Just a tidbit about Jim Dale, in case you guys didn't already know. The new show on ABC, Pushing Daisies, is narrated by him! I thought the voice sounded somewhat familiar, and finally saw the credits yesterday!
Why on earth should he "tone down the accent"? It's set in England with English characters - why shouldn't they sound properly English? I can't stand Jim Dale, especially his version of Voldemort. Sounds like a drunken buffoon - nothing high, cold and menacing about that voice.
Skin Todd, I completely agree. I think Dale's version might be good for young children, who may have trouble understanding the story without a more theatrical approach. He's a story-teller, so to speak. Fry's version appeals to those who possess a more comprehensive understanding. He is an excellent narrator.
I've only heard Dale's version, and quite a while back. I'm determined to get my girlfriend to read the books, and I think an audiobook might be the best way. I'm a huge fan of Stephen Fry, and I'd like to at least sample his version. Trouble is, everything's more expensive in the UK, not to mention shipping.
I don't know why your post was hidden. Based on reports such as this discussion, when I recently decided to replace my Jim Dale tapes with Steven Fry CDs, thankfully I only bought one. Jim Dale is absolutely the best, and I'll be selling my "Philosopher's Stone" and all future CD purchases will be Jim Dale. With JD you can tell who is speaking. McGonigal's voice is terrific. Dumbledore's is unique. Neville's, Mr. and Mrs Weasely, Hagrid... how does he do it? All of the Fry voices sound the same. Maybe if your post hadn't been hidden I wouldn't have wasted my money.
Okay, I'll admit that I've never heard the Stephen Fry version of the books but I do have to admit that I love what Jim Dale with the voices. Each one is unique. I could always tell who was talking and that is an incredible feat considering how many different characters he had to work with. (Seriously, take a quick count in your head. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Draco, Professor McGonagall, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Sirius, Tonks, Lupin, Wormtail, Bellatrix, Molly, Fluer, Kingsley, Lockhart, Trelawney, Peeves, Umbridge, and all of us know that the list continues. Every single one of them was different.) It is absolutely enthralling. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jim Dale is part of the reason I am hooked on Harry Potter, still.
But here's an observation I made about the covers of the audio books. If anyone has ever noticed they don't say "Read by Jim Dale." They say "Performed by Jim Dale." And a performance is what he gives and a much better description of what he does. And in case anyone forgot, he kind of did win a Grammy for it.
But now you guys have gotten me curious and I shall have to try the Fry version. But I still love Jim Dale.
i have listened to both of them i have found no difference in the two as far as content unless you count the substushon of the words "line " for "q" and such and as far as their style of reading i believe jim does a better job fry is just to bla i do like hi voice thow as far as the us version being dumbed down that is just crazzy there is no differance between the uk and the us versons exsept the changeing of slang word witch i find understandable and the us release was marketed at preteens and the uk verson was marketed at adults i love the book no matter what but i think its funny that a childerens book in the US is a fine work of adulf fiction in the UK i mean if you are going to say the US one is dumbed down
Well, way back to the first one...title changed from "philosophers stone" to "sorcerers stone" because "Scholastic Corporation bought the USA rights at the Bologna Book Fair in April 1997 for US$105,000, an unusually high sum for a children's book. They thought that a child would not want to read a book with the word "philosopher" in the title"
Ie: they wont know what it means ie: philosophy (a subject requiring patience, thought, and logic) would turn off americans
Now, in the end, as regards Stephan Fry vs. Jim, well, Stephan leaves the listener to imagine. Jim beats you over the head with set characterization. It depends on the style you prefer.
Do you have enough brain cells to set a scene in your mind? Or do you need it all to spelled out and defined for you? Really, don't be so touchy...
I could never understand the British language. I need a fricken translator to understand what you British writers are saying. Thank god someone translate books for the American reader. Fry's version makes me fall asleep, when I can't sleep.:)
As much as I love the Harry Potter books and the movies, I think Stephen Fry's reading of the Harry Potter books is sheer genius. His voice is deeper than Jim Dale's and his voice quite frankly is an upper class British accent. I find the Jim Dale version monotonous, extremely grating, and clearly not an educated voice. Absolutely beats me how people can tolerate Jim Dale's reading of the Potter Books. And having just re-read the British edition of the Harry Potter Books, listening to Stephen Fry's rendition feels as though my reading of the books was dull and lifeless. There is so much more I'm pulling out of the books with Fry's reading. It's as though the books become bejeweled and animated and glowing in an absolutely magical fashion. Kudos to J.K. Rowling to have written books that come into their own when read aloud. I am truly stunned at how Stephen Fry's readings are so multidimensional and are so immensely enriching my previous readings of the books. And the different voices are positively uncanny, and yet flow so beautifully that it is an altogether unassuming, virtuoso performance. I would beg, borrow, or steal the chance to listen to Stephen Fry read the Harry Potter books.
I had the Jim Dale series first and then read all about the Stephen Fry's version... I was lucky enough to get a copy of Fry's and have listened to DH from both... I didn't get the same feelings/enjoyment as I did from Dale's version. Now this may be due to the fact that I heard it before so the suprise element is gone, but I don't think so... Someone said on hear earlier that Dale acts a good book while Fry reads a good book (or something like that) and I think that is the truth... I loved Dale's characterisations (apart from Hermione sometimes)....
As Wilma J. Linville said above "I think Fry should narrate and Dale should do the voices. Then we would have the perfect audiobook. lol "
Very interesting discussion here about one of my favorite subjects, Harry Potter and Jim Dale! I agree with the poster that said that Jim Dale was a big reason for loving Harry Potter! However I'm fascinated about what posters have raved about Stephen Fry being more subtle and more to your imagination. I did sample Stephen Fry for the first HP book and found it just as good as Jim Dale but for very different reasons! I found Jim Dale's performance of HP excellent when driving and sleeping (ie he was able to keep my attention when my mind was somewhere else). Jim Dale's voice characterisations deservedly won lots of acclaim and was totally entertaining! I want to listen to the Harry Potter books again and this time I will listen to Stephen Fry. I expect his readings to be more serious and subtle, which should give more insight to the Harry Potter story! For one it might be closer to reading the book and leaves more to your imagination. Also as the series went on it got darker and darker and Stephen's style seems more suitable to this incredible mystery! I'll always love Jim Dale's readings for introducing me to this whimsical series, which is actually very similar to the movies!! I'm hoping the Stephen Fry version will give me new insight and bring it closer to JK Rowling's vision One final thought - We're extremely lucky we're able to experience Harry Potter in all these incredible mediums (2 different audio readings as well as movies and of course the books) Enjoy!
Really, Stephen Fry's reading of the Harry Potter books should be labeled with a warning that they are highly addictive. His voices for the characters are even more expressive then the brilliant actors in the films. And it is all carried out in the most unobtrusive manner. I think Fry's readings illustrate what a gift Rowling has for dialogue. I would like to someday see the movies remade in a non-hollywood version. The substance of the movies as far as plot goes is virtually non-existent. Though the films are awesome in the detail with which the physical Potter world is recreated. Stephen Fry's reading of the Potter books was one continuous revelation for me the first couple of times. But I still become aware of new details every subsequent listening. I can't seem to stop cycling through the cds.