Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
By: J.K. Rowling
Narrated by Jim Dale
435 pages (12 hours)
My Copy: Borrowed from library (I own the book, though)
Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite Harry Potter novels. It's refreshing to breeze through it after plodding along during Chamber of Secrets. There's just so much to love about it.
Jane Austen isn't one of J.K. Rowling's favorite authors for no reason. She has the same incredible ability to misdirect the reader and make us feel exactly the opposite of what the truth is (think Elizabeth and Darcy as Harry and Sirius). This book also starts feeding us information about Harry's parents, which we glory in along with Harry. And since I've seen parallels between all the other books, I imagine that this one ties pretty closely to Order of the Phoenix. Harry begins his relationship with Sirius here, and ends it in Order of the Phoenix. Harry believes he will be expelled for the use of underage magic in the beginning, and in Phoenix, he almost is expelled for just that. Professors Trelawney's prophecies feature in both. Also, Harry learns information about his father that makes him proud and happy in Azkaban, but in book five, he starts to see a different, more complete version of his father emerge.
I think the scene in the Shrieking Shack is one of my favorites of the whole series. I included a (somewhat poor quality) clip from the film adaptation. The movie does a nice job of condensing it. Plus, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, David Thewlis, and Timothy Spall are brilliant. You can tell even the three kids up their game a bit around them. Swoon...