This guest post is long overdue and not because we were both meant to post each other’s review long before now, but more because I should really start including more guest posts on A Book and Tea.
Today, I’m joined by my good friend and Pokemon chum, Charlotte. She’s kindly going to review Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – how exciting!
Now, over to Charlotte…
Sunday July 31st 2016, 12am. I lay in bed scrolling through Twitter on my phone as thousands of men, women, boys and girls queued up to purchase the latest story in the life of a boy wizard. Or should that be man wizard?
It was meant to be magical. I was meant to be excited. I was severely underwhelmed. Which has left me severely disappointed.
The Cursed Child starts right where we left off with the last book, with Harry, Ron and Hermione reuniting on Platform 9 and 3/4’s, waving their children off for the start of a new term at Hogwarts. Harry’s son Albus, whilst nervous where the Sorting Hat will place him, soon makes an unlikely friend – the son of Draco Malfoy, Scorpius. The script quickly jumps forward 2 years, with Albus and Scorpius very much the lone wolves of the school, and the adventure that follows puts their friendship to the ultimate test.
Now I will defend JK Rowling to the end of my days. In Potter she did some things that I may never be able to forgive (*cough* the death of Lupin *cough*), but they had to happen for a reason. To push the story in the direction it needed to go. But this story to me had very little direction. I have to admit, and I tweeted about it whilst reading; it felt like glorified fanfiction. It was as if the writers had sat down in front of Tumblr, trawled though the Harry Potter tag; the copious amounts of fanfiction and incredibly detailed fan art, and simply chose all the plot devices and themes that we suggested. But then threw them together with no semblance of order.
This story had the potential to exude same magic of the Potter series, it just unfortunately didn’t resonate with me as much as a full-blown novel may have. I think without the magical music, the elaborate sets and costumes and the incredible acting, it just didn’t have the same affect. The emotional bits were sad, not ‘blubbering-like-a-baby’ traumatic. The funny bits were comical, not ‘fall-off-my-seat’ hilarious. It is clear that this story should be viewed as the script meant it to be – on the stage.
The main question I was left with at the end of reading this script was this – who is the Cursed Child? Is it Harry? Is it Albus? Is it one of the many other characters that we were introduced (and reintroduced) to? It could be any one of them, or it could be all of them? Maybe that’s the point. Are we supposed to make our own interpretations about who the Cursed Child really is? Is it supposed to suggest that in some way everyone is the Cursed Child, including the audience? That question will more than likely linger in the back of my mind for years to come, until JK decides to give us a straight up answer. But I’m not holding out much hope for that one.
I would like to thank my good friend Clare for allowing me to post this on her blog, and apologise for my tardiness! I know the book has been out for well over a month now, but I really struggled with coherently getting my thoughts across on this one. If you would like to read her review you can find it over on my blog here. Beware – spoilers!
Visit Charlotte’s website and blog: www.charlottewalton.co.uk
View my review on Charlotte’s blog: http://www.charlottewalton.co.uk/2016/09/guest-post-cursed-child-review/
3 thoughts on “#GuestPost: book review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
I was clearly disappointed in the story. It felt familiar, yet so different, like the essence of the magical world was missing, and only shadows of the series we all love so much remained. I wish it had been fully developed and followed a real thread. There were too many inconsistencies and things left behind. It definitely felt like a fanfiction.
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