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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by…
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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Potter (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
95,39515692 (4.28)7 / 1586
  1. 395
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    kerravonsen: Children's fantasy, check. Protagonist who doesn't know he's a magician/wizard, check. Schooling in magic, check.
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  18. 91
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    cransell: The first in an enjoyable series of stories about a young witch at boarding school.
  19. 80
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    TomWaitsTables: You want an explanation? Read The Books of Magic; if you loved Sorcerer's Stone, which is about an ordinary boy discovering a whole new world where he finds a future larger than he had ever imagined, you will love Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic. If you ever find yourself thinking that after an awful lot of sequels and years of a multi-billion dollar franchise being squeezed for every Knut, that the world of Harry Potter has lost its magic, I urge you to rediscover it again in The Books of Magic. There is nothing else to say; there is only awe and wonders.… (more)
  20. 92
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    jfoster_sf: Although this series isn't at all about magic, it's about an ordinary boy (11) who finds himself in a strange land and must go on a dangerous quest to save an underground civilization. This is the first book in an exciting series by the author of The Hunger Games.… (more)

(see all 71 recommendations)

1990s (7)
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Ghosts (116)
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Showing 1-5 of 1475 (next | show all)
“The truth." Dumbledore sighed. "It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

I am so glad I took the chance to read this series again. I was really trepidatious that reading Harry Potter as an adult would tarnish my memory of it from my childhood. My expectation were more than exceeded. I don't know how she fit such a great story in 220 pages! I must have flagged 50 pages for something that stood out to me.

I won't be doing a critical review, because it's all been said before, so I'll just talk about my favourite parts (because I want to remember them).

1. Hagrid is the most underrated character in this series. Half the things I flagged are just moments that Hagrid does something lovely for Harry. Or when you see how much Hagrid just wants to be a good man, and prove himself to others. He has so much pride in rescuing Harry as a baby, and again when it's time for Harry to start school. He brings him birthday cake, he takes him shopping, he organises tea to talk about his first week at a new school, and creates something for Harry to remember his parents. Hagrid is one of the first people in Harry's life that treats him with love and makes him feel safe.

2. Hermione and Harry make their achievements in very different way. Hermione sticks to the rules, works hard, and slowly builds her way up; meanwhile, Harry is a risk taker, gambling on high rewards and punishments. Hermione grows into a Gryffindor because of her friendship with Harry and Ron. I think she realises that taking risks sometimes has big, unintended rewards, in comparison (for example, when Harry becomes the youngest seeker at Hogwarts and receives a broom even though they're banned for first years, because he took the risk of getting the Remembrall back on his broom.) This is also seen with Neville who starts as a scared boy and by the end of the books he starts to stand up for himself. Hermione's transformation is a tad more subtle, but distinguishes her between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor.

3. I love how well everything connects together. Little gems hidden away that cleverly allude to later book plots.
Book 3 spoilers: At Ollivander's shop: "Your father [Harry], on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration." I love that from book one we're getting information about Padfoot.
"I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather - just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother - why, its brother gave you that scar." Both of these scenes in the shop, really reinforce some of the later elements of fate in this series. The wands know that Tom Riddle will be connected with someone else. The wands know that Harry's dad will use Transfiguration extensively.


Some quotes/things I liked:
* "Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee, which is a perfect map of the London Underground." - Albus Dumbledore.
* "Oh, these people's minds work in strange ways Petunia, they're not like you and me," said Uncle Vernon, trying to knock in a nail with a piece of cake Aunt Petunia had just brought him.
* "I know I don't have to. Tell yeh what, I'll get yer animal. Not a toad, toads went out of fashion years ago, yeh'd be laughed at - an' I don't like cats. They make me sneeze. I'll get yer an owl. All the kids want owls, they're dead useful, carry yer post an' everythin'." - Hagrid. I love that he's hip with what the kids want these days.
* 'He decided to call her Hedwig, a name he found in A History of Magic.' It's these little gems.
* '...the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban.' Revenge against the Twins was what really drove Voldemort to continue his quest to return.
* “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” - Albus Dumbledore
* "Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely those things which are worst for them." - Albus Dumbledore
* "Sent owls off ter all your parents' old school friends, askin' fer photos... Knew yeh didn' have any... D'yeh like it?" - Hagrid, being the most thoughtful person in this books.

There is probably room for some criticism. Honestly, I loved this so much that I didn't spend much thought on this. One thing I noticed, was Harry's innate ability to ride a broom, even though he's never used one or been introduced to one in his entire life - then being picked to be the youngest seeker because he's so amazing that they just have to break the school rules to put him on! This is pretty unlikely, because he doesn't even have any other transferable skills - like another spot that requires balance and control, I doubt the Dursley's even let Harry have a bike. There are a few other areas where this 'convenient skill' pops up - but none are super detrimental to the story. You know, if magic is real, and fate seems to exist, then it's wouldn't be super far-fetched that Harry has the same flying skills as his dad.

My other criticism is pretty typical, but damn Dumbledore, did you have to let a group of children think they were going to win the house cup, only to throw them some damn shade, give the other team 170 points, and change the banners in front of everyone. Slytherin doesn't equal evil - there would be some really hard working kids there that were devastated. Those points should have been sorted prior to the feast. ( )
  carmacreator | Jun 13, 2018 |
Reliving my childhood all over again! So magical and mystical, fun, exciting and heart-warming. I am instantly nostalgic to the mystery and suspense I felt as a child. I just love the Harry Potter series! ( )
  polyreaderamy | Jun 11, 2018 |
This book was challenging for me to get through and comprehend. Their are a lot of characters and I often got them confused, especially in the beginning of the story. Overall, this was a good read. I am not a huge fan of the book and I probably wouldn't continue on with the series, but I may watch the movies after reading the first book! The story is interesting and has a good plot, but it is not really my thing! I do think I would try to get this in the hands of readers in a classroom setting though. I like the over riding theme of good vs. evil, as well as the theme of friendship and teamwork that lays present throughout the book. I am confused as to why my mom never let me read this. After reading the book finally, I realize that although there is magic, it is nothing what everyone made it sound like when I was a child. There is nothing "bad" about this book at all. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I think it can teach valuable lessons about other things that don't even have to do with magic.

This book is also over 250 pages. I remember seeing somewhere that we got more points in our journal for that so I just thought I would throw that out there! ( )
  ashleyfray | Jun 11, 2018 |
I first read this my junior year of high school, and I fell in love with the story. I was borrowing the book from a friend, and when I got to the last page I immediately started over again (something my friend was none too pleased about; she took the book back from me). While I can't say that the writing is without fault, it's a fun and enjoyable read in a magical world. ( )
  shadrachanki | Jun 8, 2018 |
Overall I greatly enjoy Jim Dale's reading of this novel. He does an excellent job with the various voices (even if a few of them get muddled from time to time) and the audio quality is excellent. I did find, however, that for some reason the fact that they changed "philosopher's stone" to "sorcerer's stone" for the American edition was extra grating on my nerves in my most recent reading/listening of this book. I am not certain why that is the case.

There were actually a few things I had forgotten about since I last read the book, but in general there were no surprises. ( )
  shadrachanki | Jun 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 1475 (next | show all)
One can reasonably doubt that "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is going to prove a classic of children's literature, but Rowling, whatever the aesthetic weaknesses of her work, is at least a millennial index to our popular culture. So huge an audience gives her importance akin to rock stars, movie idols, TV anchors, and successful politicians. Her prose style, heavy on cliche, makes no demands upon her readers. In an arbitrarily chosen single page--page 4--of the first Harry Potter book, I count seven cliches, all of the "stretch his legs" variety.

How to read"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"? Why, very quickly, to begin with, perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do. is there any redeeming education use to Rowling? Is there any to Stephen King? Why read, if what you read will not enrich mind or spirit or personality? For all I know, the actual wizards and witches of Britain, or America, may provide an alternative culture for more people than is commonly realized.
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowling, J. K.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Astrologo, MarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bar-Hilel, GiliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, RufusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', WiebeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Escorihuela, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraga, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fries-Gedin, LenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, KlausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GrandPré, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Høverstad, Torstein BuggeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huws, EmilyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kay, JimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kibuishi, KazuCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marienė, ZitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matsuoka, HirokoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ménard, Jean-FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nic Mhaoláin, MáireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riglietti, SerenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tóth, Tamás BoldizsárTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vierikko, VesaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilharm, SabineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyler, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
for Jessica, who loves stories,
for Anne, who loved them too,
and for Di, who heard this one first.
First words
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
Quotations
The wand chooses the wizard, remember…I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter…After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things - terrible, yes, but great.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Initially published as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
The change to 'Sorcerer' is in the US title.

Please do not use the canonical title field to force one title over the other.
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Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (Novelist)
Haiku summary
Harry's a wizard
studies magic at Hogwarts
fights possessed teacher
(asbunny)
A wizard child
saves his school from a Dark Lord
and makes some new friends.
(marcusbrutus)
Orphaned a baby
but growing up unknowing
he is a wizard
(Firefox-Flame_dancer)
Went with a strange man

because he gave me chocolate.

Almost got murdered.

(CathWhitney)

No descriptions found.

(see all 5 descriptions)

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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