Review by ladylaw (2009-09-16)
The first book in the Harry Potter series is a must-read, it introduces the reader to all the characters and locations, and in the meanwhile tells the story of Harry's first year at Hogwarts. It is both funny and exciting, although (compared to the later Harry Potter books) it is more directed at children, and not as 'dark' as the last books in the series.
Review by feestverp (2007-01-28)
At last comparisons with Dahl are justified. Reading this book is a true joy. Rowling has created an imaginative world, filled with colourful characters, a world with a complex history and not without dark edges. Most important are the writing, marked by a delightful style and detailed descriptions, and the great plotting.
Review by nathanielsgrrrl (2006-06-20)
I never thought I'd read Harry Potter, for it was a childrens book. One day there was nothing on TV but one of the Harry Potter movies, and I had nothing to read. So I watched, and then ran to the bookstore to read more about these characters that I was instantly in love with. While the prose in this book was written for children, that didn't matter. I was from page 1 hooked. This is a phenomenal series of books. And with each successive book becomes more and more enthralling.
Review by archaic (2006-05-15)
I think that this book is a great start to the series. It has characters that are real and have real life problems. The setting of the book I found was comfortable and you can easily picture it. The storyline I thought was good. At times I found myself very intrigued. All together I think that the characters, setting, and storyline all came together for a good book.
Review by lord ombra (2005-12-09)
I enjoyed the first novel in the Harry Potter franchise very much so. It had a good plot, filled with many twists and suprises, and has a great amount of detail that keeps you interested, rather then just boring you entirely. Overall, I would give it an 8.2 out of 10, but I don't know how to do specific ratings; only 1, 2, 3, and so on. If anyone could please tell me, that would be great. Thankyou.
Review by predsy (2005-03-20)
Like many of us, I was a bit sceptical about the entire Harry Potter thing. I tend to avoid things that get lots of media attention, as often theyíre not worth it. Until some friends dragged me along to the pictures to go and see the film, I had no idea what the entire Harry Potter stories were about. The film however gripped me, I enjoyed it very much and decided to buy the books, as, to tell you the truth, I couldnít wait for the next film to come out to know what happened to the Potter boy.
Even though Harry Potter was originally written for children, itís one of those books that appeal to adults as well. Itís funny, witty, the characters are really well though-of, and the entire story gets you aching for more!
I liked it very much, I have read all of the Harry Potter books by now, and even more than once! I would recommend it to everybody!
Review by marcelobbf (2005-01-05)
I believe that people should think about this one as the beginning, it shows the characters, defines them and there is a good portion of action in it.
It actually surprised me how I enjoyed so much this so called children's book
Review by goldenphoenix (2005-01-01)
A thoroughly decent children's book, with plenty of twists and turns. Every chapter leaves questions unanswered; a real page-turner. It is a fantasy book, but one doesn't have to be a fantasy fan to enjoy it as it also combines wit and the magic formula of the school-story, making it appeal to a wider audience. Rowling uses and incredible amount of detail to describe the magical world, really entrancing the reader.
It is not, however, as mature as the later books in the series, so those who have read it and perhaps found the story good but the language slightly patronising, should not be deterred from carrying on with reading the series.
Review by lord kallor (2004-12-17)
Much as I would like to slag this book of in a major way i have to admit its phenomenal success means it demands another look................................
my conclusion is that 1) 1,000,000+ kids have been brainwashed or that 2) there was up to this point a bizzare lack of wizard orientated young male lead charecters.
Yes this book is pretty good if you can stomach the cheese but no it is not the best thing since man learnt to write 6/10
Review by tollbaby (2004-11-09)
J.K. Rowling has hit the jackpot with her Harry Potter series. I put off reading them as long as I could. I tend to turn my nose up at anything that causes a mass furor, simply because I tend to be disappointed. Well, I finally read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone shortly before the movie came out because my mom wanted to take my kids to see it.
I could NOT put this book down!!! I read it in ONE day, I was so enthralled by the story and characters. I have since read it as a bedtime story (one chapter at a time, obviously) to my two children, and they've both grown to love it.
The characters are charming and enjoyable, the descriptions are very vivid, and the fantastic world that Rowling creates is a wonderful place to visit... if only we could stay!
Review by biggles (2004-09-18)
Childish book, lousy characters and a weak story, does not deserve it's reputation not even as a child's book... It's more marketing than value! (3/10)
Review by Mariko (2003-05-25)
Deserves neither the exuberant praise nor the enthusiastic bashing it's nonetheless received. It's a solid, fun, and at times surprisingly mature story, and kids who aren't used to reading or adults who aren't used to fantasy will find that it's not so intimidating as some other works. Those who are used to both will enjoy it just as much.
Review by rayinte (2003-03-09)
Ahh, Harry Potter. It's an excellent read for anyone with a remote liking for fantasy. Rowling did some great research into mythology and folklore for some of her references, and there are piles of cleverly-hidden jokes that older readers will probably notice after the second or third reading.
If nothing else, however, we have Harry Potter to thank for a new generation of readers. Maybe some other book would have come along to introduce kids to the fun that can be found in books... but I doubt it.
In the UK, where Rowling lives, it was titled "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." That title was changed in the USA for dubious reasons. Of the speculation I have heard over the past few years on this subject, the one I hear most often is that "They" didn't want American Kids to think that "Sorcery," which is not real, has anything to do with Philosophy, which *is* real. A rather interesting lesson plan idea for teachers, where the historical reference of "Philosopher's Stone" can be tied in to Alchemy, is therefore not as obvious as it should be.
On this book in particular, it *is* a fairly standard school story, with fairly standard character types. There are some very interesting plot twists, however, so that the reader is kept guessing about the details of what is really going on; we see it from Harry's point of view, and so since the faculty tries to "protect" the students by keeping them in the dark, we are prevented from seeing the entire picture until the very end.
Review by dougthonus (2003-03-08)
This is probably a great series for kids. I wish it was around when I was in the 7th grade. As for reading it as an adult, it's good enough, and reads fast enough that you'll still probably enjoy it quite a bit. I think this might be one of the better books I've read at appealing to a wide range of audiences, and certainly the best in the fantasy genre. It's pretty good for a nice quick read. I think I read the first 2 books in 1 weekend, and then had to spend 3-4 days a piece on 3 and 4. It seems like the series took off a bit better then the author expected, and it seems like not enough planning was done for the series as a whole.
Review by transient0 (2003-03-07)
All in all a pretty mediocre boarding school story told to a wizards and witches backdrop. The Harry Potter series is all right as children's books, but not of much interest as literature(in my opinion of course). For a more interesting and hard-hitting take on the subject, read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
btw, this book is properly titled "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", I'm not sure why the title was changed in America.