Book v. Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

With the final installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise coming out, we thought it would be fun to revisit the phenomenon with a special edition series of Harry Potter Book v Movie columns.

Name of Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

By: J. K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic Press by arrangement with Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Copyright Date: 1998

Number of Pages: 309

Format: YA Fiction

Reason for Reading: It’s Harry Potter, do we need a reason?

Rating: A


Name of Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Director: Chris Columbus

Release Date:  November 16, 2001 (USA)

Running Time: 152 minutes

IMDB Linkage:

Rating: B+

 THE BOOK: It’s only right to add the following disclaimer: I am an unabashed and unapologetic fan of Harry Potter.  I discovered Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in November of 1998 while unpacking a shipment from the bookstore where I worked.  It looked intriguing and since we were allowed to check out hardcover books I just set it aside to take with me at the end of my shift.  When I got home, I started a load of laundry and then sat down with a coke, a slice of BBQ pizza and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  I was immediately drawn into Harry’s world-the pizza went cold and the soda went flat, but I didn’t care.  There was Hogwarts to learn about, mysteries to solve, life-long friendships to make, and a dark wizard to defeat.  Besides, between you and me, cold pizza is proof God exists.  I read the book in one sitting flat and the moment I hit the last page, I turned back to the beginning and started over again.  I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet and in my heart I knew Harry’s adventures were only beginning.  J. K. Rowling’s debut novel was fantastic, charming, well-plotted/paced, and pure delight from beginning to end.  The only thing I enjoyed more than reading it that first time was discovering that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets would very shortly be enjoying its US release.  Excellent.  More Harry.

THE MOVIE: So yes, I was one of the hundreds of thousands of idiots enthusiastic fans who stormed the theatres at midnight of the release date to view the first movie.  I went with the incomparable chauceriangirl, and I kid you not, we held hands and squee’d like little girls as Richard Harris’s Dumbledore made his way down Privet Drive, using his put-outter to make short work of the street lights.  More handholding and squeeing ensued as we caught our first glimpse of McGonnakitty, to Hagrid, to Platform 9 ¾, to the Hogwarts Express, etc. et al, I could go on and on.  It was magical seeing all of the sights I’d already envisioned and gratifying how much it resembled what I was seeing on film.  Christopher Columbus, both to his credit and downfall, was slavishly devoted to the source material.  The end result was a faithful, visually stunning adaptation that in translation lost a bit of the magic from J. K. Rowling’s story. 

 THE VERDICT: The movie put up an excellent fight, but was KO’d in the third round by the sheer magic and wonder of the book.


About izzybella

Just trying to figure it all out.
This entry was posted in Bookish Thoughts, Fiction, Posts by Izzy, YA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Book v. Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

  1. mwk says:

    One should never apologize for being an unabashed Harry Potter fan! I was snobby at first about them (I am a very loyal Narnia fan) and wouldn’t read them…but then I did and was totally in love.

  2. Kay says:

    I am a crazy Harry fan and have been for so many years now. My opinion of ths movies is that they are good and I’m glad they filmed them (got more people to read the books), but there is no way they could include all the wonderful things in the books. I like them very much, but they will always come in second for me.

    OK, a little peeve of mine about the movies – why do all the people have dirty hands or fingernails? Many of the characters were not “handsome” or “beautiful” enough to me too. But those fingernails? Just because they live in castles and wear cloaks and are wizards or witches doesn’t mean they can’t be well groomed! LOL

    • izzybella says:

      Thank you!! Scourgify, amirite??!! I’d think being well groomed would be even easier.

    • poophead says:

      I argee. They take way too much out of the books in the movies. Although I do love them, the movies will never replace the books. What I don’t like when some people are told they should read the books, they say, “Ewwwww… I only see the movies.” or, “Too long for me.” That just bugs me. I feel like you don’t get the full story from the movies. See, I saw the first six movies before I read any of the books. As I started to read the books, (especially the Order of the Pheonix, and the Half Blood Prince) I was like, “Woah, THIS never happened in the movie!” Anyway, there just not the same… Too much important information taken away.

  3. Heather says:

    Books always better in the HP series but the movies were still and are excellent! The sixth movie was a bit disappointing. Great reviews!

  4. jehara says:

    I also remember vividly my entry into Harry Potter Land. It was thanksgiving of 2001, shortly after the first movie had come out. Up to that point I was resisting the pull. But I was at the airport without anything to read. I went into little newstand and saw Harry Potter. I thought why not? and bought the first book. I started reading it while waiting for my flight, read it during the flight, was really hard put to stop when I landed. I couldn’t read on the two hour drive to Los Alamos due to it being dark. Later that night after everyone had gone to bed I stayed up finishing it and was promptly madly in love. On my flight home I picked up the second and third book and gobbled them up in a couple of days. I bought the fourth book, which was still in hardback. When I finished that I went back for more only to discover that I had to wait until summer. Thus began my entry in the midnight party madness of book releases and movies.

  5. kaye says:

    I’m a Harry Potter Fan too. In fact when Deathly Hallows was released I pre-ordered at my local Wal-mart, went out and got in line for the midnight sale and was the first to get the book! This year in celebration of the final movie my family is having a “Hogwarts” Christmas. Books or movies–I love them.

  6. Margot says:

    Izzybella, I love your enthusiasm for Harry Potter. Although I’ve never read one of the books or seen a movie adaptation, I’m still a fan on behalf of my granddaughter, Q.

    Her very wise daddy started reading them to her when she was about six. She was enthralled. Gradually over the next few years he used those books as bait to read on her own. (He also used the Lemonsnickit series.) As she got a little older he promised she could see one of the movies when she finished reading the book.

    Now, at the age of 12.5, she has read them all and she and her dad are going to go to the midnight showing of the new one this summer. (By the way, she’s a very advanced reader. Is it any wonder?) As the grandmother who cares a lot about reading, you can see why I’m a Harry Potter fan.

  7. First of all it says what most movie industry insiders know.
    Let us witness on how they found the destroy Lord Vodemont’s immortality-Hurcruxes which will be the exciting part of the story. At one point in HALF BLOOD, Hermione tells Harry she has always admired his courage.

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