"Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'."
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
©1997 J.K. Rowling (P)1999 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)
Excellent. If you like this, I recommend his reading of the Books of Beginning Series. This first is the Emerald Atlas. I will say that on the first listen I did not like the portrayal of Hermione. She seemed a little whiny. But I persevered, and now that I am used to it, I am glad I stuck it out.
I have listened to these over and over, checking them out from my local library. I have an hour commute each way to and from work, and I have listened to these so many times. I also listen to them at night as I fall alseep to Jim Dale's calm voice. I always wanted to own them, but I just could not afford the price on Pottermore. I don't know what prompted the shift, but I am eternally grateful. This has made my day, my week, my month, and quite possibly my whole year.
I read each Potter book with huge enjoyment within days of the publication of each.
I listened to the Potter series years ago when they first came out on CD. These wonderful stories are done full justice by Jim Dale, whose narration compliments Rowling's lovely characters perfectly. I am so delighted that Rowling has finally allowed the digital versions to be sold on Audible as the cost of them through her website was ridiculous.
At any rate, if you have not listened to Harry Potter - even if you've read it and seen the films - you will be introduced to Harry, Ron, Hermione and all the denizens of Hogwarts in a different way when you listen to The Sorcerer's Stone.
I can't seen any point in recapping the plot because I just assume everyone has read at least the first two of these books, but I can tell you that listening to them is an "immersive" experience. Of course, that's true of any book, but the richness of Rowling's characters, settings and situations are brought to life, in my opinion, in an entirely different way when you listen to Jim Dale read them to you.
If you already love and appreciate the Harry Potter series, you'll rediscover it when you listen. If you have NOT yet read any Harry Potter... my condolences. If you listen, you may discover what you missed!
It is (as you can already tell by the title) the US variation of the book, with all the oddness that comes with it but it mostly cames out unscathed.
I've heard the UK audiobook before, however, and while Jim Dale comes close, Stephen Fry is the better narrator so I'm doubly annoyed that we don't have the option to buy the Philosopher's Stone version.
Other than not having Fry as narrator and not using the English verbiage it is a classic. Listening to it after so long is like seeing an old friend.
Will likely re listen to entire series have not read them in ages!
***Listeners should have the option to choose the narrator! ****
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
The great thing about growing up and eventually watching your own kids start to grow is sharing the magic of reading. I'm a total snob about my books. I rarely venture into YA Fiction or Fantasy, but I still remember introducing my wife, my sisters-in-law, etc., to Harry Potter. We devoured the first three books. And as every subsequent book came out, we were first in line, often reading thorough the night to finish and discuss. Our family has already listened to Jim Dale's epic read of the Potter series on CD on multiple family car trips.
I'm not sure what motivated J.K. Rowling to move from Pottermore to Audible, but as a rabid Potter family and an Audible fanatic, I'm glad she finally did.
Todd W. Brown
So much has been said about this, and it is my daughter's favorite. I have to say that it is actually a great deal more entertaining than I anticipated. Is it the epitome of literature? No, but this is a very entertaining and well designed story. Also, since my only prior experience with this series was the movies, it was nice to see a great deal more fleshing out of what is happening as well as getting inside the mind of Harry.
There is something here for those who, like me, have only seen the film (as is usually the case with books turned to movies). If, for some reason, you still have not given this a shot, I say do so. On to the second book.
The narration was absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed hearing Mr. Dale do what he does. It was inspiring for a newbie to the narration field.
I love Harry Potter, but I wish Americans could order Fry's version of the audiobooks rather than Jim Dale's. I first encountered Jim Dale in another series and absolutely hated the way he voiced girls and women - and two of the three main characters were female. He was so bad, I researched a bit to find out why this fun, promising book (The Emerald Atlas, btw) had such a terrible reader and was very surprised to learn he had won awards for Harry Potter! It took me quite a while to resign myself to get these audiobooks. Rowling never disappoints, but Dale is another thing altogether. He is quite good with most of the voices, but Hermoine's is so terrible, it has shades of sexism. I'm not calling him sexist, but he's just that bad.
You're probably already familiar with the Harry Potter books. They are uniformly excellent. My problem here is with Jim Dale's rendition. He does not seem to understand how to read dialogue. He isn't taking any emotional cues from the story or from any sense of the way that someone would actually talk. It's bad enough that it draws you out of the story.
When the crew has to make it past Neville to get out of the common room you here zero empathy in their voices. There's no emotional content at all.
When Hermione has to leave Harry in the room of fire the words aren't urgent and tight, they are the same sing-song Haaaaaarrrrrryyyyy voice that Dale uses for Hermione in all situations.
Lastly, at the very end when Molly Weasley is telling Ginny "Be quiet Ginny, it's rude to point." does she say it in the sharp tone of a parent talking to their child? No, once again because it's a ladies voice Dale performs it in a sing-song whispy way, almost as if a ghost were talking or Molly Weasley was stoned out of her mind.
If you care at all for the characters to sound like real people then I would avoid Jim Dale's recording.
No, I'll be avoiding Dale from now on.
Going to try the Stephen Fry version's for the other books and hope for the best.
Stephen Fry reading it. Jim Dale makes everyone sound so whiny and awful, including Harry. It is unbearable.
Please add Stephen Fry's reading. It is so much better than the Jim Dale version.
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