Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated) – JK Rowling & Jim Kay

HP&tPS

Everyone knows the story of Harry Potter, so this isn’t really going to be a review of that. This is going to be more of a review of what an incredible experience rereading it with illustration was because I’m in love with it, I really am.

This has been a long time in the making, but the wait was really not a disappointment. Jim Kay has added a new dimension to the story and I really cannot wait to see what he does with the rest of the series. The illustrations he’s created are definitely more what I imagined when I first read the books, but there is a bit of influence from the movies (how could there not be?!).

The story hasn’t changed any, but the illustrations boosted this book significantly in the enjoyment levels. I would even go as far as to say it’s now my favourite in the series, simply because of the illustrations. The first movie was weak, the kids were poor actors and significant portions were cut and this just gave the insight in to some of the better scenes that were cut with beautiful illustrations. I really want the panorama of Diagon Alley on my wall, I loved the sorting hat, I loved the little inserts of dragon eggs and trolls… I just loved everything about this.

My only peeve is that it’s in columns of text rather than blocks, but after a few pages I got used to that. It was just jarring at first. But otherwise this is just perfect and I just want the entire series now. I cannot wait for The Chamber of Secrets to be released, hopefully sooner rather than later. Needless to say this is easily a 5* book now, before it was a 3/4.

One final note, this would make a beautiful Christmas present for any Harry Potter lover or even a child who is ready to be introduced to the wizarding world. Or just a present for yourself!

Review: Glister – John Burnside

glisterOkay, so I realised when scrolling through my blog that I hadn’t actually posted this. I was looking for it and then, realised I had saved it as a draft and never published it. Oops! Anyway, I read this in September and it’s better late than never, right?!

This was read for my book club, I decided to read The Dumb House first and have already reviewed that but I couldn’t wait to pick this up because John Burnside’s writing was just incredible. I was also more excited to read it after Jen interviewed him and he said this was his favourite.

Glister was just as incredibly written. It is however a book I wish I could give a rating for writing and one for story, because they’re very different in my mind. The writing is beautiful, it’s rich and the atmosphere is great. It’s lyrical and you can tell that John is a poet, just by the flow of his words. The setting, a desolate town that is decaying because of an abandoned chemical plant had such a potential for me. I just didn’t feel that the story reached that potential. It’s listed as mystery/crime and I just didn’t feel that – nothing was resolved, the plot dwindled off and while I love his writing I wanted more. 

I enjoyed reading it, it was lyrical and simply great to read but the plot was disappointing, it just dwindled off to nothing. If I could rate the writing it would easily be a 4 or 5, but the book as a whole can only be saved by the writing so much so it’s a 3, unfortunately.