Newest Review: ... usual schoolwork and lessons. Stephen Fry reads the book in a way that really makes the story come alive. His voice makes it clear when Ha... more
Even more magical than the first installment.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Audio CD)
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Audio CD)
Advantages: Stephen Fry , and his lovely lovely voice, tell an excellent story
Disadvantages: Some people may prefer books to remain books
Having purchased the first audio book in the series last year for my mum, and having not been able to resist listening to it myself, it was only a matter of time before I got around to getting the rest of the audio books in the series . I've loved each and every one of them, and the release of the latest Potter film, which I've yet to see, has had me digging them all out and listening anew .
Most of you know who Harry Potter is - for those who don't, he's an orphan whose parents died (so he's told) in a car accident . He lives with his aunt, uncle, and bullying cousin, in Privet Drive . When he was 11, he made the magical discovery that he was a wizard - and, attending Hogwarts School, made firm friends with other wizards - as well as one or two dangerous enemies, one of whom, Voldemort, he defeated at the end of the last set of Audio Cd's .
In this second installment, Harry, now 12, is back at home with the muggles, and not having a very good time at all - he's miserable, and not one of his friends has bothered to write to him. To top it off, his uncle is having important guests for dinner, and is expecting Harry to stay quietly in his room, pretending to not exist. It promises to be a very dull night - until a strange little creature, introducing himself as Dobby turns up, begging Harry not to return to the school . Advice that Harry promptly ignores .
Returning to school, everything seems normal - until a message, written in blood, appears on the walls, warning that the chamber of secrets has been opened - but just what is the chamber of secrets, and what dangers lurk within ?
Stephen Fry is a natural born storyteller - he has just the right kind of soothing, calming voice, a voice that makes you want to relax and take note . By careful use of well times pauses, and sibilant 's' sounds, he manages to convey tension, fear, and danger in exactly the right places. And the way he pronounces the name Severus Snape as Ssssseverus, you know that, from Harrys point of view at least, he's a bad guy to watch out for.
He changes voice for each character too - something that, prior to listening to the first set of audio CDs, gave me some worry. Would we have pre-pubescent teenage boys sounding suspiciously low voiced, and girls sounding just a touch masculine, and everyone sounding incredibly well spoken, this really wasn't an issue too much.
Nope, we had varying accents for characters, and whilst, yes, Hermione is sounding a little masculine, you soon get used to the way he reads each character, and just find yourself totally absorbed in the story .
And of course, the most important part of this is the story itself, which is , in my opinion, better than the first in the series, largely because not as much time is spent on character building, as we already know all the main characters. Naturally, there are one or two new characters - a new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, and a couple of new students for instance. One of the things about Rowlings work I have always loved is the way details that seem hugely insignificant in the early stages of the book suddenly take on a role of major importance at the end . It is this knack of making every little incident mean something in the greater scheme of things that makes her books so very enjoyable.
This 8 cd set, providing many hours of listening, cost me £17.95 on Amazon . This I feel is very reasonable, especially as I listened to one cd a night before bed, giving me over a weeks worth of listening pleasure. It did help relax me and make me feel ready for sleep, but didn't actually lull me into sleep as some other audio books have done!
I imagine this would also be useful for long journeys to keep children (and adults) entertained, and of course for people who have trouble reading .
I think this is brilliant, and good value. I couldn't think of anyone better to read these for audio books than Stephen Fry, and he really does bring the story to life.
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