Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Brief review of Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry, and by Jim Dale

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I have listened extensively to Harry Potter on audiobook over the past few years - and it goes very well indeed in this format. I have previously read the whole series aloud as a bedtime book, so I knew it worked well aurally.

There are two recordings - Stephen Fry for the English audience, and Jim Dale for the US audience (although both the readers are English).

Fry takes a very measured, significantly slower and more detailed, approach; it is clear he has spent a lot of time and care preparing these readings, and that almost every word has been weighed and considered. Despite that I regard Fry as one of the most irritating and morally-pernicious people in Britain today; I would strongly recommend his reading, which was clearly a labour of love.

Dale is faster in his reading, and indeed more dynamic - he pushes forward through the text; and yet also more relaxed than Fry. In general, Dale's is a more exciting reading; giving the shapes of the story more fully, but with less inner detail and nuance than Fry.

My own preference is for Fry. But I would also recommend Dale's reading, and half my family prefer it.

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