Thursday, November 5, 2009

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (audio)


Nothing gives me more pleasure than to review my absolute FAVORITE Harry Potter book of the seven...Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. For those of you that have seen the movie (which I think is the best movie of them all as well...compliments to Alfonso Cuaron), here is where the book and movie start to part ways. The differences are mainly in the details, but important details nonetheless.

Why is this book my favorite? There are so many reasons...so I thought that instead of giving you the old blow-by-blow, which you probably already know anyway, I would offer a list of things I love about Year #3:


  • Hagrid's Monster Book of Monsters - amazing imagery. A book with eyes and teeth, that must be held together by a belt to protect life and limb? One that you have to stroke its spine to calm? I want one!




  • Chocolate - All of the sudden, chocolate is now the remedy of choice for all kinds of boo-boos. I've always believed this to be true. Who's with me?


  • The Dementors - With the introduction of the Dementors, things start to take a dark turn. As the guardians of Azkaban, they "infest the darkest filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them". And the ultimate punishment, the Dementor's kiss? "The Dementor puts back its hood and clamps its jaws on the mouth of the victim and sucks out his soul, leaving him an empty shell, alive but completely, irretrievably gone". Deliciously terrifying. Give me the Orcs over the Dementors anyday.




  • Buckbeak - Half bird, half horse, prideful but loyal pet of Hagrid's that unleashes a little whoop-ass on Malfoy. I'm attached to this animal, and my heart warms every time it makes its appearance in future installments.




  • When Hermione also unleashes some whoop-ass on Malfoy - The kid is detestable, and deserves what he gets. Strangely, I read in an interview somewhere that the actor that plays Malfoy (Tom Felton) is actually one of the nicest guys on the set. Go figure.



  • The Truth begins to be revealed - We start to get some satisfying answers to questions that have haunted Harry and his readers...about his parents' death, about his parents' true friends and enemies. It becomes a little clearer who is on whose side...


  • Harry finds family with Sirius Black - Harry has always been an orphan, even in his Aunt and Uncle's home. He has nowhere to go on holidays, and relies on his friends to remember his birthday and offer gifts at Christmas. So when he is reunited with his godfather, I get a lump in my throat.




    • I've always felt that after Year #3, things grow permanently dark. No longer can Harry ignore his fate, and things begin to get deadly. So whenever I re-read the series, I always pause at this moment and savor the moment. Something wicked this way comes...

      5 out of 5 stars



      20 comments:

      Melody said...

      Great post, Sandy! I enjoyed reading your favourites of this book.

      I need to catch up on reading this book! I got sidetracked by the others which I'm also currently reading and hopefully I'll get the review up next week!

      Paperback Reader said...

      This is also my favourite HP book! The darkness has begun to creep in but hasn't quite obliterated the light of everything else, which progressively happens throughout four and five to the complete darkness of six and seven.

      I maintain that chocolate cures all ills and not just for children!

      rhapsodyinbooks said...

      Very fun post. But do you mean there was ever a time when chocolate *wasn't* meant to cure all of life's boo-boos and unhappiness?!!!

      Anna said...

      I enjoyed this book, too, but I'm not sure which in the series was my favorite. I loved when Hermione socked Malfoy!

      --Anna
      Diary of an Eccentric

      Sandy Nawrot said...

      Melody - that is the one good thing about the Harry Potter audios. No matter what I am reading personally, the kids and I always have one going. It is a daily ritual we totally look forward to!

      Paperback Reader - perfectly said. It is the last little thread of light and innocence before it all goes south. (Amen to the chocolate!)

      Jill - actually you are right. It has always been there (at least for me!). But I just happened to notice that all the sudden in these books, they always get chocolate when things get dicey! Rowling must have been having some cravings during the writing of this one!

      Anna - it is hard to pick favorites, I know. I really love Goblet of Fire too, which is what we are listening to now.

      GMR said...

      Ahhh, yes...Harry Potter. Gotta love that series. The books are still much better than the movies, but I definitely give props to the directors for including as much as they did. You are correct in the turn of events...although I believe they grew darker starting at book 5, book 4 had him meeting Voldemort so I completely understand your view. Enjoyed the post and thanks for the walk down reader-memory lane!

      farmlanebooks said...

      I love your enthusiasm for these books! You always make me feel as though I should re-read them. I haven't read them enough to know which is my favourite - it has been a long time since I read this one.

      I agree about the chocolate - the world always seems like a better place when you have some in your hand!

      Beth F said...

      I can't remember which is my favorite -- I think this is one that I thought needed a heavier edit, but I could be wrong. When I reread them on audio in the months to come, you'll find out!

      ds said...

      If coffee is the elixir, then chocolate is the balm of life...
      I liked this one as well; isn't it also the book in which Hermione learns to time travel? (if only)
      Wonderful post. Thanks!

      bermudaonion said...

      We love the Harry Potter books and I've heard the audio versions are amazing. I'll have to get hold of them the next time we take a long car trip.

      Sandy Nawrot said...

      GMR - the directors didn't do all that bad on this one, but they did change a few things that I still don't understand. Either way, the spirit of the book was honored (unlike the 6th movie!).

      Jackie - I guess my enthusiasm is detectable eh? We so love these books. And yes, did you know that chocolate drives away the effects of dementors, and makes the boo boos feel better when you fall off your broom?

      Beth - I would be curious to know which one needed the editing. In my layman's opinion, it is book number 4 (Goblet of Fire). It is a bit rambling in the first handful of discs!

      ds - yes! I almost mentioned that little tidbit as well. I love the time travel aspect.

      Kathy - if you start them, I can about assure you that you will want to listen to them all!

      Amy said...

      This is a fantastic Harry Potter! There are so many reasong to like this book!

      Great post, Sandy!

      Kathleen said...

      You mean chocolate ISN'T the remedy for everything? :)
      Seriously though this was my favorite of the first 3 Harry Potter books I read.

      heidenkind said...

      This is the audiobook I'm listening to next for the Harry Potter Challenge. I actually didn't like this one very much... I forget why. Hmmmmmmm. Well, I'm sure I'll remember by the time I finish listening to it! ;)

      Alice Teh said...

      What a cool way of writing about this book! I like buckbeak.

      Craftymoose Crafts said...

      Totally with you on the chocolate thing!

      I've seen all the movies--but have not read any of the books...perhaps I should start!

      Nymeth said...

      :D I love your list, Sandy! This is my favourite book in the series too.

      Heather J. said...

      this IS one of the best books in the series - I agree!

      have you seen the Monsters Book of Monsters on Amazon.com? It is adorable!!!

      Jen - devourer of books said...

      Oh this is a fantastic post. This is my favorite of the books too, and I think that Hermione slugging Malfoy is the best moment of the entire series.

      Jenners said...

      In reading this post, I realize how mixed up I get about what happens when and in what book! I cannot wait until my son and I can read Harry Potter together and I can revisit this wonderful world and see him experience it for the first time. I already have all the books waiting for him!