The third entry in J.K. Rowling's phenomenal Harry Potter series is as good as its two predecessors, and read by Jim Dale, who gives another astounding performance. If you aren't hooked on Harry yet - don't wait, he's too much fun.
The central theme of good and evil is played out here again, in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban as Harry, now 13, is stalked and threatened by a turncoat follower of the Dark Lord. He and his trusty friends at Hogwarts are caught up in a dizzying adventure, with twists and convoluted turns, revelations of the past and intimations of the future. This parallel world of witches and wizards that Harry and Co. inhabit brings back the joy of childhood, the joy of seeing the good guys fight the good fight, battle the nasty, the envious, and the intolerant, and talk without embarrassment of trust, loyalty, and betrayal. If these tales can't disarm cynics and super-sophisticates, I doubt that much can; and if they don't succumb to Harry's charm, they deserve their wonderless fate.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month. Copyright 2000 BookPage Reviews
School Library Journal Reviews 2000 May
Gr 4 Up-The third book in J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter series (Scholastic, 1999) is spiritedly brought to life in this audiobook narrated by English actor/singer Jim Dale. In this installment, Harry's life seems to be in danger when Sirius Black, a wizard convicted of multiple murders, escapes from prison and appears to be heading towards Hogwarts to seek revenge against Harry for causing Voldemort's downfall. Dale, who also recorded the audio versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Jan. 2000, p. 73) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (April 2000, p. 76) gives a tour de force reading performance as he chronicles Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With his mastery of verbal inflection, expressive voice, and terrific accents, Dale deftly shifts from general narration to numerous character voices without disrupting the flow of the story. In fact, his tone is so warm and inviting that listeners don't feel the tapes nearly 12 hours length; instead, they will eagerly anticipate listening to more. Adding Dale's vocal talents to Rowling's already well-written and engaging story makes this a quality audiobook worthy of inclusion in all audio collections.-Lori Craft, Downers Grove Public Library, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.