The amazing popularity of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
means that now even Muggles know about the Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Whether or not you've read about Harry, this unabridged audiobook brings his world to life. Reader Jim Dale brings an excellent range of voices to the characters, from well-meaning Hermione's soft, earnest voice to Malfoy's nasal droning; from Professor McGonagall's crisp brogue to Hagrid's broad Somerset accent; and from snarling Mr. Filch to p-p-poor, st-tuttering P-Professor Quirrel. Some of the characterizations are peculiar--why do the centaurs have Welsh accents?--but that's a small price to pay to hear one of the myriad ways to sing the Hogwarts School song. Harry Potter fans of all ages--Muggle or not--will enjoy curling up with a few chocolate frogs, a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans ("Alas! Ear wax!"), and this marvelous, magical audiobook. (Running time: 8 hours, 6 cassettes) --Sunny Delaney
From Publishers Weekly
With more than seven million copies of Sorcerer's Stone and its two sequels sold in the U.S. in a year's time, it would be hard to find many school-age children who haven't at least heard of Harry Potter. British author Rowling's tales of a young wizard-in-training who attends the unusual Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have enchanted children (and their parents, too) like no books before them. Now, with this sharp audio production, those who haven't yet met Harry will soon be swept up in the fun, and established Potter fans will delight in hearing Harry's adventures anew. British actor and Broadway star Dale is an inspired choice as narrator, reading with a light, assured air that makes Harry's fantastic, sometimes dangerous, world very real, while never losing sight of Rowling's humorous underpinnings. His numerous vocal characterizations are dead-on, especially his fast-talking take on Harry's sweet but overachieving witch friend Hermione Granger. A gruff and sensitive Hagrid (the school's gamekeeper), evil Malfoy, kindly Dumbledore and appropriately Scottish Professor McGonagall are also crisply distinctive. The combination of Rowling's exquisitely evocative writing and Dale's nimble reading make this a magical addition to the bewitching Harry Potter canon. All ages. (Oct.)
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