Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: Jack Thorne (Script), Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, and J.K.Rowling (Story)

Age Group: Young Readers, 8-12

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_special_rehearsal_edition_book_cover

It is, in fact, hard to know where to begin when reviewing this screenplay. The main difficulty I faced when I approached this book – an approach filled with joy and excitement to read it – was that it started becoming a chore to continue once I got to the halfway point, and that in itself filled me with great disappointment because I was no longer reading for pure enjoyment but for the sake of finishing the story.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is just an opinion and my perspective of what I read and I would love to hear what others have to say about this story and their opinions as to whether they enjoyed it or not. My best friend and I decided to do a ‘Buddy Read’ seen as Harry Potter is what bought us together as friends, and we shared mostly – if not 100% – the same opinion over this screenplay.

I found the young and growing Albus Severus Potter to be a whining, sniveling and utterly ungrateful brat who made irritated me to no extent every time I read something he said. He was not the cute little kid excited to go to Hogwarts that we saw at the end of the final installment and that is what makes me a tiny bit more disappointed, however those last few scenes in this story do reveal Albus to be a character who’s changed due to their adventures/misfortunes and he’s a more manageable character by the end when he shares a very loving and tender father-son moment with Harry.

At points I was feeling as though this story line was centered more around Scorpius Malfoy and his adventures and misfortunes into saving the world and bringing back the Potter’s. It was a very Topsy Turvy story that I struggled to understand and comprehend in certain places and I found it hard to appreciate every ounce of magic that was performed through the story due to the constant asking of “How on earth would they show that on stage?” The illusion is shattered due to this being an actual performance on a stage with a live audience and I found that the concept of this being a screenplay completely overshadowed the power of the original stories. I’ve come to feel in honesty that this particular adaption of the story shouldn’t be part of the original series because it seems somewhat rough and out of place – and I understand that this may be a very unpopular opinion and I’m okay with that – but there are just certain things that the characters do that I don’t feel they would every have done to start with; a prime example of this is when Harry looses his temper at Professor McGonagall, this is something Harry would never do out of his undying respect for her as a Professor and as a person.

Towards the end my excrement for ‘THE END’ was starting to take over and I was happy to finally finish my tackle with this story. I feel it was a very all over the place kind of story line with motives that almost never made sense and aspects that seemed somewhat out of place. Overall I felt this to be nothing more than “glorified fanfiction” but again, that is just my personal opinion. The drab backwards and forwards story line was almost made up for it in the end with that tender father-son moment I mentioned earlier, but as I closed the book and placed the dust jacket over the hard cover I found myself experiences a sort of emptiness because I came hoping to be satisfied with this ‘Eighth story. Nineteen years later.’ but instead was treated with an unsatisfactory does of disappointment when I closed the book feeling barely any love for the hard bound pages I was holding in my hands.

If every part of this screenplay was much like that final scene of tender love between father and son, then I assume this screenplay would have been a beautifully touching piece of art to be added to the “read multiple times for the rest of existence” pile but there was too much lacking content for my liking. As an avid Harry Potter fan who has been with the series for well over a decade and a half, I am almost dissatisfied and disappointed that this screenplay is affiliated with the original series.

However, as I said this was completely my own opinion, and I am deeply saddened to be giving something with ‘Harry Potter’ in the title such a negative review.

 

Until next time, keep turning those pages.

xx Phoenix

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  1. bookowly says:

    I had quite similar disappointments while reading this book, but when I saw the play, boy, everything changed. While reading the script one can’t possibly imagine all that magic that they will put on a stage.

    I’ve said it in my review and I’m saying it again – the book was a mistake. I think they did it, because people who don’t live in London would feel terrible… and to get more money of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PhoenixFireSoul says:

      I’m glad to get another opinion on it. It’s good to hear! I imagined they had to have been two completely different experiences and I can imagine that what they managed to do on stage must have been the most magical part. I am sad about the book but I understand why they would have published it – the money no doubt being the most important part – but it was considerate of them to release a book for those outside of London. I guess in some cases a the special effects and acting can make all the difference when you have a dull script. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, it’s great to know that there are similar opinions out there – however now I wish I’d seen the play! All in all I’m glad you enjoyed the experience of seeing it onstage, and once again that you for sharing your thoughts with me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • bookowly says:

        Yes, I just wanted to mention one more thing – sometimes things that seemed stupid in the book while reading… they were said in a completely unexpected intonation (or unexpected things happening on the stage), that it changed the whole thing.

        I am planning to revisit the book in a while, now that I’ve seen the play, I am sure that I will see it in a different light.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PhoenixFireSoul says:

        I think doing another review would be good, all theses things are very important to note seen as you’ve been able to experience both. It would appear the play allows for a better experience compared to the script, it would be good to have another say based on both your encounters and it would provide a better light for the story. It’s good to know. I really wish I could have been able to see the play. I think it would have cast a different opinion for me now that I’ve heard more about it.

        Liked by 1 person

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