Audio Review: Harry Potter Series

Author: J.K. Rowling
Narrator: Jim Dale
Genre:  Fantasy
Producer: Listening Library
Books in Series: 7
Overall Rating:
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Review: I figured I'd start my audio-book reviews with a bang. This is by far the BEST audio-book series I have EVER listened to. Jim Dale (narrator) is a genius. He does DOZENS of unique voices, and each one is so convincing you think it's a separate person.

I honestly cannot praise these audio-books enough. My grandmother owns Prisoner of Azkaban on tape, and when I was younger I used to listen to it over and over and over. I listened to it so much, that I know where Jim Dale makes a mistake (he says: "Ice mice: make your cheeth chatter and squeak"). The audio-book version of this series are as important to me as the books themselves.

I really enjoyed listening to all seven books in a row. For one, I got a month of non-stop Potter. Which was FABULOUS. I could listen to Jim Dale for the rest of my life. For another, I was able to make a ton of connections, and everything was so fresh in my mind! It was also fun to notice the odd quirks between the books (in books 1-4, Dale says VoldemorE, but in 5-7 he says VoldemorT).

As I finished each one I got more and more eager for the next. It reached the point where I wasn't just listening to them while I was working. I listened to them while I drove, while I cleaned my room, and just sitting on the couch. I'll admit, however, that I did have to pull over when it got to the epilogue. You really shouldn't drive while you're sobbing.

It's odd for me to watch the movies, because they don't sound like Jim Dale. Then again... Jim Dale has so many voices, I'm not entirely sure what he sounds like.

You don't have to listen to the whole series, but I BEG of you to check out at least one of these audio-books and listen to it. I promise you won't be disappointed, even if you don't like audio-books.

Here's a sample of what Jim Dale sounds like. He doesn't start reading until 2 minutes in. My FAVORITE voice he does is Professor McGonagall, and that's the very first voice he does in this video. Enjoy!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011


  1. I harass people to listen to the audiobooks to experience the wonder that is Jim Dale! He also narrated one of my favorite TV shows, the amazing canceled-too-soon "Pushing Daisies."

  2. Jim Dale is amazing! It's so funny, we've been discussing the audio books of HP in book club, and my friend Sarah hated how Voldemort was pronounced with a silent "t", but supposedly that's how he was told to pronounce it at first.

  3. Thank you for this! I still haven't decided if I want to buy the audio books (SOO expensive) but I've been debating Stephen Fry vs Jim Dale, so it's good to know that Jim Dale is amazing. I'll keep that in mind!

  4. I'm not a big audio book person so I think I will just stick with my paper books of this series. I just feel I get so much more out of reading it myself. When I listen my mind wonders to other things and I can't "get lost" in the book.

    I'm glad that you like the audio though.

  5. Tara,

    I DEFINITELY prefer Dale to Fry. Fry's voice is... strange. But I know some like him better.

  6. Enna....yes. I think we were separated at birth. I had to post this too

  7. I have read the series more than once, and I just started listening to it (I'm on Chamber of Secrets). He really does a great job! I'm enjoying it a lot.

  8. I'm just starting to listen to the audiobooks and I am in love. I'm finishing up Chamber of Secrets now. Jim Dale is amazing. I agree with you--McGonagall is my favorite right now. :)

  9. I've never listened to these, but you've convinced me. Thanks for the recommendation!

  10. Steven Fry all the way. The books are set in England, the author is English, most of the characters are English and Steven Fry is English. Don't mess with the Englishness. Not everything is about America. You shouldn't try to claim everything for your own.

  11. Hm. Interesting viewpoint. I DON'T try to claim everything for my own, but okay. And Jim Dale is British as well, yes? I know he's not "as British" as Stephen Fry or something, but I can't tell the difference. And I like Jim Dale's range of voices more than I like Stephen Fry's accent.

    But that's totally personal opinion. I know the Fry vs. Dale discussion is one that will probably go on forever. :D

  12. Good point and nicely put. Maybe I got just a little over excited. :) *blush*

  13. I'm in the process of listening to all the books right now, and I just love Jim Dale. I'm still in the "VoldemorE" stage and it's so weird!

  14. I rewatched all the movies and though I'm not a huge fan of them, they reminded me why I love the books so much! Instead of rereading them (again) I decided to experience the audio. I must agree, Jim Dale is AMAZING. I love it.


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