Book Review

#6 Book Review

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HARRY POTTER 

#1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

by J.K.Rowling

-“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” –

 

Genre: Fantasy

 

Joanne Kathleen Rowling (Kathleen was her grandma’s name) was born in Yate, England on 31th July 1965.

She graduated at Exeter University and moved to Portugal to teach English.

In the 90’s she went living to Edinburgh, Scotland with her daughter, after the divorce with her husband.

She started working on Harry Potter while travelling by train from Manchester to London, and after many rejections she succeded in publishing it.

In 2001 she got married with an anhestetist, and they had two children.

After the great success of the first book – followed by the others – all around the world, she wrote “The Casual Vacancy” (2012), her first book addressed to adults.

Other works connected with Harry Potter are “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” (2008), which is a collection of five fables mentioned in HP’s series.

Under the pen name Robert Galbraith, she published a mystery novel titled “Cuckoo Calling” (2013).

 

The first book of Harry Potter’s series was published in 1997, but I was too young to read it – as any other book -.

I had to wait till 2003, when I went to my elementary school’s library.

There I took in my hand this book for the very first time ever.

I went home and I devoured it.

But before going on talking about how bloody I loved it, I must make a brief summary of the plot.

 

On a ordinary night in Surrey, England, in a little village called Privet Drive, three strange persons – two men and a woman – leave a baby boy called Harry Potter in front of Dursleys’ home.

Ten years later, the baby boy still lives with the Dursleys in the same house, number 4 Privet Drive.

Harry must live with the Dursleys because he is orphan and they are the only relatives he still has, but, actually, Harry can’t stand them.

Uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia have a son, Harry’s cousin, whose name is Doudley, a spoiled and bullying boy who makes Harry’s life a nightmare.

Harry must sleep and live in a cupboard under the stairs, because according to his uncles’ opinion, their son is the only one worth having a room of his own.

At Doudley’s birthday, Harry and the Dursleys go to the zoo, and since this day really strange things happen to Harry.

Once back home, a huge quantity of letters are sent to Harry from a unknown place called Hogwarts.

Harry never receives letters, so his uncles decide to through them away.

Only when the house is literary full of letters for Harry, uncle Vernon decides to go away to a small island.

At Harry’s eleventh birthday night, a giant man called Hagrid arrives at the little island and reveals an astonishing truth about Harry; Harry is a wizard, like his parents, and the letters he received were sent from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry is really confused, but he decides to follow Hagrid who has to help him buying all the necessary equipments he has to bring with him at this marvellous school.

Since this moment, Harry get in touch for the very first time with the hidden world of magic; from Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and Diagon Alley to Platform 9 ¾ at King Cross railway station, in London.

Harry meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger who will become his best friends for all his life.

Since the first day at Hogwarts, Harry will learn all the secrets behind the immense world of magic he had never heard about, but this sparkling and massive change in his life – who till this moment seems to have only positive aspects – is suddenly changes and ruined by discovering the existence of a dark evil wizard, Lord Voldemort.

All the wizards and witches all around the world are so scared by this powerful wizard, that they do not even pronounce his name, and so, everyone call him You–Know–Who, or The Dark Lord, or  He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

At almost the end of the book, Harry fights against Lord Voldemort for the first time, and he realises that life at Hogwarts and being a wizard are not easy at all.

 

With this first book, J.K.Rowling shows us many wizardry extravaganzas that will go with us till the last book.

Here we come to know all the main characters of the entire series, from the Dursleys to all the people who belong to Hogwarts and to this fascinating magical reality.

I think that there are two different groups of people who read Harry Potter; those who – like me – fell in love with it, and those who – just a few – did not love it.

Once into J.K.Rowling’s pages, you feel the strong need to stay there, to have the lucky chance to receive your own letter from Hogwarts, and to buy your wand at Ollivanders Wand Shop in Diagon Alley.

After having read the first book of the series, I was deeply disappointed with our being muggles .

But Harry Potter is not only a fantasy series for teenagers; no, it is more than this.

J.K.Rowling work is a touching analysis of nowadays and everlasting themes such as racism, social stereotypes, friendship and the battle between good and evil, for example.

Each character of the whole story has a peculiar necessity to exist; everyone represent a specific aspect of one or more of the themes listed above.

So, there is a double way of reading it; from one side, as a relaxing and carefree story, and from the other one, as a educational moment of your life.

 

Harry Potter should be analysed better, I know.

But I hope that this first review of the series will convince new reader to read it without revealing many aspects.

I do love re – read it because it seems as if I have the opportunity to come back being a child.

 

Thank you J.K.Rowling for my childhood.

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