Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Reviewed by Coral


Since it has become the most widely read series on the planet I'm just going to assume I don't need to summarize the plot and can just jump straight into the review portion of this entry.

Now I know that certain people have problems with this book, mainly all the fantasy - or "sorcery" - aspects of this book. I think that's all ridiculous. I love fantasy books and I certainly don't see anything in this book that can be considered "blasphemous" or overtly offensive in any way. No, my main problem with this book is that it's sort of childish, with plot holes so big you can drive trucks through them.

First off, how ridiculous is it that Harry is living with relatives who hate everything to do with the wizarding world? How can they protect him against Voldemort? Why would the wizarding world have allowed their hero to be raised outside of the magical world, ignorant to his importance, ignorant to his parent's entire life, ignorant to the existence of the entire wizarding society? It makes no sense at all.

Did the Dursleys strike anyone else as just a little bit on the abusive side? I mean, Harry sleeps in the cupboard under the stairs which has made him too small and skinny for his age; his cousin is constantly hitting him while his aunt and uncle do nothing about it; Harry's uncle manhandles him more than once in trying to keep Harry away from his own mail. I can't see how it can be called anything else.

So Dumbledore, powerful wizard that even Voldemort fears, gets his hands on a magical item that Voldemort wants and what does he do with it? Does he keep it by him at all times so that he'll always know it's safe and secure? No, he stuffs it into a mirror and hides it behind a series of "complex" tasks so that three eleven-year-olds can stumble upon it. Those are some real great hiding skills there, Dumbledore. I know you don't really qualify as a villain, but you may want to read up on Peter's Evil Overlord's rules, Mr. Dumbledore. Especially #85: I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button." Because the whole hiding plan could have (and really should have) been a whole lot less complex.

So, you can all look at me like I'm weird or something but, even as a resolute fantasy lover, I found nothing all that enjoyable in this book.

Grade: F