Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling
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"'Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go.'" When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss...
Wonderful audiobook ruined by ads and laziness
First and foremost: I absolutely love this book. The only thing better than reading it is listening to the stunning performance by Jim Dale. I've listened to the cassette version more times than I can count. I was thrilled when I found out I could finally get a proper digital copy. That being said, this audio product is a disgrace to the format.
I am horrified. Horrified at the thoughtlessness with which this audiobook was published. I cannot believe that this, the official audiobook on iTunes/iBooks sanctioned by Rowling herself, that costs almost $35, has ads. ADS! It's hard to describe the degree to which I hate whoever decided that adding a plug for Audible at the beginning of the book was a good idea. Do they really think I just payed a premium price to hear that the book I know and love is "brought to me by Audible"? No. Just no.
But that pales in comparison to how obnoxious the plugs in the middle of this book are. Apparently Audible takes the liberty of separating the audiobook into multiple parts to "help it download faster" (a ridiculous justification for something that was released in 2015). They also felt the need to explain this with an audio track inserted right in the middle of the book. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Nothing transports you out of an immersive story faster than a computer-voiced public service announcement about the technological ineptitude of the publisher jammed in between the chapters.
And, speaking of chapters, for my $35 years they couldn't be bothered to split the audio up by chapter (it's broken into arbitrary "tracks"). They couldn't even be bothered to title the tracks properly. They are literally just labeled "Track 1", "Track 2", etc. How is that useful? How am I supposed to navigate the book? It's no better than my old cassettes and that is just infuriatingly lazy.
All in all, It's simply incredible that someone could take a 5-star book with a 5-star audio performance and utterly ruin it into a 1-star product. Lose the shameless ads. Lose the idiotic PSAs. Treat the audio version of this book like the brilliant, masterfully crafted, continuous story that it is.
Shame on everyone who had a hand in producing this needlessly modified digital edition. And shame on me for enabling you with my purchase. I would take it back if I could. I'll be posting this review for all of the audiobooks in the series so nobody falls prey to this without some warning
Oh my lord
Okay so I have to say something. As much as I LOVE the Harry Potter books and would LOVE to listen to them I do not have 35$ plus change and they are ALL this price. I am sorry but that is terrible. I know the Harry Potter books are popular but they are not so popular that you have to price them so high. I had to say this.
The reviews complaining about ads are LIES. I listened to these books all the way through without any ad interruptions. The only mention of audible is in the beginning when the title of the book, author, and narrator is mentioned.
Jim Dale's reading is entertaining, and revisiting the story through this medium makes all the little details that JKR sprinkled throughout the series concerning the plot shine bright. It's awesome to hear someone else's take on the characters' voices. It's an entertaining riveting performance all the way through.