Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2
Original Story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne; Script by Jack Thorne
Scholastic, 2016. 320 pgs. Fiction
Nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter works as the Head of Magical Law Enforcement and has difficulty connecting with his youngest son. Albus, a Hogwarts student who struggles in class, on the Quidditch pitch, and among his peers, resents the pressure his father’s fame places upon him. After being sorted into Slytherin, he befriends Scorpius Malfoy, who similarly fights against his famous name and the assumptions that are made about him because of it. When Albus overhears an emotionally charged conversation between his father and Amos Diggory, the young boy decides it’s time that he and Scorpius rewrite history.
As a proud member of the Harry Potter generation, I of course went to a midnight release party to claim my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. After reading it, I have mixed feelings. It was a delight to return to the wizarding world, and the play tells a dark, compelling story (one better suited to teens and adults than children) that I loved. I missed J.K. Rowling's distinctive voice, however. Although she conceptualized the story, the actual script for the play was written by Jack Thorne. He captures Rowling’s characters perfectly, and I often got glimpses of a similar kind of humor through the dialogue. Because it was a script rather than a novel, however, the descriptions were limited to stage directions, and this made me realize that Rowling as a narrator is one of my favorite aspects of her books. Overall, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wasn’t quite as magical for me as the original seven books, but I think I might feel completely differently had I seen rather than read the play. Anyone want to offer me tickets and a flight to London?