Fiction · Modern

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” — J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany

It seems that this book is very controversial amongst the Harry Potter book lovers. Everyone I’ve talked to who has read it either absolutely adores it, or thinks of it as an abomination to the Potter-verse. There are even some people who haven’t read it and never plan on reading it because they vehemently are against it.

harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child.jpgIf you decide to read this book, I think the main thing here is to remember that it is not the eighth Harry Potter book; it’s much different and you can’t go into it with the same expectations.

The one book—which is already shorter than most books in the original series—covers a time span of years, as opposed to nine months in the Harry Potter books. Everything goes by so quickly and you don’t get to see a whole lot of the day-to-day activities that readers loved in the first book. It’s also important to note that this is a script, so it’s all dialogue with the few exceptions of stage action and directions. The Harry Potter books are loved in part because of the amount of detail they go into, but the play doesn’t have the opportunity to do so, especially since the play production itself provides that.

“People think they know all there is to know about you, but the best bits of you are– have always been– heroic in really quiet ways.” (Act IV. Scene ix)

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way…

I was truly glued to this book. It was so much fun to read and it was quick, too. I paced myself (with great effort) so that I could lengthen the experience for as long as possible. I really enjoyed most of the story, as it mainly focuses on Harry’s middle child, Albus, and his life at Hogwarts, which is much different that of his parents or even siblings.

The book brought back a lot of pieces from the original series that I had not expected to come up. To be quite honest though, I thought they could have done more with the plot. The things that they did bring back could have be done in a better way. Without spoiling the plot, I found the climax of the book to be a bit cheap which disappointed me greatly.

Ultimately, I loved the set-up and exposition, but the ending lacked conviction and wasn’t up to J.K.’s standards, in my opinion.

I definitely don’t regret reading the book, but I also wouldn’t write home about it. I almost view this book as apart of the Potter-verse and don’t think of it as canon. In terms of recommendations, I’d say read it if you’re curious and think it’d be fun (it won’t ruin your perception of the original series), but don’t feel like you’re missing out on a key part of Harry Potter because you don’t read it.

Despite any thoughts, I do think that going to see the play would be so much fun and an amazing experience.

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4 thoughts on ““Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” — J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany

  1. I am glad you did a review on this book! I am also a huge Harry Potter fan, so I feel like anything that is out of the original series would not meet my expectations of a J.K. Rowling novel, but I will add this to my list to read just for fun! I think it would be interesting to read since it is a screen play– that is great that J.K Rowling is trying a new style of writing. I would love to see her break free and start a new series for the next generation to fall in love with!

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  2. I started reading this screen play about a month ago. I got sidetracked on other things, and my wife grabbed a hold of the book. Now I have to wait until she is done reading it. We both have enjoyed the Harry Potter books over the years, so we were happy to see J.K. Rowlings come out with some new book. We were both concerned that it would be a difficult read, but have found it quite easy once you get used to the format. My wife is further along now than what I was, and she has pointed out that Rowlings doesn’t provide near the detail in this screen play, probably due to the nature of what it is, but we both agree that as avid Harry Potter fans, we already know the back story on the characters and locations, so the stage has already been set. I am looking forward to picking the book back up once my wife finishes.

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  3. I started reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a few months ago. It started off kind of rough trying to adjust to the new format, but once I settled in, I almost forgot about the new format. I would compare it closely to watching a foreign film with subtitles. It starts out as work, but before you know it you don’t even realize you are reading the lines. It seems like a regular film

    Unfortunately, I have not gotten through the book yet, to no fault of the book. I just got sidetracked with life, and haven;t had time to read much of anything. I will definitely pick it back up. In fact, my wife took the book over after I sat it down and read it, and liked it.

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