“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J. K. Rowling, read by Stephen Fry

Not having time for proper reading, and having run out of podcasts, I decided it was about time I listened to the mellifluous Mr Fry reading the final instalment of the Harry Potter series. I hadn’t actually read the book since the day it was released, so while I could remember the plot, it was nice to go back and remind myself how the series that I know so well (as I’ve read and listened to all the other books many, many times).

I remember how I felt when I read the book (the camping section was far too long, self indulgent at times, and liked the epilogue but it was a bit twee), but I have to say, I actually enjoyed it much more having it read to me. I no longer felt it dragged while under canvas, and it actually rocked along at quite a pace. I suspect this has more to do with hearing the dulcet tones of my favourite narrator sweeping me into a fantasy world of wizards and witches than the actual quality of the writing, which actually proves that there is definitely a benefit to audiobooks!

My favourite of the series is Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban, which I think was the strongest in terms of story, plotting and writing, and all the subsequent books were too long and, for my money, needed some serious editing, but I suspect the publishers may have become slightly sycophantic towards their leading moneymaker, and allowed her to do whatever she wanted. Deathly Hallows is by no means the worst of the series (that falls by a long margin to Order of the Phoenix), but still suffers from an over indulgence of a popular author.

I own the entire Harry Potter series on audiobook, but I think it’s only the fact that they’re read by Stephen Fry making them irresistible listening that warranted the (when I think of it) large investment in them.

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