[For a more recent re-read of the first Harry Potter book from July 2018 in English click here.]
I’ve had a copy of this book on my bookshelf since undergrad. I bought it when I was still taking Spanish classes and could probably have read it a hell-of-a-lot easier back then that now, but I never made it past the first few chapters no matter how many times I tried. This time, with my 30th birthday looming and it being one of the final three items on my 30×30 list I pushed through and finished it!
I’ll talk more about reading it in Spanish in my 30×30 item post, this is just a recap of the story. This is the second time I’ve read the first Harry Potter book while blogging, the first was back in July 2012. And as with every time I re-read the first novel in the series I’m amazed at how much world-building (adapting) Rowling does in such a short novel. Sure she spreads it out over the first few, but introducing so may ideas and people within such a short span AND telling a story wow.
If I have one problem with the film adaptations, it’s that they took a lot of the humor away from some characters and seriously beefed it up in others. In the books you have Peeves the poltergeist who serves as an excellent foil to EVERYONE but in the films you just have Ron and Seamus making asses of themselves every so often. I love minor characters and I was so disappointed at how many of the wonderfully creative minor characters were left out of the adaptations.
Looking back to the very first time I read this I do notice that some of the wonder of discover is lost, but most of it survives every re-read. The shock of Quirrel and Snape isn’t as shocking, but the tearing up at the end when Dumbledore awards points to Gryffindor remains. It’s funny how some things change every time you read it and some never do.
As for the Spanish adaptation of the English work, I thought they did a decent job. It didn’t feel like much was missing, but it wasn’t quite as magical as reading it in English (probably because it was more work). There were a few times where I found myself completely stumped about what I was reading, but I blame that on there being a film adaptation in addition to the printed books. They didn’t change any of the character names so far (I know they did in the German edition),
Recommendation: It was a decent translation and not as hard as I thought it would be. The story definitely changes a bit because it’s harder to pickup on a lot of Rowling’s subtleties but I’m looking forward to re-reading the rest, maybe even in Spanish!
Opening Line: “El señor y la señora Dursley, que vivían en el número 4 de Privet Drive, estaban orgullosos de decir que eran muy normales, afortunadamente.”
Closing Line: “Voy a divertirme mucho este verano con Dudley…” (Whited out.)