Thursday, 8 October 2009

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [Audio book]

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
Read by Jim Dale

Synopsis: The sixth book of the Harry Potter series continues the darker themes started in previous books. Harry begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort. His history and his methods. Life for Harry also becomes more complicated, his two best friends spend a large portion of the book not talking to each other and Harry starts having feelings for someone. Then there is the ever present feud with Professor Snape, essays to write, Quidditch practices to organize and matches to play, and Professor Slughorn to avoid.

My Thoughts: It is hard to have thoughts about this book without spoiling it for anyone so I am going to say that there may be spoilers here. I love the mixture of absolute hilarity (WonWon and LavLav being a personal favourite of mine) with the seriousness of the growing darkness. I can sometimes feel like Rowling spends a lot of time in her books setting up the action scenes and then they are over in a flash. This is also true in this book. I love the richness this adds to the characters but at the same time it becomes predictive and repetitive at times. I could completely understand Dumbledores frustration with Harry when Harry refuses to let the Snape/Malfoy connection go. But then again I work with teenagers and boy when they internalise something it is STUCK so it is rather in character. On the whole I do love this book even though the ending makes me very sad. Just sad.

Audio book: You can see my thoughts on the narration of Jim Dale here. Since my views are still the same I won't bore you with the same comments again.


Amanda said...

This is one of my two favorite books in the series.

I can't imagine listening to the audio, though. The characters all have their own voices in my head, so hearing them spoken would be very jarring. I went back and read your audio thoughts on Order, and Dean Thomas with a Scottish accent? Really? That's just bizarre...

Zee said...

Most of the time the voices don't bother me so much but Dean's really does. He is a West Ham supporter, which to me means he is from London. He CAN'T have a Scottish accent. Especially not such a thick one. Bellatrix voice is the other one that really bothers me.

I resisted audio books for a very long time but a few years ago I had an awful commute where I couldn't listen to the radio (the signal died for a really long time) and I discovered that audio books were pretty good.

Belle said...

I'm listening to Goblet of Fire right now - Dale's narration is pretty good in that one so far. I just read what you wrote though about Bellatrix having a French accent in Dale's version - I'm not looking forward to that! I'd love to get my hands on the Stephen Fry versions. A friend of mine in Australia has listened to them all and says he's just amazing. So far, though, I've been liking Dale quite a lot.