Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review


Just a quick book review of the new release 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two' by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne. The book is the Special Edition Rehearsal Script for the new play by Jack Thorne. 

My story: I have been a Potterhead, fan of the books (and some of the movies), almost since the beginning. I wasn't interested in the first book initial, but it kept getting great reviews and was always a top pick through the book clubs I was a member of. I bought the second book for my niece, who had raved about the first one. I read the book on the plane ride from Arizona to Northern California. Wow! I was hooked after that. I would dress up and go to the midnight book releases. I read each book in one sitting, and then read it multiple times. I got excited for the movies and was thrilled with the first two and the last two, but am only so-so on the others. I was able to see a pre screening of one movie. I collected whatever I could find on the book and movie series (well, whatever I could afford), have it displayed in my Harry Potter room, and interacted with other Potter fans. I even learned to knit (badly), so I could make a Gryffindor scarf, just like the ones worn in the first movie. I wanted to be in Gryffindor, but Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin. I embraced the opportunity, even though I was uncertain. When Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, I was there on opening day. It was a blast! 

I didn't know what to expect from this play script. I didn't know what I wanted it to be. I am now glad for that. I am a fast reader, and with this being a play script, it was an even easier read than I expected. It took me just over 2 hours to read through, and I was thrilled to immerse myself in Harry's world once again. It took only a minor bit of adjustment to imagine Harry at 37-40+. I even transitioned to imagining the play actors, rather than the movie actors, even though a I've only seen one or two photos of the play actors. 

It is an interesting read from the start. The pace of the play is good. The dialogue has humor, of course, but the uncertainty of parenthood and the insecurity of childhood is vividly portrayed in the simple words, and often dismissive discourse. Then I turn a particular page, read the chapter title, and nearly burst out in tears. The only thing that really stops me from crying is that I don't want to get the pages wet. You'll know what part I mean. Or perhaps you were already crying? The intensity of what follows is heartrending and heartwarming, all at the same time. I parallel the events with intense emotional situations in my own life as a I read on, and I feel the helplessness in the face inevitable loss. Do we want to know it is coming, is it easier to prepare, and how heroic would I be in the exact same circumstances? I'm afraid the answer is 'not very'. 

I recommend reading this script. I would love to see the play. I am fascinated with how they want to include the audience in such a visceral way. If you haven't read the Harry Potter series and only seen the movies, some things might be off-putting, but I bet you will still feel deeply. 

I have so many things on the to-do list today, and am currently listening to the A Song of Ice and Fire audiobook series, but I know that I will be compelled to do as a I did yesterday. Find a comfy, quiet spot, with a good light and read 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two' again. This time I'll have the tissue ready and let the tears flow. Even though I know what is coming, I always cry at the deeply moving parts in the book series and movies. Always.