Sunday, August 12, 2012

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Book Review by Vaishali Sethi:

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” This is the opening line of not just this book but rather the welcome note to a whole new world. A truly ‘magical’ world. If one enters this, he/she cannot leave without a ‘scar’ or a ‘dark mark’ on the heart (both in the positive).

The book opens with strange things happening in London, strange people celebrating and a couple of quaint looking men along with a lady who could transform into a cat, leaving a baby on somebody’s doorstep.

As the baby, named Harry Potter, grows up amidst atrocities by his aunt and her little family (the Dursley's), numerous strange events keep happening around him. He can turn his teacher’s wig blue, talk to snakes and so on, until one day, a half giant, Hagrid turns up to tell Harry that he is actually a wizard and that he must attend the school for magical education. Harry is also told about his past, something which the Dursley’s had always kept quiet about.

As Harry begins school, a whole new world lies ahead. Harry and the readers alike discover new friends, new foes and most appropriately new challenges. He discovers that he is immensely famous as he is the only one who has ever survived the killing curse, that too at the age of 1.

He along with his classmates and friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger accidently discover a 12 foot mountain troll in one of the forbidden areas of the school and thus set out to unearth the mystery behind it. Troubles await them, but they are brave.

They get into deeper trouble. Hermione with her superb magical skills, Ron with his prowess at magical chess, and Harry with his wit and instincts are able to reach the crux of the mystery when meets Lord Voldemort, the evil one who killed his (Harry’s) parents and in attempting to kill him had given him a scar instead and somehow lost his own body. Do read the wonderful book to find out what happened next?

This book makes the base for all further Harry Potter books. Most of the character introduced here move up to the next books. Here Harry actually comes out of his cupboard and embraces a whole new world, his world. His companionships with Ron, Hermione, Neville and so on, which find their buds here, shall go on to become some of the best known flowers in the world of literature.

The best aspect about the book is the innocence in the writing style and also the characters. Even little children are able to read, understand and enjoy the book. The mesmerizing, powerful and gripping storyline makes sure that there can hardly be any criticism of the book.

When I first read this book, I was sad that it only had six more parts to it. I am sure, even if it has 60 sequels, we could do with more. A most definite must read for one and all. Enjoy!! 

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