Thursday, August 14, 2008
Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon's house, which he thinks is normal for someone like him who's parents have been killed in a 'car crash'. He is bullied by them and his fat, spoilt cousin Dudley, and lives a very unremarkable life with only the odd hiccup (like his hair growing back overnight!) to cause him much to think about. That is until an owl turns up with a letter addressed to Harry and all hell breaks loose! He is literally rescued by a world where nothing is as it seems and magic lessons are the order of the day. Read and find out how Harry discovers his true heritage at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, the reason behind his parents mysterious death, who is out to kill him, and how he uncovers the most amazing secret of all time, the fabled Philosopher's Stone! All this and muggles too. Now, what are they?
I've read a copy of this book in portuguese a long, long time ago. Although I remember enjoying it I gave up on the series after book 2. I mentioned this to A. a while back during a conversation about books and she offered to lend me an english copy in hope that I would get hooked and read the entire series. Although I did enjoy reading it, it still didn't make me want to go out and read all of them but since the opinions are that the following books are better (and more addictive) I will eventually give them a try.
I think Rowling does a great job in building a different reality and the characters that surround Harry Potter, and it's impossible not to feel a measure of affection for Harry who after a miserable childhood with some very hateful relatives is finally offered a chance to know the world he is supposed to have a place in - a world of witches and wizzards where the way of dealing with reality is different but where the fight between good and evil is as present as in the human world. In the beginning of the book Harry receives a letter to go and study at Hogwarts, a school where he will be introduced to magic and will develop his abilities. On the train to Hogwarts Harry will meet his future best friends Ron, Hermione and Neville. Upon arrival they are sorted out by a very funny speaking hat to belong to one of the Houses, those are a sort of clubs who compete in sports and behaviour to win The House Cup.
As soon as Harry and his friends settle in the new school and decide to explore they discover the presence of a three-headed dog that they connect with the theft of a philosopher's stone and soon they are immersed in the mystery of trying to find who stole it while they encounter quite a few magical creatures and try to learn the hard craft of magic. Harry will also discover the truth about his parents death and when he goes back to his muggle (humans with no magic) relatives at the end of the school he is a more assured and confident boy, happy with his new friends and with having helped to win the Gryffindors to finally win the House Cup.