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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

By J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale

Never hurt anyone to spend time in the company of Mr. Rubeus Hagrid, that’s certain. I won’t admit to living in a dungeon with mountain trolls—I did see the movies—but I had held off reading the books, probably because I resist jumping on anything that is ultra-popular. Yet I had also been told how thoroughly engrossing Jim Dale’s voice performance is on the audiobook versions so it has been on my wish list for years. The first in the series is wonderful in setting up the background for this instant classic, as it introduces us to all the names I need not mention. My question is, did Dale’s creation of the characters’ voices come before the casting of the film, because if so, he was highly influential in the producers’ choices. My only raised eyebrow with the story is how two turning points hinge on lies and drunkenness.

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