205...]." Harold Bloom said.