Saturday 12 October 2013

Spoken Word Book Review - Harry Potter Series

Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely love Harry Potter, it's almost an obsession. :P

I have read all of the books about a dozen times each and I still can't get enough, I have seen the movies and been to the Warner Brother's Studio tour in London. I still can't believe how long it has been since the last Harry Potter came out, but my love for it hasn't diminished.

I was talking to a colleague at work about how I wanted to read them all again but I had too much else to read and so couldn't justify spending the time on these and neglecting my other books. (I am permanantly behind on reviews at the moments). So she suggested that I listened to them in my car. I have to be in my car for journeys anyway so why not have these on as I go instead of the radio.
I was hesitant at first, the only other spoken word book I had listened to was dreadful - the voice was too stiff and sounded robotic (the box said it was an actress but she had no expression). But I was assured that Stephen Fry was incredible.
I had seen him a bit on the TV and quite liked him so I decided I would trust her and order the first one.

I didn't want to review each one as I finished as you already know I am going to say I love the story, that J.K Rowling is a genius and that these books are pure magic, excitement and something truly special. Instead I wanted to review my experience with the spoken words.

It's taken me about 7 months to listen to all 7 books. The CD's averaged around 65 tracks per disc of about 1minute 30 each. And ranged from 10 CD's to 24 CD's (depending on the book length). It was a long time between starting and finishing but for the past 7 months I have looked forward to going out in my car knowing I would be able to listen a little more.

Stephen Fry is just as incredible as I was promised he would be. He speaks clearly, reads with feeling and does all the voices. It's like having a full cast recorded by just one man. And it brought the magic of Harry Potter to life in a whole new way. His voice brings the story to life and as I was driving along I found myself, laughing, gasping, reciting along with it at the bits I knew by heart - you'd be surprised by how much I do know. :D I also found myself reacting to what he would say - for instance if he read the 'Ron raised his eyebrows in disbelief' - I would be driving along and raising my eyebrows. Think I probably looked a bit weird but it was great.

I had worried that I would get too absorbed by the book and that it would take my focus off the road, but that wasn't the case at all, it was just like having the radio on only a hundred times more interesting. Fry's voice was smooth and relaxed - so did not distract, only entertained.
The only niggle was the strange accent he gave Tonks, it really irritated me at first, but it soon became rather endearing and just part of 'her'. The rest of the voices were spot on!

If you haven't listened to Harry Potter on spoken word I highly recommend it. Even if you have read the books a thousand times, I think everyone should listen to them at least once. And if you've never read them - what the heck have you been doing? and give these a try.
I don't know who narrates them in America, but if you can get the Stephen Fry version I would.

Am I gushing too much? Being a crazy fan girl?

Oh well, this series rocks!!!

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