Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, #2
Date(s) listened: March 17 – April 1, 2013
Genre: YA Magic
Length: 9 hours 40 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Published by: BBC Audiobooks (April 1, 2009)
The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.
And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl’s bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.
But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble beings, and someone–or something–starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects…Harry Potter himself.
One thing I’m noticing, while I reread the Harry Potter books through audiobook, is that they are the PERFECT books to listen to on audio — as well as the perfect books to reread. It’s been years since I first read the series, but since then I’ve seen the movies countless times. Even having only the movies in my head, it’s amazing how easily I can be drawn right back into the books.
To me, no book in the series adds up to that first read of the first book — what with it being such a special surprise when you’re not expecting it. But it’s always within those first few chapters of each book that makes me remember how much I love the series as a whole. One thing I do love is that this story starts to take a darker turn from where we left of in year one. I like that the darker themes are introduced bit by bit as the series progresses, so that it’s not so jarring when we start to get the really dark themes by the end.
But, seeing as this is book number two, the darker themes are kept to a minimum, but they’re still present. And, as always, there is the humour and friendship that I’ve come to expect in the stories. I love seeing the friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione getting stronger in this story — especially in the beginning, with Ron and his brothers coming to rescue Harry from the Dursleys. I also really love seeing the comeraderie between Ron and Harry — they make great companions!
This is also the book where we’re introduced to Dobby. He’s not my favourite character in the series, what with him being a little too aggressive and not always doing things in the proper way, but still an interesting one at that. I kind of loved his storyline in this book and how Harry saved him. I look forward to seeing him in future stories! We also meet Gilderoy Lockhart in this story and I love, love, loved Fry’s voice for him — after seeing the films, the voice just seemed so perfect for him, so hoity-toity and such a know-it-all (and, yet, a coward at heart).
Again, I must credit Stephen Fry with being an amazing narrator. Even though his voice does sound older for the age group he’s portraying, he does such a fantastic job at differentiating between the voices and telling the story in a way that keeps you intrigued until the very end. I think he’s a spectacular narrator and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series with him.
I’m so happy that I’m listening to this series and I still think that this will be one that I’ll listen to again and again as the years go by. I think Anne from Creativity’s Corner says it perfectly, though, when she says that this book is definitely more of a filler book in the series — while it has its moments, it doesn’t particularly stand out. But it is a fun read and I’ll take that.