Living in the cupboard under the stairs isn’t a great thing for anyone, especially for Harry Potter. Adopted by his uncle and aunt when his parents were killed in a ‘car accident’ Harry has lived in the cupboard under the stairs for most of his life, only emerging to eat, go to school and ‘serve’ his Uncle and Aunt and his oath of a cousin Dudley.
However, Harry is about to turn eleven and his life is about to change, and change for the good! Professor Dumbledore, wizard and head teacher of Hogwarts School of Wizardry has sent Harry an invitation to join the school; Harry’s Parents were in fact wizards, and even though he doesn’t realize it yet, Harry has inherited magical powers.
However, his Uncle Dursley hates the wizarding world and tries his best to stop Harry from receiving the invitation; it takes the direct intervention of Hagrid, a friendly half-giant, for Harry to finally get the invitation and ultimately attend Hogwarts.
However, if Harry thought it was going to be easy, then he was in for a shock. Firstly, it seems that the most evil wizard of them all may be resurfacing, and for some reason has the intention of killing Harry. Harry discovers a deadly plot involving a strange Sorcerer’s stone that may assist the dark lord Voldemort and sets out to stop the plot. Along the way he meets up with Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, becoming their friends, and Professor Snape who seems to have an instant dislike for him. Harry also has to adjust to a whole new world full of magic, potions and mythical beasts.
Can Harry stop the evil dark lord from getting his hands on the Sorcerer’s stone? Can he survive his first year in Hogwarts school? Will he discover who his friends are and who his enemies are before it’s too late?
If you’re looking for a literary Fantasy classic in the realms of a Lord of the Rings then look elsewhere; this book does not have the same level of prose, detail or poetry as this classic book. However, if you’re looking for an exciting, easy to read book that has a combination of humor, horror, love and fear and a huge dollop of excitement, then this book might be for you.
J K Rowling’s writing is good; she writes in an easy style that is descriptive but more importantly has the ability to create characters that come to life through her words. She delves into deep relationships, ranging from hatred, to love and through to admiration and often into the realms of possessiveness. Her clever interplay between the main characters, whether they are good or evil really makes you get involved with the characters, especially as you follow their adventures that bring them closer together.
The intrepid trio of Ron, Hermione and Harry is an interesting combination of sheer courage and determination, with a dose of jealousy, ignorance and snootiness at times. As you watch their relationships go through the ups and downs that we’ve all experienced, they become very real to you and as you read through the whole series you will be amazed how much you come to love them!
The Sorcerer’s Stone is a great introduction into the world of Harry Potter, bringing with it a magical glimpse into a mythical world that us ‘muggles’ simply are not aware of. There is a lot of humor throughout the book, and while there is some danger and horror, it is not at the forefront of the writing yet. You get glimpses of the darkness to come, but the first book is more about an introduction to the world and the characters and denizens that live in it.
While it is an introduction to the world, the story is also well refined and thought out – there are some illogical parts to it, but if you ignore these and enjoy the story, then you’ll find yourself dragged in until the very last page.
This is a book that is for the family; my family spent a lot of quality time reading it out loud to each other, stopping to discuss the plot, and generally laughing and enjoying the antics of Harry, Hermione and Ron – it gave my daughter’s a thirst for reading that had been sadly lacking before it.
The ability of Rowling to create a world that children can somehow identify with, thanks to the school link, and yet add enough for them to let their imagination go is one of the keys to the success of the book, and it’s part of this wild-eyed excitement I saw in my children’s eyes that convinced me of the quality of the book.
There’s no doubt that the book isn’t for everyone though; it’s not as complex as a Lord of the Rings, nor is it as well written. It is more of a teenager’s novel than an adult novel, but I do know many adults who have thoroughly enjoyed the series.