Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Book Review

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Harry Potter 3

REVIEW

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book of the wonderful series and yet again, J.K. Rowling did an amazing job. The best part about the series is that you can read it and thoroughly enjoy it at any age; be it 12 or 22. I loved the book and fell in love with the way J. K. Rowling’s words comes to life and makes you feel curious and uncomfortable and excited all at once. The characters and the story plot are realistic and well developed. Nothing seemed unnatural throughout the book.

The greatest thing that I found about this third part was that it improvised Harry in amazing ways. It feels like harry is actually growing mentally and a mature person is being carved. This can be termed as the intelligence of the writer as the realistic touch keeps the adults indulged in the series.

This installment of the series was darker than the previous ones (being honest here). With so many forces attacking Hogwarts and Harry, the thrill never dies. The way Rowling instilled the excitement in the very beginning with the news of Sirius being out of prison and in search of Harry left me reading through the pages with utter horror and thrill. All I wanted to know was, what will happen when Sirius finds Harry. And when he does, the truth comes out to be poles apart of what I had weaved inside my head.

The characters have been more complex, interesting and deep in this book. I started off with the book and it seemed impossible to put it down at night, even when my eye lids had given up. And even when you do finish it, you will find yourself digging into the book again, looking for a lot of clues that you didn’t paid much attention to at first but then you realize how they turn course! And yes, I loved the new cover that has been redesigned for Harry Potter series. The covers make the books more appealing though.

BOOK SUMMARY

It is depressing for Harry when he has to spend another summer with his horrible relatives, the Dursley’s. Harry loses his temper after going through rotten behavior and blows his Aunt Marge up like a balloon (with the help of his wand obviously). Harry decides to leave and gets picked by the Knight Bus, which brings him back to the Wizarding School. Hogwarts does not allow any magic outside the school boundary, it might sound like Harry is going to get punished; but he doesn’t. This is because a seriously dangerous prisoner Sirius Black had escaped from Azkaban and is in desperate search of Harry Potter.

Having faced off many maniacs before, Harry isn’t least bothered about Sirius Black. However, the real trouble comes when he is not allowed to visit the wizarding village near Hogwarts (better known as Hogs Meade) that school year. It was a serious bummer for him.

Harry, Hermione and Ron reunite and reach Hogwarts. Hermione brought a cat with her who is really hideous and Ron his pathetic rat. With two totally different animals; one scaring the other or rather haunting the other, led to Hermione’s and Ron’s series of arguments. While they are on the way to Hogwarts, Dementors, guards of Azkaban enter the train in search of Sirius. While the guards are around, Harry starts hearing his parents death sounds and Voldemort’s noises too which led him to faint.

Finally reaching Hogwarts, some major changes are seen. Hagrid gets assigned as the Care of Magical Creature teacher and Remus Lupin becomes the new Defense against the Dark Art teacher. The school year carries on quite well as Harry is busy being the “STUD” that he is in Quidditch, Hermione digged into her course load and Ron being “worried heck” about his rat all the time. But at the same time, fear of Sirius Black remains as he slips into Hogwarts two times during the school year.

Harry potter is mostly indulged into three things; Quidditch, working with Professor Lupin and sneaking into Hogs Meade. During the mid of the year, the boys and Hermione cut off and their friendship goes down the aisle. First because Hermione’s cat killed Ron’s rat and second because she sends Harry’s gifted Fire bolt broomstick for inspection to Professor McGonagall. But the three manage to get back together in time to help Hagrid with his eleventh hour appeal so that he could save buck beak, his hippogriff. However, Hagrid loses the appeal and the day Buck Beak had to be executed the three find Ron’s rat alive in Hagrid’s cupboard. This is when things go all nuts; Ron’s rat runs off and then a giant dog attacks them which makes the rat and Ron run off into the forest. Hermione and Harry follow the two blindly and Ron’s leg gets broken too.

Soon after the attack and the following up, the three of them find out that Lupin is a werewolf, and Sirius Black an Animagus who can turn into a huge giant dog at will. Scrabbers (Ron’s rat) is Peter Pettigrew (Voldemort’s servant) who framed Sirius Black. The craziest thing that happens is that Sirius black turns out to be a good man and is actually Harry Potter’s Godfather who got framed by Peter Pettigrew and was behind the bars for years.

The bad news is that Peter Pettigrew runs off and Sirius Black is yet again caught by the guards of Azkaban. But with Dumbledore being the savior, everything turns out right, doesn’t it? He arrives on time and asks Hermione to use her Time Tuner to fix all the things. So Harry and Hermione travel back into time to save buck beak and Sirius Black by casting powerful Patrons on the scar guards of Azkaban. The super thrilling school year comes to an end ad Lupin is forced to resign from Hogwarts. Sirius who is now in proper shelter and hiding somewhere in peace writes Harry a letter and the three best friends’ part their ways for another summer vacation to happen.

BOOK VS MOVIE

I am a bookworm and love to watch movies that are book adaptations. However, I find myself pushing through the movie because so much goes missing. The details and the depths of a book cannot be challenged by that of a movie.

Few differences I found were:-

  • In the book, the interaction with Buck Beak was a huge one. The entire class meets Buck Beak and Hagrid introduces all of them to the huge bird. However, in the book, the entire interaction goes missing. Harry Potter gets the entire attention and is asked to interact with Buck Beak. This was super odd for me because in the book the scenario of interaction is totally different. Although it is understandable that the movie revolves around Harry but the situation would have been wonderful to watch if it would have been recreated just like that of the book.
  • Sirius Black escaping Azkaban and hunting for Harry Potter is a shocking news for him which is NOT delivered to him by Mr. Weasley. Harry actually overhears the conversation of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and comes to acknowledge the fact that he is in danger. The scene of Harry eavesdropping would have been a delight to watch which didn’t turn out to be the same way in the movie.
  • In the movie, they show that Harry steps up to the Bogart to save Mr. Lupin from the fire. But no such thing happens in the book. The class is called off by the Professor before Harry could even take a step.
  • The weirdest of all difference was of the fire bolt broomstick. In the movie, Harry receives the fire bolt in the last scene. It is a gift that Sirius hands over to him. But in the book, it is a mysterious gift, which Harry gives to Hermione, who forwards it up to Professor McGonagall for inspection. I literally missed this scene in the movie as the fight and the misunderstanding amongst Harry and Hermione would have been incredible to watch. It did seem quite wonderful in the book and I really missed it.

There were endless difference between the movie and the book. The worst part was that I had visualized a lot of scenes in my mind while I was reading the book and when the movie came up, it was nothing like what I had imagined of it. I thoroughly enjoyed the book more because it held so much detail in it that I couldn’t let go off even after days. Yes, the movie has been woven great too. But if you have read the book first, you will understand what I mean here. The book cannot be weaved into the movie from point zero till the end but you still wish to see it all or you expect for it anyways.

VERDICT

Well, the book Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban was a treat to read. The book series is written wonderfully and weaves a magic around you that you are unable to escape even after you have finished reading the book. The plot, the characters, the horror and the thrill are unescapable and that is what makes the book best of them all. Yes, you can see the movie but you can never experience the over rush of emotions through it. The touch of magic that J.K. Rowling has left her readers with is a delight to hold on for a lifetime.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Lexile Measure: 880L (What’s this?)
Series: Harry Potter (Book 3)
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (October 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439136369
ISBN-13: 978-0439136365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Although she writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling, pronounced like rolling, her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply Joanne Rowling. Anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, her publishers demanded that she use two initials, rather than her full name. As she had no middle name, she chose K as the second initial of her pen name, from her paternal grandmother Kathleen Ada Bulgen Rowling. She calls herself Jo and has said, “No one ever called me ‘Joanne’ when I was young, unless they were angry.” Following her marriage, she has sometimes used the name Joanne Murray when conducting personal business. During the Leveson Inquiry she gave evidence under the name of Joanne Kathleen Rowling. In a 2012 interview, Rowling noted that she no longer cared that people pronounced her name incorrectly.

Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Rowling (née Volant), on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Bristol. Her mother Anne was half-French and half-Scottish. Her parents first met on a train departing from King’s Cross Station bound for Arbroath in 1964. They married on 14 March 1965. Her mother’s maternal grandfather, Dugald Campbell, was born in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran. Her mother’s paternal grandfather, Louis Volant, was awarded the Croix de Guerre for exceptional bravery in defending the village of Courcelles-le-Comte during the First World War.

Rowling’s sister Dianne was born at their home when Rowling was 23 months old. The family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne when Rowling was four. She attended St Michael’s Primary School, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce and education reformer Hannah More. Her headmaster at St Michael’s, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

As a child, Rowling often wrote fantasy stories, which she would usually then read to her sister. She recalls that: “I can still remember me telling her a story in which she fell down a rabbit hole and was fed strawberries by the rabbit family inside it. Certainly the first story I ever wrote down (when I was five or six) was about a rabbit called Rabbit. He got the measles and was visited by his friends, including a giant bee called Miss Bee.” At the age of nine, Rowling moved to Church Cottage in the Gloucestershire village of Tutshill, close to Chepstow, Wales. When she was a young teenager, her great aunt, who Rowling said “taught classics and approved of a thirst for knowledge, even of a questionable kind,” gave her a very old copy of Jessica Mitford’s autobiography, Hons and Rebels. Mitford became Rowling’s heroine, and Rowling subsequently read all of her books.

Rowling has said of her teenage years, in an interview with The New Yorker, “I wasn’t particularly happy. I think it’s a dreadful time of life.” She had a difficult homelife; her mother was ill and she had a difficult relationship with her father (she is no longer on speaking terms with him). She attended secondary school at Wyedean School and College, where her mother had worked as a technician in the science department. Rowling said of her adolescence, “Hermione [a bookish, know-it-all Harry Pottercharacter] is loosely based on me. She’s a caricature of me when I was eleven, which I’m not particularly proud of.” Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English when she first arrived, remembers her as “not exceptional” but “one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English.” Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth owned a turquoise Ford Anglia, which she says inspired the one in her books.

SOURCE: Goodreads.com

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Vishesh Gupta
An avid reader, manga hoarder, & appreciates art and creativity.

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