The film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, is due to be released in cinemas shortly. A few weeks ago I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on Blu-ray and became excited about seeing the final instalment.
I was saddened however when I realised that my 14-year relationship with Harry will soon come to an end. No more new books, no more new movies. So, I decided to relive the experience and start once more from the very beginning.
Reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) again reminded me why J.K. Rowling is a genius. Her imagination, creativity and humour permeate every page. Harry, Ron and Hermione are full of life and all the supporting characters have such vivid personality.
Immediately upon finishing Philosopher’s Stone I started to re-read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998). My memory of this book was that it was my least favourite in the series; a bit of a rehash of Philosopher’s Stone but with an annoying elf and a flying car thrown in for adventure. But having read it for a second time I feel I had misjudged it terribly. It was much more complex than I recalled and had several threads which link it to later books in the series. Again, Rowling’s clever wit and brilliant storytelling engrossed me. The way she handled the themes of race and class was also compelling.
I am now off to start Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), which I remember fondly as my favourite in the series. Though I seem to recall that each book was my favourite until the next one was released!