BOOK REVIEW | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2

REVIEW | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2
by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Review by Mark David Major

(Book blurb begins) 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 received 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. (Book blurb ends)

Well, it is definitely a Harry Potter story! A crackin’ good story about a mortal threat to the World of Witches and Wizards? Check! Enjoyed spending time with old and new characters? Check! Read the entire book (aka ‘plays’) in one reading? Check! Personally, I wish J.K. Rowling had just written a full novel instead of this play version in collaboration with others. I am not sure I would want to see this enacted on stage. The scenes are so brief and rapid (some only two pages long), it makes me suspect half of the running time is dedicated to scene changes. On the other hand, it certainly reads like a ‘ready for Hollywood filming now’ production (other than the fact that Alan Rickman as Severus Snape is no longer with us). Worth a read if you are a huge Harry Potter fan like myself, but I am not sure it qualifies as really essential material. A few scenes (especially at the beginning) read like Rowling/others have some difficulties imagining Harry, Hermione, and especially Ron as adults. The new, young characters are the most succesful creations, especially Scorpius Malfoy, who comes off like a young Sirius Black. Mark’s Grade: 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Arthur A. Levine Books; Special Rehearsal Edition, 2016
English, 320 pages
Harry Potter Series (Book 8)
ISBN-10: 1338099132
ISBN-13: 978-1338099133

You can purchase Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from Amazon here.

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