Friday, October 03, 2008

Potter Perfect Stephen Fry

An hommage to Stephen Fry's incredible reading abilities

As a long-time self-proclaimed Harry Potter fan, I have read all seven books at least two times, and the last four several more. Which is all fun. But in addition to this I have listened to the audiorecordings read by Stephen Fry an embarassingly high number of times. Sitting there on the iPod they are so easy to access and many a walk, pre-bedtime minutes and times when I feel I need additional comfort, security or just to be surrounded by a sense of family (yes, I know the characters so well I now consider them part of my family), has been graced by Fry's outstanding interpretation of Rowling's Potter world.
I generally like reading for myself better than listening to audio books; nothing above, nothing equal to it. But with Fry's performance I actually think the books gets an extra dimension, or rather that it is so well transmitted through Fry that I stop thinking about that someone is reading aloud, that there is someone else interpreting the characters I know so well from the books. And that, to me, is quite an achievement. Additionally, it is not only me thinking this, but all people I have talked to about this agrees. My mother, whom I had long recommended reading the Potter books, first got hooked when I gave her all seven Potter books on her newly bought iPod. She started out listening to the Norwegian version, but did not find the reading satisfactory (or, perhaps, the translation, as I myself find the books far better in the original British-English than in translation). However, when she - grudgingly, as she does not feel too comfortable reading English novels - started on the Potter series, she could not get enough! I think she raced through all seven books in two to three weeks, something which is quite a feat, considering the length of the last four novels and a packed work schedule. No one was allowed near her iPod as she then might lose track of where she was at in the present Potter story.
This did not surprise me a bit; the Potter novels seem to have that effect on readers. But it did please me, as it allowed my mother some well-earned breaks from her demanding job and probably increased her energy levels.
Isn't it just wonderful that literature can have this impact on people? And how grateful am I that there are interpretors such as Stephen Fry out there. Well, by now you can probably tell ;-)

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