Mediating the Stories of the Muggle and Wizarding Worlds

Audiobooks

Audiobooks ~ US Editions (mixture of cassette and CD)

Audiobooks – US and UK Editions

This page gives basic information about the US and UK producers of the unabridged audiobook editions of the Harry Potter series. (To my knowledge, there are no abridged versions available.) I have compiled their release dates and the number of hours to listen to the set. For details of press kits and promotional materials on the audiobooks, see the page on Promotional Materials 1: Books and Audiobooks.

Random House/Listening Library

Random House/Listening Library is the US publisher of Harry Potter audiobooks. The books are performed by Jim Dale.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Released October 5, 1999. 8 hours.
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Released December 1, 1999. 9 hours.
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Released February 1, 2000. 12 hours.
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Released at midnight on July 8, 2000. 21 hours. Note: With HP4-HP7, release of audiobook coincided with release of print editions.
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Released at midnight, June 21, 2003. 27 hours.
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Released at midnight, July 16, 2005. 19 hours.
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Released at midnight, July 21, 2007. 21 hours.

Cover to Cover Cassettes Ltd.

Cover to Cover Cassettes Ltd. is the UK publisher of Harry Potter audiobooks. As of late 2010, Cover to Cover has been delayed in the process of going live with their own website. Meanwhile, you can find detailed descriptions and production information on the UK versions of the Harry Potter series, as performed by Stephen Fry, at the BBC Shop and at Amazon UK. Here are the release dates (according to Bloomsbury Publishing) and approximate reading times (where I could find them), rounded off to the nearest quarter hour.

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 8.5 hours.
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Released July 2006. 9.75 hours.
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Released July 2006.12 hours.
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Released May 2007. 21 hours.
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 29 hours.
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Released August 2005.
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Released July 2007.

For What It’s Worth

The American versions of the audiobooks are performed by Jim Dale (a British actor). He is incredibly good at giving each character a different voice, and that helps you follow the story really well. Also, if you’ve seen at least a few of the movies, you can pretty easily picture the various actors from the films saying the lines – kind of like when you watch an international film performed in another language and you read the subtitles … eventually it seems like the characters are actually talking in English. If that makes sense. Anyway, these are excellent renditions, and once I got started, I wanted to keep going on the entire series! The United Kingdom versions are read by Stephen Fry – he’s a good actor, so I bet they’re good too. Anyway, for what it’s worth, there it is!

Random House/Listening Library (USA)

Below are composite images taken from my set of Random House audiobooks. I purchased mostly used cassette tape sets on eBay, as they were far less expensive than the CD versions. I’m looking forward to hearing Stephen Fry’s versions someday …

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ~ Biographical Sketches ~ Jim Dale & J.K. Rowling

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