Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by JK Rowling

There are books I’ve read, and reread often. Some are challenging to review because the emotions that I felt then are difficult to express. Others are challenging because they mean so much to me, that I don’t know if what I express will be enough to convey what that book means to me.

It’s wonderful to slip into the world that a book brings into my imagination. That experience in itself is magical. When the book is about a world of magic, it only adds to it. I first read this book nearly two decades back. Since then, I’d have reread it maybe ten times, if not more. Writing a review about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone after so long feels strange, yet joyous. I’m pretty sure most would have read it already, or heard about it from friends etc. so even details may not end up as spoilers.

Harry Potter lost his parents when he was a child, and has since grown up with his relatives. The Dursleys don’t seem to have any love for him though, if they do, they don’t show it. He’s had a normal childhood, but strange things seem to happen to him at times. When he finds a letter addressed to him, he finds it peculiar. Though Uncle Vernon disposes of that quickly, the sender of the letter seems determined to make sure that Harry receives it one way or another. On his eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant named Rubeus Hagrid finds him, and gives him the letter. Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has been accepted at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And thus begins an adventure, in a new world away from the eyes of Muggles (non-magic folk), with new friends and rivals, and perhaps even an enemy Harry didn’t know he had made the moment he was born.

There’s magic in all of us, I believe. This book shows a few such examples. Like the love of a mother, be it Lily or Molly; the value of friendship, between Harry, Hermione and Ron, or even with Neville. I can remember reading this book for the first time, and the smile that was on my face when I read those fun moments, like what happened at the zoo, the events of Halloween night or even the sorting ceremony. I loved the writing on the Mirror of Erised and wondered what I might see if I stood before it. I remember quotes from it too, most prominently, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” It was engaging from first page to last back then, and I finished it in a couple of days. That still remains even when I reread. I loved the characters – Professor Flitwick and Professor Dumbledore were quite wonderful too, in addition to the main characters. When I had read it for the first time, I didn’t predict the twist or the ending, and it came as an unexpected surprise.

It’s quite a different experience reading a book for the first time, and rereading a book for the nth time. I wish each time I read this book felt like the first time I’m reading, but that’s not possible of course. So I make do with savoring the memories, and feeling them as they come flooding back when I reread. This was, is, and will be one of my favorite books ever.


A Score Of 10 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Series: Harry Potter Series #1
Author(s): JK Rowling Genre: Fantasy
ISBN/ASIN: B019PIOJYU Publisher: Pottermore

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
19th February 2018)

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