Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Looking back at the book that started it all, I’d have to say what struck me the most as an adult reading the series were the masterful character and setting descriptions J.K. Rowling uses in this book. Considering the fact that most of the settings and characters were created out of the genius that is her mind, I’d say she does a commendable job making them accessible to readers. (Case in point her description of Hagrid).

The British version of the first book, a souvenir for myself from London.

This also marked the first time I read the book in it’s original British print, meaning I got to learn lots of cool British terminology. It irked me a bit that the publishers didn’t think that American children would be able to handle the British words, and what mad me the most annoyed was the changing of the title from Philosopher’s Stone to Sorcerer’s Stone for the American audience. Let’s challenge our children, people!

Overall, the book holds up over the years. It is definitely a less serious romp through the wizarding world than later volumes, but at the same time there are clues to the eventual ending of the series if the reader is wise enough to pick up on them. This is also, in my opinion, the best adapted book to movie, though to be fair there isn’t as much material as later books to handle.

Stay tuned for the Chamber of Secrets, the book that introduces my second favorite character.

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