Jan 31, 2009

Harry Potter

I love Harry Potter! I'm berserker for him!

from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, illus. by Mary GrandPre

I read Book One of the series a few years ago and wasn't a fan. I read it because I'm a librarian and felt I had to, although I'm not keen on fantasy.

Then Susan mentioned that she was listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks, and that they were exceptionally good. And Susan is almost always right. Hmmm, I thought...I'm always looking for good audiobooks to listen to in the car. I'm in the car at least 40 minutes a day, and if I'm listening to a good book I look forward to getting in the car and driving, any time, any where. So I decided to give Book Two an earful.

I was hooked right away. Maybe it was because I couldn't skim any parts. I was forced to hear every word, and lo!, a magical world unfolded. But most of the credit must to to Jim Dale, the narrator.

Jim Dale is absolutely phenomenal. He narrates all the Potter books, and has an amazing ability to give every character an individual voice, whether male or female, human or...non human. Jim holds the Guinness World Record for creating the most character voices in an audio book--146 for Deathly Hallows. When you hear a character begin to speak, you know who that character is.

Well, I've been in Potter heaven from last September until today, the last day of January. There have been many benefits, some less obvious that others. I have enjoyed almost every minute of commuting time these past 5 months, even if at times I would have been safer had I been texting on a cell phone. I feel much more closely connected to a huge part of our popular culture. I can now engage in conversation with almost any stranger I meet and have something to talk about. And, I have a new love in my life, the inimitable Harry Potter.

All is not lost. I still have Book One to go back to; it is the only audio book I haven't listened to. I know I will enjoy it ever so much more than when I read it, and it will be a nice way to end the series--this first time, anyway.

While listening to the audiobooks, I have read interspersed chapters--say, when I can't wait for my next car trip in order to continue with the story. But another good reason to read the books is to enjoy the truly wonderful art of Mary GrandPre (yet another famous Minnesotan). Her art is perfect for the series. And, who would think that the Scholastic editions would have been printed right up the road, in Peter-Country: Harrisonburg, Va? (Harrisonburg fans, check out this site.)So, if you haven't listed to Jim Dale reading Harry Potter, give him a try. Like me, you may be surprised at the pleasure awaiting you. And, if you've listed to the books but haven't read them, take a look at the illustrations. Then, try out the British editions! Check out the Harry Potter Lexicon, MuggleNet, and The Leaky Cauldron too.

Yours euphorically,


Professor Batty said...

The Weaver has been listening to those audiobooks as well. My fantasy days are back in the sixties with The Hobbit.

I've got The Happy Warriors. I'll be ready with a review after next week. Name the date.

Rose said...

Is she totally hooked? Does she take long drives in the car for no apparent reason? Does the Weaver say "Yes!" instead of yeah all the time?
Yikes! Have I written mine yet? Hmmm, I think not. Shall we say a week from Friday, the 13th?

Professor Batty said...

She listens as she weaves!

The 13th it is!

Anonymous said...

Steve Vander Ark's new book, The Lexicon, is now out and available at bookstores, and at all web retailers. It has a great deal of new content that is not on the Lexicon site. For more details visit www.rdrbooks.com, the publisher's website. Steve will also be in England April 10,11 and 12 at Eastercon in Bradford.
http://lx2009.com/. Additional tour dates in April are being added to his schedule.

John said...

Frankly, I'm glad you are finished reading those infernal things. I feel like my place in the household has been usurped lo these several months by that sniveling kid. And besides, did he ever actually go to Iceland? Well, I have. Take that, Mr. Potter!

lab munkay said...

I read HP every night before bed to my boys. Love them.