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Publisher's Summary

Pottermore has now launched the Wizarding World Book Club. Visit Pottermore to sign up and join weekly Twitter discussions at WW Book Club.

"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

Critic Reviews

"To call Dale a 'reader' of books is like saying Monet was a Sunday painter." (Los Angeles Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    42,388
  • 4 Stars
    3,265
  • 3 Stars
    523
  • 2 Stars
    130
  • 1 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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    36,808
  • 4 Stars
    3,940
  • 3 Stars
    1,011
  • 2 Stars
    249
  • 1 Stars
    175

Story

  • 4.9 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    70
  • 1 Stars
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Outstanding

Would you consider the audio edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 to be better than the print version?

Wow, that's hard. There is, as there always is for me, so much enjoyment in reading for myself with my own timing, like stopping to imagine a scene, re-reading something that made me laugh, etc. But after having read the book, I really enjoyed listening to it.

What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

His performance matched pretty closely the way I would have read the book out loud to myself, and you can't ask for more than that!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It would just be silly to binge listen to such a huge and amazing (magical) story. Enjoy it!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!

If you could sum up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 in three words, what would they be?

A. MA.ZING.

Have you listened to any of Jim Dale’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

135 of 180 people found this review helpful

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A great reading of the wrong book

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.

156 of 213 people found this review helpful

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Great book done justice by a great narrator

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!

89 of 122 people found this review helpful

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MY BRAIN SURPRISES EVEN ME

WE COULD HAVE GOT KILLED OR WORSE, EXPELLED
A book that gets kids and parents to read has to be admired. In my life time, I have never seen a book or series of books cause so much excitement. That alone is worth Hooting about. I think the book works mostly because of Rowling's imagination. Flying keys, dock 9 and three quarters, talking hats, unicorns, Fluffy, the school itself, moving and talking chess pieces, moving pictures, and on and on. The characters are also lovable. Who-who could not love Harry. Harry is a modern day Cinderella, who becomes a humble Superman. The story has lots of action. It is just a fun read.

HARRY WISHED HE HAD ABOUT EIGHT MORE EYES
I liked the book on a personal level, but I did not love it. As an eight or ten year old, I am sure I would have loved it. As an adult I see things, I would not have as a child. This is where my honesty gets me into trouble, but I had some issues. Two or three times someone is called fat and than the good guys, call them pigs and that is suppose to be funny. It is not just the mean kid, but also a picture of a fat woman. Harry should be punished for flying on a broom when he was told he would be expelled if he did, but because he is so good, he gets special treatment. Kind of like giving the football star, a pass on his behavior in school because he is important to the team. This is also another book, where the main character is great because of his birth right. He does not work hard to achieve these powers. Matter of fact the character who works the hardest is put down and has no friends. I know later in the series she takes a more important role, but if all you read is this one book, what message does this send to kids? One more small thing, I can't believe a kid from a large family, does not know how to make his own sandwich.

IT'S SECRET, SO OF COURSE THE WHOLE SCHOOL KNOWS
This mixture of Cinderella, Star Wars and Superman is an entertaining read. There are no dull spots. Rowling fills the book with her imagination, which is broad. It is a must read for people of all ages.

80 of 110 people found this review helpful

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The first installment of the popular series

A nicely done presentation of the series. Reader presents well except a couple places where speech is so quiet it is difficult to hear.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Rowling is great - would prefer Fry's version

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.

44 of 65 people found this review helpful

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Jim Dale!!!!!!!

I had never read the books when I was younger in middle school of 2004 and up because I was discouraged I couldn't read them like everyone else. Not having a linear brain but an abstract intuitive thinker. This was my first time listening to the 1st Harry Potter book (if listening counts as reading for the first time as well for I haven't read this book yet either. I had no idea Snape refereed the Hufflepuff game just because he felt obligated being saved from Harry's father and to protect Harry, awe. Harry had won so fast like 6 seconds? When he puts his mind to it. He accomplishes anything. I didn't want to finish because I could be in the first book forever, but how would I learn what would happen next? I've always wondered why Dumbledore waited in the room of the Mirror of Elisaad? During which Dumbledore saved Harry's life at the end and (flying/teleporting) his abilities are GREAT! I didn't know Dumbledore saved Harry's life. Dumbledore kicking himself down at the end saying, "tis one of my better ideas for the mirror if you ask me".



I love Jim Dale's narration I can hear his unique choices for the voice acting. I never hear the movie voices when he speaks only my imagination creating the scene with Jim Dale's wonderful assisstance!

I laughed so hard when Hagrid at the hospital wing is talking to Harry and told him not to say Voldemort's name. Harry said it louder with each of Hagrid's "stop!" Solemn comment: the same scene is great foreshadowing for Harry and Hagrid's relationship.

I didn't know about Peeves character. The pure temerity of Draco and his internal struggles can be seen. How he hides his fears with passion and pride, wit cleverness, cunning. A great adversary, but is bound by his parent's rules. He seems like a good person but is always rewarded for bad. Even he knows it but continues.

The Centaur's being deep thinkers is a cool added detail. I had always wondered how Voldemort had enough strength to kill and drink Unicorn's blood, but not enough strength to speak or live on his own? Idk.

The scar still confuses me to this day. How love created it and protects Harry! I know Voldemort doesn't have love. Realistically it seems farfetched, magic vs. magic; magic can create a love potion, magic is the strongest force in this world. I suppose J.K. Rowling incorporated something beyond this or Harry's world. How can a being understand love if he himself chooses to fight it. In the end can Voldemort experience love? Who knows.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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HP❤

Naturally, an amazing story to hear read by another! Such vivid images come to mind, both those included in the film, as well as loads that are not. Mental imagery in over drive as reader does the proper voices & relays emotions. Lovely!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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To the well-organized mind, death is an adventure

Story: It's hard to believe, but this is my first go through of the book... years and years after they were released. That said, I can completely understand how the story captured such a massive audience and created such a following. J.K. Rowling created such a descriptive and imaginative world which is fascinating and easy to follow. The language used, the characters, the imagery are clearly well thought out and developed.

Performance: Jim Dale does a great job capturing the voices of each and every character. Some of the voices just so perfectly match the character description. Plus, being able to give a unique voice to a large number of characters is no easy task. The performance did get a 4-star rating, though, because of the audio issues. Both in Standard and High Quality, the audio would stop for a few seconds as if it were skipping. It doesn't happen all that often and doesn't derail the story, but it occurs often enough to mention.

Overall: I am glad to have finally listened to and heard the book version of this story. It is very interesting and easily captures the attention of the listeners. While I know the book is in the ages 8-10 genre, it's also easy to enjoy in your 20s and beyond!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful