Sunday, August 14, 2016

Book review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Firstly, a huge apology for my absence. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, I know, but a number of factors have prevented me from getting around to updating - exhaustion being the primary reason for my silence. 
 
I hope to get around to blogging more this month, but in the meantime, I thought I’d get back into the swing of things by posting up this short review of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, which, although not perfect, I quite enjoyed! 
 
Source: Review copy from the publishers. You can purchase a copy of the book from Raru.co.za
 
Summary: Goodreads
Publication date: 31 July 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown UK  publishers

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Review:

WARNING: Mild spoilers ahead, although I’ve done my best to be as vague as possible without giving anything away

An enjoyable read that should be read for the nostalgia and not for the expectation of being a fully fleshed out story. I’ve seen a lot of criticism about this not being an actual book, which is rather ridiculous considering that this was originally written and adapted for stage.
 
To me, this book actually reads like a series of Throwback Thursday moments simply because of the fact that for most parts of the play, we explore scenarios set in the same landscape, but alternative universe in terms of time – and as such, we get to play witness to interactions with some of our old familiar favourites.

Of course, considering that this is the script of a play, a lot of the moments in the book often get lost in translation because we are only provided with snapshots of moments instead of fully developed and fleshed out scenes.

It’s enough to give us an overview of the characters and scenarios, but personally, it did leave me wanting more.
 
The best bits of the play-to-book script is the friendship that is explored between Scorpius and Albus (they're the most adorable duo ever) and the complex relationship that both of them have with their fathers (so many daddy issues yo).

To be frank, I’m not even sure why the relationship between the boys were made to be one that is simply a close friendship, considering all the subtext and UST (unresolved sexual tension).  In fact, I’ve seen many people describe this as the Scorbus (Albus and Scorpius) fan fiction they’ve dreamed of and I’m inclined to agree.

To echo what I’ve said to a friend who asked about Albus and Scorpius: the subtext is so non-subtext that this book could just as well have paired the two together from the onset.

In terms of plot, there were several moments that left me scratching my head and one huge moment that I was certainly not expecting (I’m still ruminating on this aspect even though it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve read the book. I also find it hard to believe that a certain character is capable of feeling any form of feeling that isn’t tied to murderous intent, but I guess that is what Jo was banking on, so well played, Jo. Well played).
 
However, despite the fact that I feel like so many things were left unanswered and unaddressed (which I’m mostly excusing because ya know, SCRIPT and not novel (as mentioned above),  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ended up being a fun and fantastical read and one whose play I'm definitely still interested in seeing.

Read it because it’s fun, but don’t expect epic character arc, development and intricate plots and sub-plots.

0 comments: