Audiobook: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by J. K. Rowling
read by Jim Dale
ages: 9+ (Listening 6+)
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I could have sworn I had a review of Prisoner of Azkaban on here, but I only found a smallish blurb about the whole series here. But, I guess, I read this before the blog, and I haven’t gotten around to a reread until now.

The reason for picking this particular Harry Potter? Well, we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for our family vacation a couple of weeks ago, and figured since we were going there, we needed to read a Harry Potter book. And since this is the next one in the series for K to read (her dad’s read her one and two), that’s where we started.

My thoughts, since everyone knows the plot already:

Out of all the books, this one is one of the tightest, I think. As they go on, they become more meandering and Rowling tries to pack so much in.

That said, at the end, when Sirius and Lupin confront Peter Pettigrew, there is an awful lot of monologuing. I know that Rowling needs to give us a whole bunch of information that existed before the story even started, but still. It slows the story down.

I really, really dislike the way Jim Dale reads Hermione. She’s a capable, smart girl, and every time she opens her mouth, Dale makes her sound like a whiny brat.

I adore Lupin as a character. That is all.

Hubby and I got into a discussion about adult figures in middle grade books. It was started because we realized that Dumbledore is a Really Bad Headmaster. He’s terrible at his job. Don’t get me wrong: I adore the character, but think about it: he’s neglectful, he’s bad at enforcing rules, and he plays favorites like no other. But then, if  Dumbledore were good at his job, there wouldn’t have been a story.

I think the lack of Voldemort in the story actually helps the book. It’s not as Dark and Foreboding as some of the others. 

It’s still one of my favorites of the Harry Potter series.

And I’d really like — for comparison’s sake — to hear the Stephen Fry audio versions. I wonder if he can do Hermione any better.

3 thoughts on “Audiobook: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  1. Stephen Fry's Hermione is very fast and somewhat clipped. I enjoy his versions so much more than the Jim Dale recordings. They are so charming.

    The only things I don't enjoy about Stephen Fry's reading are Tonks (I think it is accurate, accent wise, but it doesn't sound RIGHT) and the songs/chants. Stephen Fry admits he cannot sing and that he has no rhythm. It shows.


  2. I've heard from friends in the know that Fry's Hermione is better than Dale's and Fry's Snape is supposed to be outstanding. I haven't heard the Fry versions so I can't say. I do agree that Dale's Hermione doesn't do her justice, but overall I like his readings alot. I think his Broadway background really helps.


  3. I really want to hear the Stephen Fry version as well! I'm not sure how I'd handle it though, I'm so attached to Jim Dale at this point, and have listened to some of these books more times than I could count (just finished relistening to the whole series in fact).


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