harry potter and the sorcerer's stone
harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone

Synopsis

Harry Potter, an orphan boy is left on the doorstep of his aunt, uncle, and cousin, the Dursleys, after his parent’s death.  The Dursleys grudgingly take care of him and as Harry grows he begins to notice that he can make things happen without meaning to, which always leads to him being punished by his uncle. The Dursleys try all they can to banish all things Magic, even lying to Harry about how his parents died. All their efforts prove futile when Harry receives his admission letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on his 11th birthday.

Arriving at Hogwarts, Harry feels more at home than he ever felt anywhere else before and together with his new best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, adventures seem to find them as they learn more about the wizarding world. Although this newfound happiness could be cut short because Harry was the sole survivor of the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort’s attack which killed both his parents, and it is believed that Lord Voldemort, preferably called, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named by all and sundry, may still be alive and not only seeking the Sorcerer’s Stone, a source of infinite power and immortality but also seeking to tie up a loose end by killing Harry! Once and for all.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book Review

As a latecomer to the Harry Potter fandom, I cannot stop beating myself up over my absolute refusal to read the books over the years under the constant insistence of one of my dearest friends, Emma aka Harry Potter (by all our secondary school mates).

I just didn’t like the fantasy genre of anything, be it books or movies and I had no reason at all for this dislike. In foresight, I see now that it was a dislike borne out of sheer ignorance and judging a book by its cover!

I had to get around to Harry Potter when my friend’s other recommendation, “A song of Ice and Fire” series turned out to be one of the best books I ever read. Finally, I got around to Harry Potter as part of my 100 books reading challenge of 2020 (For more details on that check HERE)

When I started Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone, I couldn’t put it down unless I absolutely had to. I would read late into the night and grudgingly fall asleep as the dawn broke.  And so it continued until I finished the whole Harry Potter series.

Reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone, I was struck by how much the readers get into the Character’s head that I kept wondering how and if this was ever ably brought through in the movies. And seeing the movies again after reading the books, I must say, No, it was not. The movies were a great effort… but still, they left a lot to be required.

The confusion and thoughts Harry goes through as he finds himself in a new and welcoming world are vivid. His gradual realization that he is quite special and his inability to grasp this importance show more of his strength in character. At the risk of annoying a lot of Harry Potter fans though, I must note that I found Harry Potter more lucky than sensible. His friendship with Ron and Hermione being the most important thing I felt that kept him through the hurdles. He did have lots of sensible and smart thoughts but never actually put them in action, always leaving me, the book reader, exasperate and frustrated.  

The plot and host of diverse characters make for very enjoyable reading.

Harry’s sheer luck and a knack for sniffing out trouble, Ron’s obliviously funny and sometimes insensitive disposition, and Hermione’s clever knowledge keep these three busybodies quite busy at Hogwarts between Herbology, Potions or Defense against the Dark Arts classes.

Harry, Ron and Hermione
Harry, Ron and Hermione

I loved the connection and interaction among these three friends and how their strengths complemented their weaknesses, or in my opinion how Hermione’s strength complemented all their weaknesses most of the time. Although, I did find Hermione quite annoying a lot of the time. JKR employs literary devices to keep readers emotionally attached in one way or the other. Several times I caught myself comparing the trio’s friendship to my own friendships and trying to figure out if I was a Harry, a Ron or a Hermione.

The Weasleys
The Weasleys

The Weasley family and their flaming red hair, I really admire. With seven children and not much in money, they make do with the little they have, always warm, welcoming and loving. They welcome Harry into the fold and become a second family for Harry. I wouldn’t mind being a part of that family.

Dumbledore
Dumbledore

Professor Dumbledore, a man of very few words and sage facial expressions is the perfect fatherly figure for Harry. With a tinge of eccentricity, you can’t help but want him to be around all the time.

Snape

Professor Snape is an enigma. A mystery. Is he good? Is he bad? I just can’t place him.

Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy and his goons

And then there is Draco Malfoy whose sole existence seems to be to annoy Harry and his friends. With snide remarks and his ever-present two goons in tow, he is just that character we all love to hate.

Hagrid
Hagrid

Hagrid, a funny and loveable character whose friendship and cabin at the edge of Hogwarts forbidden forest serves as a temporary getaway for the trio when it counts most. His love for magical dangerous creatures and his gentle care for them, as well as his gentle manner, contrasts perfectly with his impressive size and makes him quite endearing to readers.

Fred and George Weasley
Fred and George Weasley

The Weasley twins, Fred and George are some of my favorite characters. I glory in the few appearances they make in the pages, always engulfing me in good-natured laughter at their sarcasm and antics.

In fact, there is no shortage of intriguing characters, from teachers and students to the ghosts serving as patrons to each School Houses or haunting the castle. The school houses, Griffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff admit varying characters of students. It’s all a perfect setting for the sinister plot brewing within the ancient walls of Hogwarts as the three friends will come to realize in their adventure to unravel the mystery behind the Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry, Ron and H
Harry, Ron and Hermione

From the very beginning until the end J.K. Rowling had me in her literary clutches. From battling trolls, facing a three-headed dog, playing human-sized chess or Harry facing Lord Voldermort, it was a thrilling read. I definitely recommend this book. You would not want to put the book down until you are on the last page and by the end of the book, you have come to love some of the characters so much that you want to know more about what’s next. You are in luck because the second book in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is just as great! If you haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books you are missing out on the best series ever! You should get started now, better late than never!

 

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