Jim Dale masterfully reads the seven-volume unabridged audiobook. We’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks, and Jim Dale is by far the most gifted reader we’ve ever heard. Incredibly gifted.
The audiobook is 4.8 days long (about 115 hours). We thoroughly enjoyed listening to it on date nights and road trips. We’re sad it’s over.
The series is not without objectionable elements (e.g., the protagonist and his friends tell lies without negative consequences, and some of the language is not appropriate for children’s books), but overall J. K. Rowling’s story is brilliant, creative, intriguing, and entertaining. Its literary quality is not as exquisite as J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis, but it isn’t junk food either (cf. Kevin Bauder’s series “The Christian and Fantasy Literature”). (Some of the movies, on the other hand, may qualify as junk food. Don’t judge a book by its movie.)
By the way, this may explain one of my Facebook status updates a couple of months ago:
If I become a professor at a college or seminary, I may suggest a different title than the typical “Professor of New Testament” or “Professor of Systematic Theology.” How about “Professor of Defense against the Dark Arts”?