"There it was, hanging in the sky above the school: the blazing green skull with a serpent tongue, the mark Death Eaters left behind whenever they had entered a building...wherever they had murdered...."
When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort's darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny....
©2005 J.K. Rowling (P)2005 Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
"To call Dale a 'reader' of books is like saying Monet was a Sunday painter." (Los Angeles Times)
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Probably my favorite book in the series. I think this is JK Rowling at the peak of her writing, confidence, and strength. She is dealing with older protagonists and deeper, darker themes. She is dealing with themes of treachery, loss, etc.. All things that are usually dealt with in adult novels, but glossed over in YA fiction. While the literary pedant in me will sometimes cringe at her numerous clichés, there still exists a place where I'm able to ignore the rough patches that a good editor might have corrected, but these are small peeves; similar to the irritations I feel for Star Wars. Speaking of Star Wars, THIS would be JK Rowling's 'Empire Strikes Back.' The best in the series.
Jim Dale continues his masterpiece of narration, drawing the reader on, not as some storytellers do with a tone of gathering round the fire for a great tale, rather, as though seeing, experiencing each moment through the eyes of Harry, Dumbledore, and even Snape (ProFESSOR Snape, Harry!). Having now Audibled (yes, that's a verb in our house) 6 of the 7 Potter books back to back (I'm binge-listening much the way I binge-read the books 12 years ago) I am utterly gobsmacked at Mr. Dale's tireless energy, emotion, pacing and character throughout this series. Every voice distinct, the children's voices maturing in style and tone over the years, the adults remaining flawlessly consistent and true. These recordings are a treasure for any HP fan, and will transport (or rather reapparate) you to that magical realm of Hogwarts, Quidditch pitches, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Privet Drive. Thank you to Ms Rowling for making these favorites available to the Audible audience. And Bravo, Mr Dale.
I've always loved these books, and I am so glad that they have FINALLY come to audible. Such adventure, and fun!
Avid listener on my daily commute!
Absolutely yes!! Jim Dale brings animation to the characters that is so high quality that the Audible version easily exceeds the movie version in terms of entertainment value.
The increasing tensions both inside and outside the castle as Harry and his friends grow up and come to full awareness, by the end of the novel, that they are truly on their own in a world in which no one is now safe.
My favorite scenes include Harry's unexpected inheritance (and the "simple test" performed on Kreacher to determine his allegiance), Dumbledore's confrontation with the Dursleys, the appearance of Horace Slughorn and the way in which he is induced to join the faculty at Hogwarts, Draco's increasing secretiveness and palpable dread as he approaches having to carry out a task about which he is clearly ambivalent, Ron's unexpected (and possibly potion-induced, to hear Hermione tell it) success on the Quidditch pitch, Harry's growing awareness of the importance of Ginny, and Ron's near-death by poisoning, with all its tumultuous consequences. But the most dramatic and memorable scenes are those in which Severus Snape is coerced into making the Unbreakable Vow....and the (very related) death of a key character at the end of the novel, an ending which will leave the reader screaming "Nooooo!" and possibly sobbing. (Note to sensitive readers: We must have faith at this point that although this is not the ending we wanted or that we probably would have written if we could, somehow, the skilled author MUST know what she is doing, and has a plan that will make this ending make perfect sense in the grand scheme of the seven-volume series!)
Absolutely yes--and I almost did, reading when I wasn't able to listen and vice versa! You literally will not be able to stop, especially once you reach the pivotal confrontation near the end, and Harry's unforgettable announcement to his friends after the major losses he and they have suffered.
This novel is part of a larger series, of course, but also can stand alone as an excellent read for adults young and old. This one is DEFINITELY not a children's book!
[PLEASE PRESS 'YES IF YOU FOUND THIS REVIEW EVEN SLIGHTLY HELPFUL! THANK YOU!!!]
The trouble with audio books is that the character intricacies like voice and tone are dictated by the narrator, instead of your own imagination which takes over when you read a book. To me Jim Dales tone for depicting Hermione and Harry was off. They both seemed winy, which isn't the impression I got of them when I read the books originally.
With how slowly this story has been taking to develop, this is definitely the best written Harry Potter book so far. Finally, the author decided that it was not necessary to repeat key details multiple times & allowed for the story to naturally flow. It is interesting to me how dumb Dumbledore ends up being, but I'm also not shocked by this. It will soon be time though to find out if Harry Potter is actually a great wizard or if he's just incredibly lucky, as he has appeared to be throughout most of this literary series.
It is impossible to answer a question about this book without being the biggest prattling spoiler spilling flubberworm on the planet. So many scenes where we finally get answers, answers to things we didn't think we needed. So many scenes that moved me but I can't say why or when because thats the mystique, the grandeur of this tale. This book is a perfect keystone to this entire 7 part story. Although this was 18+ hours, it felt a lifetime and also like a secon. It feels like just yesterday I was listening to the fifth book, yet I was SOO transfixed with this story I found myself wide mouthed, sitting on my stationary bike and no longer peddling. Damn good book.
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