Peter Meredith's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

In my gradual return to books after my harrowing experience with Mockingjay, I've built myself up to Harry Potter:
Five stars to a book that is what it is and isn't what it's not. Make sense? This is a middle school children's book and when it's read as such it's great. I see people giving this one or two stars and I scratch my head in wonderment. Do they compare it to Shakespeare or Hemmingway? Do they read it as it was meant to be read or are they bringing snooty, intellectual baggage to the table. You are smart. We get it. You are all a bunch of geniuses—now try having some fun!
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Reading Progress

06/10 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Kaitlyn Is this your first time reading the series? I'm excited to see your thoughts as the story progresses and the plot gets a bit darker.

message 2: by Peter (last edited May 30, 2012 05:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peter Meredith Naw. I read all these aloud to my kids as they came out(for some reason Kreacher came out sounding Mexican?)I just like to stir up trouble.

Kaitlyn Peter wrote: "Naw. I read all these aloud to my kids as they came out(for some reason Creature came out sounding Mexican?)I just like to stir up trouble."

Hahaha! Hey, Kreacher could totally be a Mexican house elf. Also, trouble stirring is fun.

Kressel Housman Peter wrote: "Naw. I read all these aloud to my kids as they came out(for some reason Kreacher came out sounding Mexican?)I just like to stir up trouble."

Well, why not? Winky sounded like a black slave and Dobby somewhat Chinese.

M.J. Webb Well done Peter for reading a novel for children and judging it as such. Loved your comments and, as a writer of teenage fantasy myself, was really pleased to see that point made so well. I have received one or two reviews from people expecting complex plots and dialogue and I've had to scratch my head a little. lol

Peter Meredith Good luck with your writing MJ.

Mikela My daughter gave this book to me for Christmas many years ago and I at first wondered why on earth she gave me a kids book. I was so captivated that I rushed out and bought the next two. This may not be great literature but it's a great story for all ages and I love the whole series.

Will Byrnes I gave Dobby a very Irish lilt when reading to mine, but I like the Mexican notion.

Harry comes as close as one can to just pure fun in a read. And even when first exposed to these wonders I was very far from childhood myself.

Kristina I gave it two stars because I found it boring and wasn't compelled to read the next book in the series. (And, yes, I do struggle with giving a book a low rating simply because it isn't to my taste--but I've yet to find a satisfactory method of rating books.) I do agree with your "book that is what it is and isn't what it's not" stance, though. I've given plenty of lighter books a four-star rating because I enjoyed them and thought they accomplished their goal (entertainment, humour, whatever).

message 10: by Patty (new)

Patty You are too funny!!!

Sebastian I see that like many others your concept of fun is closely related to the kind of books like HP, Hunger Games, Divergent and such. Well with all due respect sir if a book as to be overly simplistic, high on cliche, and with little or no wisdom in it, well I pass. You see I probably fall under the category of people that, as you mentioned, read far superior fare like Shakespeare, Hemingway and such. Now I do indeed have fun reading those masterpieces and part of it is that I strongly think that they are not limited to classrooms and should be appreciated for their unparalleled qualities. I don't know if it makes sense to you since you "built yourself up with HP". And I certainly comprehend why you YA readers are so compelled with such mediocre books and why most of you despise superior fare; part of it relies on the sheer fact that you will probably not find yourself engaged with such "boring, dumb and annoying" story lines. Well I guess I am wrong though and should read books like HP and such, that are nothing more than an i-phone, a car, or a pack of Skittles: a sheer product of corporations.

Peter Meredith How dare you compare Harry Potter to Skittles! Wait...I suppose that's completely my point. Skittles(or what have you) have their place as does Harry Potter, or The Three Investigators, or Nancy Drew. I read the Harry Potter books aloud to my children and in this way helped to make readers out of them. They are what they are, i.e. children's books, and they should be read and rated with that in my mind.
Now if you really want to take me to task, read my review on The Great Gatsby.

Sebastian I do see the noble purpose in your actions. As a kid, in third grade, I read all of the Harry Potter books in less than two months, at the time I did not merely enjoyed them, I loved them. But like many other so called young readers I just came to a sudden stop. J.K.Rowling's novels did not teach me how to read, they taught how to read Harry Potter and such. So time passes and in years I keep on looking for this standard. It had not been for my high school teacher I would probably spend my leisure time reading HP still. He honestly taught me how to read and why. And so I started to appreciate superior fare such as Shakespeare, Cervantes, T.S. Eliot, F.Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Sigmund Freud and many others.

The fact that Harry Potter is a children novel is present in my mind. But if you are implying that children book cannot be on the same level as Shakespeare and such I say you are mistaken. I am not going to assume you implied it but just for the fact there is a great book by Harold Bloom: Stories and Poems for extremely smart children (just click here I am not God and the way you decide to raise your offspring is solely your business. But again just for an exchange of opinions between readers I believe that even in adulthood fairy tales can be part of superior fare.

I don't know what you meant by "take you to task" reading your review of The Great Gatsby, but it was something that doesn't quite match my definition. Yes I have to agree with you on the fact that Daisy is rather shallow, or pretends to be, and Gatsby is pretty darn obsessed with her. But is that all? I am glad that you pointed out the fact that all of the main characters are tired of money; The Great Gatsby has been a main critique on The American Dream since its publication. You weren't intrigued by Gatsby all that much? In total honesty I wasn't either; the small talk on Gatsby would be somewhat the same in today's world, people will always talk. But have you considered to include in your review the majestic writing style of Fitzgerald? Weren't you fascinated by how he described a passionate moment such as Gatsby kissing Daisy:

"He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete".

Gatsby is not merely attracted to the dumb girl on the block, he is in complete love with her. I guess you may say I am cheesy and all that but I invite you to take the time and read those lines again. In his own mind Gatsby is a god and kissing this girl would mean for him the end of his angelic view of her. There is so much more to write about Gatsby and I would strongly advise to read essays on it such as:

Bloom’s How to Write about F Scott Fitzgerald
Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations
Bloom’s Literary Themes – The American Dream

Peter Meredith I rated Gatsby a 2.5 for the very reasons you state, Sebastian. There were many such instances of beautiful prose, unfortunately they were buried in such a dull tale that they lacked the punch they might have.
I have never heard of Bloom, which is funny since he said the same thing about me. I will keep him in mind as I have a grandson due in two weeks time and, whether by nature or nurture, he will be a reader.

Sebastian I find it rather interesting the fact that you don't know Bloom since he is the leading critic of this age. He wrote one of the most controversial books of our age The Western Canon:

It is a rather vast work that literally includes hundreds of literary works. It is also one of my greatest influences. He also wrote a review on Harry Potter. I suggest you to take a look at it. It will make my point more clear.

Just scroll down it's his only review.

Samantha Pedroza Nothing makes me happier than this review!

Kathleen I am reading a Harry potter book too!

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