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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End Production: The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (edition 2017)

by J. K. Rowling (Author)

Series: Harry Potter (8)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,175571326 (3.37)19
As an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father, Harry Potter struggles with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs while his youngest son, Albus, finds the weight of the family legacy difficult to bear.
Title:Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End Production: The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production
Authors:J. K. Rowling (Author)
Info:Arthur A. Levine Books (2017), 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling

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Showing 1-5 of 553 (next | show all)
It's so hard to review this because it isn't a book. It also feels very thin and rushed. I never believed the Hermione Ron pairing and the Ginny Harry either so their adult relationships still felt strange. I was so glad to see snape again and I enjoyed the plot but it was all rather strange like a dream. ( )
  spiritedstardust | Jun 1, 2024 |
Loved it. Story picks up where #7 ended...and I'll say no more because spoilers. This one's a fast read - very fast. It's a script with stage directions - and well done. Didn't think I'd like that about the story, but it was fine. I enjoyed trying to wrap my head around how they'd produce the scene on a stage. Now I'd love to see it live! ( )
  DocHobbs | May 27, 2024 |
Ah, the joys of lowered expectations. The bad reviews from fans made me arrive here with low expectations, and compared to them the book was not bad.

But let's get this out of the way first: it says a lot that, when it comes to writing the epilogue to the Harry Potter saga, J. K. Rowling could not be bothered to actually write it. I mean, this is not some spin-off set in the same world but with different characters, like the Fantastic Beast movies. No, this is her great series and characters, the one that gave her unlimited fame and wealth... shouldn't it be more personal? Enough maybe to have her write it? Here it is, marketed as the eight book of the saga, with her name in big letters on the cover, but it's actually written by some guy called Jack Thorne. The saga already had a satisfactory ending, too. If the author did not feel strongly enough about this sequel to write it, what's the point of commissioning it? Why not leave it alone? Sure, there's the money, but she is already richer than the Queen of England. There's the excuse of this being a different medium, but seriously, if you are going to publish it as a book, that's how most people are going to experience it. Really, write it yourself and let Jack Thorne write a theatrical adaptation. Or don't write it. But what's the point of commissioning what you are going to call the last book in the series for which you will be remembered?

Anyway, let's get to the book. I have heard good things about the theatrical presentation, from a technical point of view, but I haven't seen it, and this review is about the book. So, this is a theatrical script, not a novel. How is the experience, compared to a novel? Is it even readable? For me the answer is yes, it's quite readable. There are four acts, and each of them is composed of around twenty short scenes. Being a script, it's mostly dialogue, of course, but knowing that most people are going to read it rather than see it performed, the author has added the occasional descriptive paragraph telling us what the characters are feeling, in addition to the description of actions that you would expect in a play script. That improved the reading experience. Also, the pacing is tight. The scenes are quite short and you have little time to get bored. All in all, I think that Jack Thorne did a competent job from a technical point of view. Still, this is not as good as reading a novel. All the descriptions, the sense of humor in the narration... so many details can not be conveyed so well through a script.

Besides, Thorne may be a quite competent playwright, but he is not J.K. Rowling. These are not her characters, her world, her voice, and it shows. Sometimes the familiar characters seem a bit off. We have the dumb buffoon version of Ron as comic relief, which makes me suspect that maybe Thorne has not read the books, but only watched the movies, where Ron is also depicted like a fool.

Harry as a father seemed so incompetent... True, fighting Dark Lords does not necessarily make you a good father, but for someone who has gone through so much, and for whom family is so important... is he really incapable of talking with his son? One would expect him to have come out of all this a bit wiser, a bit more mature than that. Or is this just convenient so that we can have conflict?

Albus, of course, acts like a spoiled, edgy brat. After following Harry Potter during the seven books, we have seen him get through mistreatment, persecution, overwhelming dangers, and usually with a good attitude (to be fair, he had some teenage attitude in book 5). But in general he was someone we loved cheering for. His second son, Albus, has loving parents and everything, so when he acts for years in such a brooding and spoiled manner, it's difficult to care about him. Scorpius Malfoy, on the other hand, is a sweet kid.

Then, whoever created the plot made the unfortunate choice of giving a central role to one of the most stupid elements of worldbuilding in the saga: the time-turners. Really, an instrument so incredibly powerful and dangerous was used during the series so that students in their early teens could attend a few extra classes? And of course, with them around, deaths and pivotal events lose their impact. If the worst happens, you could always go back and try again. You lose the war? No problem. Try again. Seriously, why wasn't Voldemort going back to the past and changing things until he got it right? But no, it's used when the writer wants and conveniently ignored the rest of the time. So here we take that concept and make it completely central to the book, just so that we can revisit important characters and moments from the main saga. That's why people say that it feels like fanfiction (well, that and the fact that it's not written by the original author). Many in fact say "bad fanfiction", but I would leave it at "competently-written but not great fanfiction, with some cringe-worthy moments and some genuinely moving ones".

At least it was quick and entertaining and, let's face it, it feels good to see some of these characters again, after going through so many literary adventures together.

If you are a fan, you should read this book. It's worth it. Still, this could have been done better. Should have been done better. ( )
  jcm790 | May 26, 2024 |
Sempre foi difícil ser Harry Potter e não é mais fácil agora que ele é um sobrecarregado funcionário do Ministério da Magia, marido e pai de três crianças em idade escolar. Enquanto Harry lida com um passado que se recusa a ficar para trás, seu filho mais novo, Alvo, deve lutar com o peso de um legado de família que ele nunca quis. À medida que passado e presente se fundem de forma ameaçadora, ambos, pai e filho, aprendem uma incômoda verdade: às vezes as trevas vêm de lugares inesperados. ( )
  qualqueroutrolivro | May 19, 2024 |
Review also posted on my blog! :)

I went through a lot of trepidation deciding whether or not I wanted to read this book. Many people are very polarized on their opinions about this book; many reviewers I trust absolutely hated it, so it had me worried. But in the end, I decided I needed to form my own opinion about it and just read it. This is a SPOILER FREE review, for both this novel and the rest of the Harry Potter series!

All in all, my feelings are still very mixed about this book. There are elements to it I did like, but a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. The plot – when considered apart from the series it's supposed to belong to – was compelling and enjoyable. However, when considering the fact it IS supposed to be a part of the Harry Potter universe, I felt that it failed in quite a few ways. Mainly being that it did not give me that magical, fun, escapist feel when I enter this universe. Even though there were many dark aspects to the original Harry Potter novels, it was still heavily steeped in that magical feeling. In this book, there was an overwhelming feeling of sadness, and there wasn't that element of magic and hope to make up for that.

I did enjoy "getting to know" the next generation of witches and wizards. Scorpio was undoubtedly my favorite new character. He was kind, funny, brave, and probably the most well-developed character in the whole story. Albus frankly annoyed me throughout the majority of the story until the very end, when we finally see some development from him, and he learns to be less of a prig.

The treatment of the original characters was definitely a letdown. It felt like the authors were trying to include every possible character from the prior novels, simply for nostalgia's sake. Not that I am totally against nostalgia, but in this case it felt more like a selling-point than trying to re-welcome the readers to this universe. The returning characters felt like shadows of their original selves – as if those writing were not intimately familiar with them. I knew I was reading about Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but they seemed merely like pantomimes of those characters, rather than their true selves. I think things improved towards the end, however. Perhaps the authors felt more "comfortable" writing about them?

And one final thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the twist near the end. While it wasn't something I foresaw, I did not find it believable when considering the Harry Potter universe. It's hard to describe exactly why I feel this way because it would literally spoil the book for those who haven't read it. But to try and sum it up without spoilers: the twist is a result of something that is never even hinted at in the previous seven books (unless I'm really that blind). In fact, I think I've even seen it as fan fiction fodder before.

So this element, combined with the overload of nostalgia, and the bad handling of original characters, really gave this book a very "fan fiction" overtone for me. I've read a lot about how Rowling wasn't heavily involved in the actual writing of this play, and after reading, I can personally see that it is evident with how it is written.

But despite all this, the story was done really well. There really wasn't a dull moment to the book, I was always interested in what was going on and what would happen. And as I mentioned before, the new characters were quite interesting to explore – especially Scorpio. As a standalone story about magic, witches, wizards and good vs. evil, it's a worthy read. As a true return to the Harry Potter universe, it definitely falls short. Because of this, I've settled with 3.5 stars for this one. I'm not sure whether to recommend it or not. If anything, I would recommend that you read it to form your own opinion, because it could be wildly different from mine! Just don't expect it to feel like it's a true eighth addition to this wonderful series.

Final rating: ★★★½ ( )
  escapinginpaper | May 18, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 553 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. K. Rowlingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Thorne, Jackmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Tiffany, Johnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', WiebeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fries-Gedin, LenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, KlausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen-Schmidt, AnjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari-Jatta, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lammers, AnneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ménard, Jean-FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jack Thorne
who entered my world
and did beautiful things there.
--J.K. Rowling
For Joe, Louis, Max, Sonny, and Merle...wizards all...
--John Tiffany
To Elliot
As we rehearsed, he gurgled.
--Jack Thorne
First words
A busy and crowded station, full of people trying to go somewhere. Amongst the hustle and bustle, two large cages rattle on top of two laden trolleys.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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As an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father, Harry Potter struggles with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs while his youngest son, Albus, finds the weight of the family legacy difficult to bear.

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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.
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