Let's hear it for the holidays Nothing could be hotter than a tape of Harry Potter, and now Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (8 hours) the first of J.K. Rowling's wildly best-selling series, the one that started the craze and clamor is on tape and at the top of my holiday gift list. Children first, then adults, fell under Ms. Rowling's spell and fell into her magical world of witches and wizards, trolls and goblins, centaurs and unicorns, wands and flying broomsticks. And Harry is an ever-appealing, classic hero only a boy and pitted against dark forces that would dismay and defeat a lesser soul. It's hard to know exactly what makes this tale of derring-do so compelling, but now that I've been initiated, I'm just wild about Harry. Reader Jim Dale, who conjures up the perfect voice for each character with a sorcerer's ease, may just be a wizard himself.

Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.

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