Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling
narrated by Jim Dale
New York, NY : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003 (book)
New York : Listening Library, p2003 (audiobook)
Lord Voldemort has returned. Cedric Diggory died. Harry is left at the Dursleys again this summer, and no one in telling him anything of importance. He's whisked away to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix - a group of adult wizards trying to defeat Voldemort - and finds out that no one else is particularly sure what's going on, either. Voldemort's been keeping quiet, apparently after something that he didn't have last time he was in power; meanwhile, the Ministry refuses to believe Harry and Dumbledore's report of Voldemort's return and The Daily Prophet has started a smear campaign to discredit them.
This has always been my least favorite of the series, and one that I have not reread as often as the first four. Usually, I get annoyed with Harry and his attitude and his downright whiny behavior, especially in the first half of the book. But this time was different. Maybe it was the fact that I was listening to the audio. Jim Dale's narration really brings out each of the characters and their emotions, and I zone out a little sometimes with stories I'm familiar with. I don't think that's the whole story, though, as I was more prone to stop what I was doing to listen to or read the story. No, I think it was because this was the first time rereading it after I finished the series. Some of the explanations to come made a huge difference in how I interpreted Harry's actions, and I found myself listening for clues to that later revelation. As a result, my understanding of events was richer, and I'm really looking forward to my first reread of Half-Blood Prince.