Tag Archives: Harry potter series

Until we meet again

20 Apr

My great Harry Potter reread (via audiobooks) is over.

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I listened to all seven books in the car, mostly during my commute to school. Here are the stats:

  • 69 discs
  • 119 hours
  • approximately 828 miles

As I live in the US, all the discs were narrated by Jim Dale, who I think does a magnificent job.

Although I have reached the end of the series, I am sure this is not goodbye, just until we meet again. I will watch the movies again, and I will remark on the many bits that have been left out or streamlined for the sake of the movie’s length. I am certain I will read the series again, either in print or as audiobooks. I must admit, though I am curious to hear the Stephen Fry audiobooks that are available in the UK.

You can compare the two voices here.

My new audiobook mission is to revisit some classic science fiction during my commute: Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, and other authors of that ilk to see which ones I can add to my classroom library. I’ll keep you posted

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Book VS Movie

29 Jul

We had to turn in our laptops in June. They will be replaced in late August when we go back. Although I miss having a second computer at home for the summer, I will mostly miss it for the sticker I had on the front, which was given to me by a former colleague.

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I recently finished listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

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It took a little longer than I’d planned because I was listening in the car and I am not driving as much these days. It was great fun reconnecting with the Hogwarts gang and I noticed more humor in the books than I remembered. I also noticed more omissions in the movie adaptation. As I listened, I could visualize the movie in my head, which is why certain missing bits stood out.

The book opens on Harry’s birthday, while the movie begins with Dobby and  the imminent dinner party with the Masons. When Ron, Fred & George come to get Harry at the Dursleys’ house, the book mentions that Fred & George have to break into the cupboard to get Harry’s trunk, then carry it up the stairs. Not in the movie.

The first really big omission is what Harry sees in and hears in Borgin and Burkes. Rowling was ding some serious foreshadowing in the book, but Harry doesn’t really hear anything in the movie.

The book has several other significant things that the movie does not.

  1. The book’s Deathday Party is completely omitted, necessitating the movie to come up with a different way for Harry to encounter the frozen Mrs. Norris.
  2. Hermione saves Harry from the rogue bludger in the movie, but Fred & George restrain it in the book.
  3. The book is full of foreshadowing of Ginny’s role in the Chamber of Secrets, but none of this appears in the movie.
  4. The Valentine’s dwarves of the book are completely missing from the movie, which I think is a crying shame.

The Harry Potter Wiki has an extensive list of differences at the bottom the Chamber of Secrets page. 

I have Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on hold. I am #13 in line on 11 copies. Fortunately, I have a few other audiobooks I can listen to in the meantime.

Summer Driving

24 Jun

I have a summer driving plan and it doesn’t involve a destination. I want to listen to the entire Harry Potter series on audiobooks in  the car. The project will take me longer than the summer, I am sure. But, next year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book, published as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Britain, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone un the US.

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I’m about halfway through this book and I am pleasantly surprised at how faithful the movies were to the original. I had thought that the movie intro, where Dumbledore shows up with what we later find out is a deluminator and McGonagall appears as a cat,  were innovation by the production company. Listening to the book, I know realize that these were, indeed part of the original book that I’d forgotten.

I am at the part where Harry has just played in his first Quidditch match. I can’t help but have the movie version of things paying in my head now, as I listen, and I suspect young people nowadays have probably seen the movies before they read the books. I haven’t read the books since 2007, when The Deathly Hallows came out and I reread the books to refresh my memory. I am surprised at how much I still like this first book.

This afternoon, Lucy and I are taking a little road trip to Woodburn to scout out the new park we will be using for the Oregon Basset Hound Games in a few weeks. Harry, Ron and  Hermione will be traveling with us.

Like Harry Potter, but darker

16 Jun

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Imagine a world in which non-witches are unaware of witches in England. J. K. Rowling took one look at it in her Harry potter series. But Sally Green is onto something infinitely darker in Half Bad, the first in a trilogy about warring witches. White witches are good; black witches are bad. Nathan is a half-breed: his mother was a white witch and his father was the most notorious black witch. Persecuted and abused, Nathan is confined by the White witches council, who treat him cruelly. He escapes in an attempt to find his father before his seventeenth birthday. If he can do so, his father will give him three gifts and come into his own as a witch. If he does not, he will die.

It seems that people either really love or really hate this book. I really loved it. I think one of the problems some people might have is that the author shifts between first person and second person narration. I think people expecting a lot of magic will also be disappointed. Nathan doesn’t do magic yet because he hasn’t turned 17 and received his gift yet.

I really feel that Sally Green has raised some interesting questions about tolerance and persecution. There is quite a bit of graphic violence, too. Green has also created a gritty, alternative modern England, which isn’t the one I fantasize about visiting, but it certainly interesting to read about.

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