Larissa's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
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Jun 13, 2016

liked it
bookshelves: kinder, read-while-traveling, re-reads, 2009, audio, series
Read in August, 2009

A note on the audio book, which I started listening to while doing the dishes so that I'd remember the story before I saw the movie (July - August 2009): Jim Dale is actually a great narrator, with a nice sense of accents, and not too overblown a preference for 'background noise,' if you will. (For instance, he doesn't actually scream when characters are said to scream, or laugh loudly when they do. It's effective minimalism.)

My only complaint at the moment is the way he decided to read Hermione and Snape. Hermione's rather weepy/whiny/pouty as he plays her, and while she's certainly a grating character at times, I think this aspect is rather overplayed as he voices her. And Snape, well...I am clearly not going to be able to vote for an interpretation that is not Alan Rickman (who is...delightful), but even that bias aside, I find this Snape a bit too weedling, too nasal and petulant. I far prefer to think of him sounding almost bored all the time, sarcastic and sardonic, but never truly ruffled--even when he is. (More like Rickman!) But these complaints aside, I am really enjoying my first foray into audiobook-land.

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Reading Progress

06/13 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-3 of 3) </span> <span class="smallText">(3 new)</span>

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message 1: by leigh (last edited Aug 13, 2009 12:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

leigh I too have been visiting audio land and its so nice to have someone read a story to you. I like to listen to them on my drive to/from work.

I actually listened to a bar debate on whether or not listening to audio books counts as reading. I was Switzerland during this debate as I don't care, I just enjoy books in any form. Anyhow the debate was rather heated, I'd love to know your opinion.

Larissa You're right--it really is nice to have someone read to you! At the end of this Harry Potter installment, the narrator/voice actor actually does this little bit about how audiobooks provide the same educational benefits--increased vocab, less TV, etc--to children as having people read to them, but is often a more accessible option for busy parents. I actually think they are kind of great--not something I would do for all books, as it is a little hard for me to keep focused all the time and I can't really just sit and listen to them without doing anything else, but I loved this as a diversion while cooking dinner or doing stuff around the house. It makes you think about the book differently and is really soothing in a way that having the TV blasting in the background really isn't (no commercials, for one). For me, it's also a great cheater technique--I didn't want to dedicate all the time to rereading the book, but this way I can keep up my other reading and still get to revisit this at the same time. I'm definitely going to give this another go--not sure with what yet, though--any suggestions?

leigh I have Marcelo in the real world on CD, I’ll loan it to you when you’re in town. I loved it and actually read the book as well. It has a terribly slow beginning but it’s well worth getting through. Lincoln Hope does the narration and I quite like him. He does a lot of YA books and has a very soothing voice; I heard good things about the audio version of King Dork that he also narrates.

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