As stated on the title of this review, its not the actual book I’m going to talk about, but rather the audio version. Since most, if not all, have read the book or at least has seen the movies, I won’t go into details regarding the synopsis of the novel. Yes, I know the book is not the same as the movie, but you get the main idea. This is my honest thoughts and opinions on the audio version of J.K Rowling’s best selling series, so please, if I said anything bad or things that you didn’t like, don’t hate me for it.
I have read this particular book more times than I can remember and every time I pick it up I can’t help but fall in love with Hogwarts and the wizarding world all over again. Many have told me that the audiobook is fantastic and Jim Dale, the narrator, does justice to the voices of the characters and he brings even more life to Rowling’s already vivid world. With such high praises, I can’t help but give in to peer pressure and even if I don’t end up liking it, I at least get the chance to re-read Harry Potter all over again. So its a win, win situation.
Now, if you have never listened to an audiobook in your whole entire reading life, I feel that this is a good place for you to start. I can see why many enjoy Jim Dale’s narration. He gives each character life in his many voices and you will be able to identify each of the characters in the book. If you have watched the movie as much as I have, then the voices might be a hit or miss for you. There are some that I enjoyed and some where I just thought it didn’t suit the character and there are others that made me chuckle each time I hear it. I know that the audiobook was released way before the movies, but I can’t help compare them. I think that Professor Dumbledore and Hagrid’s voices are dead on to Richard Harris and Robbie Coltrane’s. The first time I heard it, I almost thought that maybe they lent their voices to Jim Dale for the book (hahaha!). I did have problems with Hermoine’s voice. I love, love Emma Watson, so when I heard the voice that was used for her, it slightly broke my heart. The audio version sounded very whinny and high pitched, I get that she’s suppose to sound like a know-it-all, I just can’t accept that’s how she sounds like. I would rather keep Emma’s voice in my head. The two that really stood out for me, and made me hold my stomach in laughter, is Mr. & Mrs. Dursley. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. Mr. Dursley sounds like a cross between Marvin the Martian, from Looney Toons, and Mr. Bean. Yea, you heard me right, Mr. Bean! I really can’t describe Mrs. Dursley’s voice, but I think her voice is only hilarious because it sounds very much like Mr. Dursley’s, in a feminine way. That being said, I did enjoy the overall narration of the book. I love the magical sounding voice of Jim Dale and to be honest, it kinda sounds like Professor Dumbledore is reading the to me. I think he did a stupendous job in this audiobook.
Even with the misses on some of the voices, I didn’t really mind it that much. I liked it enough that I would actually listen to the second book, but it’s not the best I’ve heard. There are some books where their audio is so great that I can’t help but associate the voices to the character when I’m actually reading the physical book. For me, this is what makes an audio very good. The problem is, I feel that I’m biased, only because I love the movie actors that plays our beloved characters so much, that I associate those people and their voices to their counterparts. That being said, I still highly recommend the audio, because it’s a different way to “reading” the Harry Potter books. I feel that when I’m listening to the audio, I find bits and pieces that I missed when actually reading the physical book. So, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, and are planning on re-reading the series all over again, maybe you can keep the audiobook in mind. Try it out. Like I said, like it or not, its a win, win situation.