Audiobook recommendation- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone

If you haven’t listened to it before, you should really give it a go!

I’m going to start by saying I’ve caught COVID! I know! After 2 years of the pandemic, COVID finally caught-up with me and my wife, so this week we were both down with the virus. But it wasn’t all bad, I think the worse of the pandemic had been the anxiety and not knowing. Like, “How might it be?” “How severe could it get?” “Would I be that rare case…..?”

But, catching it, and now 5 days on and the worse is behind me, I’m glad to say that things honestly look more positive now! I have a more positive outlook in life, as we’re probably going to be dealing with COVID for years to come, and this wouldn’t be the first and last time I’m going to catch it. So, at least within myself, I know I’ve beaten it once, and I’ll beat it again! So, moving forwards like the 90s skate brand so eloquently put it, ‘No Fear!’

Thus unexpectantly my wife and I found ourselves in 7 days of home isolation- thankfully we both came down with the virus at the same time, so at least we could keep each other company. Passing time and the ability to entertain ourselves in the middle of the night was the biggest struggle- due to being unable to remain asleep because of the chills, the sweats, the difficulty breathing when lying down etc. So, after the first full day of COVID, we had to find something to pass the time, as I’ve realised, that being off work and having nothing to do, sucks!

So, finding 15 minutes to burn before our Wednesday Bible study session (which had moved back on-line as half of the group had COVID), we just wanted to watch something on Youtube, like some quick 5–10-minute clip which just passes the time. And the other week my wife was watching the Harry Potter 20-year anniversary show while I was in the other room, and I heard sound bites and was curious so I asked if we could find some clips from that program. But instead, we found some hour-long documentary about the making of the first film, it was probably a 10-year anniversary type program when they were wrapping up the movie series. So, it got us thinking, ‘what if we re-live the entire Harry Potter series again, but this time on audiobook?’

I only met my wife in 2008, so we had our own separate Harry Potter experiences. For me, I only started in my mid-twenties and all I knew of the series were through the audiobooks. As by that time I was already blind. For my wife, she had started to read the books while she was in High school, and by book 4, she was reading them as soon as they were released in hardcover. While I, I only listened to my first when book 6 was released, so there was a period where I was listening to them back-to-back as I had so much catching-up to do!

So, to re-listen or to listen to the audiobooks for the very first time, it seemed like a brilliant idea to pass time while recovering from COVID, as what helps time pass faster? Then with a good book!?

And there isn’t real need for me to review the book right? But what I’m going to say is this, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, a fan since a kid, and you’ve read all the books (multiple times), and you’ve watched all the films (multiple times), but you’ve never listened to the books? I’d say you must try it!

Stephen Fry, the narrator of the books really brings the book to life! So, listening to it, is like experiencing a director’s cut version of the film! Which is now 3 times as long! So, 3 times the enjoyment! And we all can admit that the acting in the earlier films were a bit rubbish, but the performances by Harry, Ron, and Hermione right from the get-go is outstanding! Utterly first rate! Because….. They’re voiced by Stephen Fry, who has a real gift for voice acting and making you think that they’re 50 different people acting alongside him. And once you listen to the audiobook, and if you think to yourself “Hey, the voices in the book sound exactly like the voices in the movie?” Like right down to the various accents and timbre? Well, it’s because the original audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, was recorded in 1999, two years after the original release of the novel. While the first movie was filmed and released in 2001. So, it’s no far stretch of the imagination, to assume that the Producers and the Director probably had heard the audiobooks first and based their actor’s accents and speech cadences on what they had heard in the audiobooks. And this is super important! Because the last thing you want in this late stage in your Harry Potter fandom, is to hear a version of Hagrid or Dumbledore which doesn’t gel with your memories of them from your childhood and create this weird disconnect for you. You know what I mean? Right? So yeah, don’t worry about that, the audiobooks and the movies go hand in hand! Just like Dudley and his Smelting stick. Hehehe.  

So, like I said, listening to the books is just like an extended version of the movie. So, you can re-enjoy the series again, over hours and hours. And I know it doesn’t need to take illness to get you back into Harry Potter as an adult. My sister is re-living the Harry Potter audiobooks with her kids, as they’re 7 and 9 years old now and my sister has deemed them old enough to experience the books for the first time. And I’m sure my sister’s enjoying the books in a whole new way now as well, considering that she had read the Harry Potter books for the first and only time in French (her attempts to maintain her High school French). So yeah, there’s so many reasons for you, an adult to re-live the joys of Harry Potter all over again!

To start listening to the Harry Potter series on Audible, just click HERE! It’s time to return to Hogwart!      

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