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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

J. K. Rowling

Book Basics

Title:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Author:

J. K. Rowling

Published:

June 26th, 1997

Pages:

320

Genres:

Fiction, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Children's Literature

Synopsis

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a wizard, makes close friends and a few enemies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. JK Rowling describes how, with the help of his friends, Harry thwarts an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry, when Harry was just one year old. The book, which is J.K. Rowling's debut novel, was published on 26 June 1997 by Bloomsbury in London. In 1998 Scholastic Corporation published an edition for the United States market under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The novel won most of the British book awards that were judged by children, and other awards in the US. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999, and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has been translated into several other languages and has been made into a feature-length film of the same name. Most reviews were very favourable, commenting on Rowling's imagination, humour, simple, direct style and clever plot construction, although a few complained that the final chapters seemed rushed. The writing has been compared to that of Jane Austen, one of Rowling's favourite authors, or Roald Dahl, whose works dominated children's stories before the appearance of Harry Potter, and of the Ancient Greek story-teller Homer. While some commentators thought the book looked backwards to Victorian and Edwardian boarding school stories, others thought it placed the genre firmly in the modern world by featuring contemporary ethical and social issues.

Quotes

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
"There is no good or evil: only power and those too weak to seek it."
"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
"Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself."
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!"
"The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with caution."
"As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them."
"Fame clearly isn't everything."
"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other."
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses -- I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death -- if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

Characters

Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Professor Albus Dumbledore, Hermione Granger, Professor Severus Snape, Ronald Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Rubeus Hagrid, Ginny Weasley, William Weasley, Molly Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Percy Weasley, Arthur Weasley, Sirius Black, Charlie Weasley, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Gellert Grindelwald, Seamus Finnigan, Fred Weasley, Vernon Dursley, Dudley Dursley, Petunia Evans Dursley, Professor Filius Flitwick, Vincent Crabbe, Argus Filch, George Weasley, Lily Evans Potter, Newt Scamander, Pansy Parkinson, Helena Ravenclaw, Hannah Abbott, Gregory Goyle, Angelina Johnson, Quirinus Quirrell, Cornelius Fudge, Peeves, Padma Patil, Lavender Brown, Pomona Sprout, Parvati Patil, Susan Bones, James Potter, Rolanda Hooch, Blaise Zabini, Garrick Ollivander, Marcus Flint, Griphook, Alicia Spinnet, Hedwig, Poppy Pomfrey, Sorting Hat, Marge Dursley, Millicent Bulstrode, Irma Pince, Arabella Figg, Nearly Headless Nick, The Bloody Baron, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Fat Friar, Mrs. Norris, Firenze, Augusta Longbottom, Dedalus Diggle, Piers Polkiss, Terence Higgs, Miranda Goshawk, Professor Binns, Madam Malkin, Tufty, Doris Crockford, Katie Bell, Dean Thomas, Adalbert Waffling, Lee Jordan, Oliver Wood, Quentin Trimble, Phyllida Spore, Fat Lady in Painting, Arsenius Jigger, Nicholas Flamel, Emeric Switch, Algie Longbottom, Bane, Trevor, Fang, Gordon, Fluffy, Snowy, Dennis, Malcolm, Perenelle Flamel, Norbert, Tom, Ronan, Tibbles

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