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“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J. K. Rowling [English Review]

Ciao a tutti!

Oggi inizio la settimana presentandovi questo nuovo progetto: le recensioni in inglese. Si tratta di articoli scritti interamente in inglese (appena finisco di spiegare, dirò addio all’italiano 😁) a proposito di tutto ciò che leggo o guardo in lingua originale. Non so se saranno molti o solo degli articoli estemporanei, ma mi piace l’idea di ampliare la ricezione del blog, anche se fosse solo per una volta al mese. Perciò…

Hi readers 😊

I want to start my new English reviews column with a masterpiece of British contemporary literature: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by (my most beloved) J. K. Rowling!

Title Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Author J. K. Rowling Date 2014 (first published 1997) Publisher Bloomsbury Series Harry Potter Saga Format Paperback Pages 332

Harry Potter has never heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

As the first chapter of a very well-known saga, Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone just introduces us in Rowling fictional world like we are walking on tiptoes. Few details at the beginning of the story give a summary introduction to what will be Harry Potter’s story and conditions in Dursley’s house and then his discovery of the magical universe of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But then, at the edge of Harry’s eleventh birthday, everything changes and a life that seemed quite normal stats to show its oddities (in Dursley’s viewpoint), which become (for Harry and for us) the best thing that could happen in our existences. J. K. Rowling creates a world in which we cannot but feel involved and part of it. While discovering all the wonderful, amazing and magic features and characters of this novel, we share Harry’s school days and then his first year at Hogwarts, feeling like we are eleven again, and we start learning all those funniest and strangest subjects which have made that British school famous all over the world. And we can do this thanks to Rowling’s style and the narrative forms she uses, above all the third-person narration and her choice for simpler constructions and words.

“The truth” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. However, I shall answer your questions unless I have a very good reason not to, in which case I beg you’ll forgive me. I shall not, of course, lie”

I’ve loved all the characters, starting from trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione (how can we not love them? Harry the courageous, Ron the kindhearted and Hermione the clever), but, having read this book in its Italian edition many years ago – when I was twelve, if I’m right –, I’ve found pleasantly interesting to discover again also the enigmatic Dumbledore, Malfoy and his utterly stupid misbehaviour, McGonagall’s sharp eyes and also Longbottom and Hagrid’s clumsiness. This novel, as it may seem on the surface, is all but a simple childish story. It hides different major themes, like friendship above differences/prejudices or self-confidence improvement, which approach different, and sometimes difficult, issues in easier ways and styles.

To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.

Everyone, both younger and older readers, can find a message in this novel or a proof of its value as something more than a magic tale for children, even if it has been created for them, to help them improving as human beings, emphatically able to get in touch with others!

No need to add how much I’ve loved this book 😊 I’ve already read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (it’ll be our next English review!) but I can’t wait to buy all the other books and find out if they’re as beautiful as this one – I have no doubts about it, though!

Let me know if you’ve read Harry Potter‘s saga first book and if you also enjoyed it!

Have a nice day! Federica 💋

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