Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Chapter 8

Recent HP observations:

– Stephen Fry’s Hermione is much, much better. There was no way it wouldn’t be since I hate Jim Dale’s Hermione very much. But yes. Fry’s Hermione sounds bossy and like a know-it-all, but she doesn’t sound absolutely annoying. If any of the Harry/Hermione shippers ever heard the way Dale has Hermione say Harry’s name, I’m pretty sure they would all find the pairing absolutely unbelievable. That’s how terrible Dale’s Hermione is.

Of course, the true test of Fry’s domination over Dale will come when Luna appears. Nowhere to go but up there either.

I should add that I enjoyed Dale’s reading of HP overall, but I hated the way he voiced Hermione and Luna and maybe one other character. Those were the moments that took me out of the story. All of his other voice work and character work was just fine. But, omg, Hermione and Luna are just terrible. Terrible.

– I love Percy. I really do. I know people don’t, but he makes so much sense to me, and I love that Hermione is able to talk to him about classes. Also, Percy’s comment that Peeves won’t even listen to prefects is perfection.

– Hagrid hints that only losers have toads as pets. Enter Neville with a toad for a pet. Oh, Neville. I love you. I really and truly do.

– Snape is a terrible teacher. TERRIBLE. I’m not even counting how he treats Harry (which is, of course, awful). He calls Neville “idiot boy.” That is not on. Also, Hermione raising her hand so high she lifts out of her seat in his class is, again, perfection. I feel you, Hermione.

– Harry’s first dream at school is that Quirrell’s turban talks to him and tells him join Slytherin, which makes his scar hurt. Oh, and Quirrell doesn’t want to talk about what happened to him when he faced zombies in Albania. But he’s fine with the vampire questions.

– Hagrid is delightful when read by Fry. I think this is the most I’ve ever liked that big guy.

– James’s wand was excellent for transfiguration and Lily’s was perfect for charms. Never noticed either of those details before.

Also, because everything exists on the internet, here’s a comparison of Jim Dale and Stephen Fry reading from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (Seriously, what did we do before YouTube?)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Chapter 3

Random HP observation of the day: “Dudley’s second bedroom”

Oh, Dursleys. You never cease to amaze.

That said, so far Stephen Fry is great. The difference between him and Jim Dale at this point is that Fry’s voice is slightly more melodic, like listening to a bedtime story. Also, my daughter and I are just as engrossed as we were the first time we listened. And my daughter says that Fry “does a good Hagrid.”

Oh and we had to have a talk about how just how and why the Dursleys are abusive.

2012 Harry Potter Reading Challenge

I added one more challenge to my list for the year. The Harry Potter Reading Challenge, which is a challenge to read all seven HP books before the end of the year.

I know, I know. I said I wasn’t doing any un-challenging challenges this year. And I’m not, truly.

I mean, yes. I have read the Harry Potter books before. But this time I’m going to listen to them all on audiobook. And, okay, yes, I have listened to all of the audiobooks before. I know that.

But! BUT. I haven’t listened to the Stephen Fry (i.e., British) version of the audiobooks.

Here is a true story: Some years ago a friend sent me the Stephen Fry books and I, shamefully, have never listened to them. I know. I KNOW. I KNOOOOOOW. Even though I said that I wanted to listen to them. Even though I had them when I listened to the Jim Dale audiobooks.

I don’t even understand it myself.

But I want to listen to them! I do! Especially because I was talking to a British friend of mine who said she loves the Fry version so much and it makes her so happy to listen to, and I was like, “Maybe I should listen to mine.”

So here we are. 2012 is the year I listen to the Stephen Fry narrated HP audiobooks. I have already ripped them to my iPod and everything so I can listen to them in and out of the car.

Also, since I have already read the books several times, I won’t do straight reviews but will instead just post observations I make (however random they may be) as I listen. All spoilers will be marked.

For example, I already started listening to the first book. How much do the Dursleys suck? They are terrible. I mean, the most exciting part of Vernon’s day is drills. DRILLS. No wonder they hate imagination so much. Also, they could be any kind of bigots, couldn’t they? I mean, we don’t really know what kind of sort the Potters are to start with, do we? Plus also, it takes a lot of work to be as cruel as they are to Harry. Just wow. WOW.

And it just goes to show: you never know who is sleeping under your roof, do you?