Saturday, January 15, 2011

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
By J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 1998
ISBN-13: 9780590353427
320 pages

First sentence, Chapter One, page 1:
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Re-reading the first book of Harry Potter was fun. It has been reviewed so many times, I was contemplating whether or not to do a review too. I checked Amazon.com and found out that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has been reviewed for more than 5,600 times. I do no see the point of re-writing the synopsis here so I am going to take the easy way out and refer you to the reviews on Amazon.com. Click here.

I remembered hearing about the Harry Potter series for the first time from my former boss way back in year 2000. His daughters were eagerly waiting for the latest book to be released and were very excited about it. It got me curious, too, so I ended up reading them, but only up to Book Four. So here I am, revisiting Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, is such a wise character and a great wizard with legendary power. There are a few of his sayings that I absolutely love and would like to share them with you:
"It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." p.214

"[...] humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them." p.297
The book is full of wonderful details; a great storyline that involves family, friendship, student rivalry, and interesting faculty members; and lots of twist and turns. I had lots of laugh (the silent kind), and since I was reading the book in the bus on the way from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, I hope nobody saw me chuckling silently in my seat. Those were the funny bits. When things got intense, for example, during Harry's face-off with Voldemort, I was furrowing my brows and all that.

I admire the courage that Harry and his friends have. Harry and Ron get off to a good start; both are put off by Hermione's bossy and Miss Smarty-Pants character, but later, the three of them become really tight together, thanks to a troll that somehow manages to trespass into Hogwarts.

One of my favorite parts in the book is the Sorting Hat ceremony where the first year students such as Harry, Ron and Hermione will be sorted into either one of the four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin). No prize for guessing which house the friends ended up in. I like the bit where the Sorting Hat sung about Gryffindor:
[...]
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
[...]
Draco Malfoy gets on my nerves and there are many times I wanted to give that boy a hard smack upside his head. The Weasleys are fun and for some strange reasons I like Professor McGonagall, the Deputy Headmistress. I also enjoyed where the boa constrictor talks to Harry in the earlier part of the book, and its escape very much frightens Dudley (the son of his horrible aunt and uncle).

In conclusion: So good I want to re-read it again!