Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know you've been revisited by the magic of the Wizarding World when you read a book this size in a single day (and you haven't been able to do that in years). Admittedly, it isn't as big as it looks - the script format means the whole thing is double-line-spaced and the margins are pretty decently sized, which made it quick to digest.

It was quite lovely to meet grown-up Harry, Ron and Hermione and see their dynamic has remained intact, and it was fun to see them forcibly mixing with Draco Malfoy once again. Albus and Scorpius made likeable vessels for this delightful trip back through the story universe, Albus filling the role of his father as reckless, headstrong, unwilling celebrity and Scorpius playing both the follower like Ron and the brain like Hermione. I definitely would love to see this stageshow, but so too would I be happy to read novel-length tales of Albus and Scorpius going through their Hogwarts years.

There's some of the J.K. cleverness visible in the plotting, people not who they appear to be, and plenty of shoutbacks to the original books, especially Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows. Some of the stage direction is vague or missing, which can send you back a page trying to work out when Harry took his daughter off his shoulders or when the enchanted bookcase took hold of someone, but for the most part it's clear enough that you can imagine the scene, and the dialogue is mostly in-character and helpful in situating everyone on stage. I had to self-insert a lot of commas that have been left out, presumably to simplify things for the actors; though I don't see how it could hurt to punctuate correctly for the readers. Still, thoroughly enjoyed this very fun and canon-friendly jaunt through my favourite story universe, and hope to see the show come to Australia one day!

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