I don’t remember the age that I first picked up my Harry Potter book. But what I remember clearly is the impact that it had on me and my life. It introduced me to a world of reading, a world that continues to inspire and strengthen me. It taught me the value of morals, the worth of friendship and above all courage in times of adversities. I believe that Harry Potter inspired people to work hard and strive towards living a life of dignity and courage.
I owe J.K. Rowling my childhood.
So while each book is unique and entertaining on its own, it is best to start at the beginning. If you want to enjoy the magical world of Hogwarts fully, read all the books in the order. In this post, I will review, the first of the Harry Potter book, namely Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. (It is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the UK)
This book forms the core of all the books as it helps the readers establish the main characters and creates enough suspense and curiosity in the minds of the reader to know what happens ahead.
The Bigger Picture
Harry Potter’s story begins on a seemingly ordinary night on the silent street of Surrey in England. Three people, an older man, a stern-faced woman and a huge bearded person are talking about a series of events. These events include a tragedy and murder and the reason why they must leave a sleeping baby on the doorstep of an ordinary home. This sleeping baby is Harry Potter whose parents died in a car crash, leaving him with only a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead as a reminder. This would also mean that he would be raised in his aunt’s and her husband’s home for his entire childhood.
However, Harry’s life takes a complete turn when on his eleventh birthday, he discovers his true identity as a wizard. Over the next chapters, Harry realizes the true cause of his parent’s death. He finds out how his parent’s killer, Lord Voldemort, had mercilessly killed them. In the process, he had also taken away Harry’s childhood. From here, Harry journeys to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to fulfil his true destiny of becoming a wizard. Here, he forges strong bonds of friendships with Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger who are also students at Hogwarts. But, everything is not what it seems at Hogwarts because Lord Voldemort wants to capture the Philosopher’s Stone hidden in the castle and which has the power to grant eternal life to its possessor. What follows is a tale of how Harry and his gang of friends try to thwart every plan of Voldemort in his attempt to reach his goal.
Analysis of The Story
What sets Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone apart is how the author introduces you to a completely magical world. With a strong eye for detail, Rowling has etched out a world that is easy to imagine and relate to, even for children. But the authors’ greatest success has been in the creation of characters that have today achieved cult status in the literary world. The bonds of friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermoine leave an inedible mark on the reader’s mind. Further, every character in the book creates a niche space for themselves in the reader’s mind. Whether Harry is attending his first-class or whether he is bonding with his friends, or when he comes face to face with Lord Voldemort, every incident is captured with immense thoughtfulness and flair. Another major aspect of JK Rowling’s writing is the use of humour which is interspersed in various chapters and incidents across the book.
Rowling clearly possesses both an ear and an eye for the unexpected, working her own brand of magic with turns of phrase and flashes of humour that are subtle and sly. This book is funny, moving and impressive and thanks to the immaculate writing of J.K. Rowling, the readers too enter a world as magical as the one that Harry Potter lives in.
Designated for teenagers, but written for anyone who loves a good story, this book is definitely worth a read.