Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale
Harry Potter, like all good things, must come to an end. No, that's not a hint about Harry's condition at the conclusion of the last of the Harry Potter books; it's just a lament that the fine series of books by J.K Rowling has finished. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows delivers everything that Harry and J.K. have promised since the first of the seven books in the series. It seems natural to speak of Harry and J.K. as colleagues in this endeavor, because, like Harry, she demonstrates the highest level of wizardry in the magic she produces through this wonderful book. A generation of children is now reading and discussing literature with their peers and their parents, loving the magic of words.
As his seventeenth birthday approaches Harry and the wizarding world realize that Harry's mother's protective spell will soon expire and Harry will be more vulnerable to Valdemort's death threats than ever. Harry, Ron and Hermione leave the shielding circle of enchantments provided by the Weasleys and their friends to fulfill Dumbledore's last request -- to find the horcruxes and destroy them, so that Valdemort can no longer threaten the wizarding community.
This book is non-stop and action-packed from beginning to end. Fantastical creatures, mystical locales and heart-stopping battles keep listeners enchanted as surely as if they'd been subjected to a wave of Harry's magic wand. Woven throughout the engrossing story are life lessons for young and not so young readers. The power of love and the importance of loyalty, courage, and perseverance are just a few of the positive values listeners and readers bring away from this book. Through the author's skillful use of dialogue and flashback, even someone who has never read a previous Harry Potter book can follow the action and understand the characters in this book.
Jim Dale's narration of the story and his presentation of each of the characters is unbelievable! To call it a virtuoso performance would be an understatement. The characters live and breathe for the 21 actual hours of the narration, but the poignant memory of their voices lingers long after the recording is silenced. This book is a must for listeners of all ages, whether listened to alone or in a car full of assorted travelers. In fact, the experience is so rewarding that I recommend buying both the audio book and the text, so the magic and music of the words can both be enjoyed.