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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Audio CD)

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Author: J.K. Rowling / Genre: Fiction / Narrator: Stephen Fry

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    2 Reviews
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      27.01.2009 20:20
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      A theatrical feast for the ears.

      This is the audio CD edition of the 6th book of the Harry Potter series. This is a great set for those who are too busy to read, have their hands full or can't read to their children. Jim Dale is the reader for the whole series. I think it's mainly the american market that have the Jim Dale versions although I think he is british with a native accent (Stephen Fry also reads for the audio book series, though the UK bookshops seem to have mainly the Stephen Fry versions).

      At first I was a little sceptical when I first heard his voice. Dale has a typical Received Pronunciation accent - one that wouldn't sound out of place on the BBC News but for narrating Harry Potter, it seemed to clash a bit on first hearing the first few seconds. However, within five minutes through the book I was very impressed. There are, some, twenty characters or more in this book and Jim Dale voices each character, both male and female, so efficiently and fluidly that at times I thought it would have been impossible for someone to switch voices so quickly with such accuracy. He voices each character with uncanny resemblance to the real life screen actors from the film. The most impressive imitation is probably Professor McGonagall. Listening to this audio set is extremely inspiring for any actor who is particularly interested in imitation voice work. Out of the whole series, this is probably the book with the best voice performances as many of the character from books 1 through to 5 appear in here too.

      I don't usually use audio books that much unless it's a book that I really want to read but I'm too busy with other things like decorating the house, so this allows me to continue painting at the same time as listening to the book! Another great thing about listening to the audio version is that it opens up a new dimension to the world that you've created solely through the medium of its words. It's like seeing the book and its character from a different point of view, or more accurately, the way how the author wants you to see it. With this audio set, I felt that it was very true to the book, the character's voices were very similar to how I had imagined. That could actually be said of the film as I really felt the films' portrayal of the characters were almost exactly as they are in the book and in turn Jim Dale mimics the voices of the characters with such precision, it's almost scary!

      The CD set costs about £37.99 and I was able to borrow this from a friend but it's available to rent from the library and also can be bought from places like Amazon. However, the version read by Jim Dale seems to be on limited demand as many shops tend to do the version where Stephen Fry reads. I have yet to listen to the Stephen Fry version, but it would be interesting to hear the difference. If you do choose the edition read by Jim Dale, like me, you will be impressed!


      Thanks for reading. xx


      ©Leighsa 2009

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      • More +
        20.11.2008 20:05
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        Fantastic Book That I LOVE SO MUCH!!!

        **What Is It?**
        Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the 6th book in the Harry Potter series. The best seller book has a staggering 607 pages but is only the third biggest book so far. This book comes in paperback, hardback, braille, larger print, in many different language and audio. This review is on the audio CD version on the book.

        **Why Buy It?**
        If like me your a big Harry Potter fan like me then you HAVE to read it as you want to knew what happens next. However as I had read this before I was wanting to listen to it, just to see if it changes my perception on the books at all. If your not as serious as us fans then you may read the book just to see if you like the Potter series or not. But the reason a lot of people buy it is because there children want to read it but can I stress that this is not actually that big of a childrens book.
        A good example of another reason to buy is as because the books are getting longer, your child may love the movies but may not be able to read to that level. So listening to the book, can then lead to them reading the book. It would also be good for people who may don't like reading very much but enjoy the films, and want to get another perspective on the story.

        **Characters**
        *Harry Potter- The main character and the wizard we all love. In this book you see a rapid maturity which is quite amazing. He is faced with the fact that he might be killed against Voldemort but takes on the mission to save the wizarding world.

        *Ron Weasley- Harry's loyal best friend. Has been with Harry since the beginning. In this book you see him getting a girlfriend and bascially growing up.

        *Hermione Granger- Harry's other best friend she shines in a new light in this book. Her brains gets Harry and Ron out of a lot of trouble.

        *Ginny Weasley- She's fancied Harry since she was only 11 and helping Harry win the House cup. But is there love in the air?

        *Lord Voldemort- His powers are growing and his plans to kill Harry are becoming stronger as his army gets bigger. He doesn't appear in the book as himself but he talked about so often.

        *Albus Dumbledore- Still as wise as ever. He is giving harry private lessons this year but will he get through another year at Hogwarts?

        *Severus Snape- Gets the job he's wanted for years as the DADA's teacher. In this book you see a much darker side of Snape and that he is very ruthless. He plays a big part in this book.

        **Whos The New DADAT?**
        DADAT means Defence Against the Dark Teacher. Every book there has been a new one. Professor Quirrel started us off in book 1 but readers found out he had Voldemort stuck to his head (sorry did not mean to write that comically!) Book 2 was Professor Lockhart who absotlutely loved himself but got hit by his own memory charm and had no idea who he was. Book 3 saw my favourite teacher Professor Lupin who was Harry's dads best friend. He helped Harry learn skills which he needs for later books. He resigned however as people found out he was a werewolf. Then book 4 came along the Professor Moody who helped Harry with the Triwizard cup. However readers found out it was not Moody it was an impostor by the name of Barty Crouch who was a spy for Voldemort and was plotting to kill Harry. So he was put in Azkaban. And last in the 5th book was the worst, most annoying teacher ever Professor Umbridge. She was cruel and a muggle hater. But everyone rebelled against her and she gets he comupance. So who is it in this book *drum roll* its... Professor Snape!!! Yes the potions master finally gets his favourite job. But what could this mean?

        **Front Cover**
        The front cover comes in two designs, the Childrens and the Adults. The childrens is of Harry and Dumbledore surrounded by a ring of fire which is one of the scenes from the book. This is found on most of the Audio covers. The adult cover is of an old book saying Advanced Potion Making. I've seen this only once on an audio cover. Both of these books are exactly the same however and have exactly the same chapters etc. I like the idea of two different covers.

        **CD's**
        There are an incredible 17 CD's to listen to. This is a lot, but it does reflect the shear length of the book overall. They all have clearly listed numbers on them so you are not lost to find the next CD. They are all read by the AMAZING Stephen Fry, his reading is flawless throughout. I adore his voice and he even does the character voices. His iconic voice makes the book highly enjoyable and I adore listening to his crystal clear voice throughout.
        If you do what I do you can download the CD's onto iTunes which actually added up to 158 'tracks' so basically where they stop and started recordings. This is an excellent feature and means you can put it then on your iPod and MP3 player, if you are wanting to take it to extreme portable.

        **Plot**
        As every Harry Potter book starts out at Harry's uncle and aunties, the Dursleys. Harry is sad, Sirius has died and there isn't much to look forward to apart from pain and suffering. He gets a letter from Dumbledore informing him that he personally will be picking him up and taking him to the Burrow (where Ron lives)
        Harry gets picked up but Dumbledore has a word with the Dursleys (which is a bit criptic but understandable if you read on) Then takes Harry to a little village by apparation. He informs Harry that he is to get private lessons with Dumbledore himself. But why are they in the middle of nowhere? Well they are here to persuade an old professor who is retired to come back to his job. Professor Slughorn. So Harry is able (by accident though) to persuade him and there is a new teacher which Harry expects will take over DADA as Umbridge has left.
        So Harry arrives at the Burrow and gets ready for getting back to Hogwarts. The year before nobody (well a couple) only believed that Voldemort returned but know everyone knows he was telling the truth. So Harry gets on the train with his friends to Hogwarts.
        Snape is the new DADA teacher and not Slughorn which is a big shock to everyone especially Harry. Slughorn is the new potions master. Harry finds a potions book that used to belong to a fellow student with scibbles all over it which is actually notes to make potions better, so Harry excels at potion making to the annoyence of Hermione.
        Harry gets very suspious of Malfoy and almost follows him around to see what he is up to.
        That was a very brief summary sorry folks but read the books and you will find out.

        **Price/Where to get it**
        The RRP is £39.99 which is a lot of money. Now I actually got this for my birthday so was unable to reflect on the price but you do need to be prepared to pay extra. You do get it in a nice box to keep all the CD's safely. It can also be downloaded of iTunes. This will cost you around £25 so is a lot cheaper if you want that alternative. But you can also BORROW it from the library for free (well in my local one anyway) but I'm pretty sure it will apply to a lot of people. It can be bought from Borders, Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and many more shops.

        **Whats Right With It?**
        This is such a thrilling, exciting book to read. I could not stop listening to it and had to because needed to sleep or go to school! Seriously once you finish a chapter you have to listening the next one as you need to know what is happening. The characters characterisation is outstanding in this book as you see each indivual grow up or get wiser. It has a sense of reality as well and you feel it is possible to do these things. Also as I personally am around the same age as Harry and his friends I really feel I can relate to them. The book reminds you a lot that Harry, Ron and Hermione are just teenagers (Like when Ron gets his first girlfriend) and having to deal with all this must have been really tough. It is a truly fantastic listen, or if you get a chance, read.

        **Whats Wrong With It?**
        What i've found is that these books get darker and darker. This one is no exception and in my opinion is the darkest in the series so far. So younger children will be scared (i know I was!) Because it is audio it is a lot easier for younger ones to get access so just a caution to parents, that this is quite a dark book to be listening to. Also JK leaves so many unanswered questions which in someway is a good thing then again sometimes a bad thing. I suppose it lets listeners imagination go wild but it just irritated me.

        **Conclusion**
        I've actually found, using myself as an example that readers grow up with Harry. I was only 8 when Philosphers Stone came out and I read it and watched the movies when I was 10/11 and as now I am 16 I can actually relate to Harry a lot. This was the second audio book of Harry Potter I have an in comparison, I do prefer the book to audio, however only marginally. The audio allows you to relax more. If your not really familiar with Harry Potter but don't enjoy reading then this is for you (or just watch the films) but I can guarentee, content wise, the Books are so much better.

        I loved this book and I would recommend it to everyone teenagers, parents, gran parents everyone! 5 stars from me.

        Copyright 2008- Scotlandizdabest on DooYoo.co.uk

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      • Product Details

        In a brief statement on Friday night, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned to this country and is once more active. "It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord - well, you know who I mean - is alive and among us again," said Fudge.' These dramatic words appeared in the final pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In the midst of this battle of good and evil, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes up the story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with Voldemort's power and followers increasing day by day.