Harry Potter & the Cursed Child
Consider this book for what it is - the transcript of a play, based on one of the most popular fictional storylines to have ever been written. And yet, it does not live up to that expectation. Of a play.
I'd like to think of myself as part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter. Physically, I mean not just in terms of reading. The character itself is actually older than me, but I was only a few years older than Harry when I read the Philosopher's Stone, and 21 when the story ended. Supposedly.
When the Cursed Child was announced, it not only took me by surprise but also filled me with a certain apprehension of how much to expect from rehashing a story that ended on a note of closure.
I was in England the day the book was released and having pre-ordered and picked it up at Hatchard's (with the nerd in me doing cartwheels), I settled in - with cupcakes and wine - to read this much-awaited sequel to the series that was the means of introducing me to my now best friends.
I did not enjoy it. A lot of people were surprised that it was in the form of a script, but that really isn't the problem at all. It's a play, so let's begin there.
The characters from the original series are adults and are all meant to only be supporting characters. Draco Malfoy's and Harry Potter's sons, Scorpius, and Albus, are exactly what their fathers weren't - the best of friends. And so trouble begins.
The two boys, especially Albus, live in the shadow of their paternal legacies. Albus, being Harry's son, is obviously the one to wade into a mess - this one very much a time turner related mess. All the adults get involved, make it worse, and finally everything goes back to normal with lessons learned. Done. End of story.
What's wrong with it all, you wonder? Everything lacks coherence - the newly introduced characters, the situations, and storyline itself. Dialogues leave something to be desired, even for a play meant more for children than for adults.
If you were to read out the script imagining yourself as a part of the actual play, it might make it better, but I'm convinced that a musical version of this play would have given it the charm it certainly lacks.
[Spoiler Alert] To be very honest, what this story was supposed to represent has already been talked about in this edition of How Harry Potter Should Have Ended.