Harry Potter has become a cultural phenomenon unrivaled in recent times. After bestselling novels, record-breaking movies, and a legion of miscellaneous products, Harry is everywhere. However, this reviewer at least has never finished the series. I read through the first four books, and the long lag between novels just made me lose the momentum.
After watching the sixth movie with my girlfriend, however, I got excited about it all over again, and want to finish the series before the final movie comes out. Since it has been a long time since I read the first four novels, now seemed like a good time to start from the beginning, and get the whole experience all over again.
Harry Potter is a wizard, but he doesn't know it yet. He lives a miserable life with the Dursleys, and hopes for a brighter future that just doesn't seem to be in his grasp. Then one day, he receives a very mysterious letter, and this sets off a chain of events that culminates in Harry's arrival at Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry, where he, along with his friends Ron and Hermione, learn all about what being a witch or wizard means, and have adventure after adventure.
Rowling has attained vast celebrity with her novels of the boy wizard Harry Potter, but through all of this she has taken fire as not being a great writer. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, she proves that, despite the claims (and I am certainly not the best authority on whether she is a good writer or not), she is an excellent storyteller. The novel soars along at a very fast pace, as Rowling mixes her wonderful plot with vast amounts of action, wrapping it all together with very personable characters that it is impossible not to care about.
While the Harry Potter fad may be on its way out, the magical joy of these novels is not. I cannot wait to jump into the second novel.