Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script

by J. K. Rowling

Hardcover, 2016



Call number

PR6120.H67 H37


Arthur A. Levine Books (2016), Edition: 1, 320 pages


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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member dpappas
I tried going in to reading this with no expectations but quite frankly I knew I wasn't going to like this. I was all for keeping this series as it was and not adding any prequels, sequels, or spinoffs. The fact that this play isn't even written by J.K. Rowling but based on a story she wrote with a couple of people rubs me the wrong way as well.

Initially when I first started reading this I was horrified at how repulsive I found it to be. It did not have the same magic of the series (I do not consider this whatsoever to be the eighth part of the series) and I was just baffled at how the characters were acting. This felt like a Harry Potter fan fiction that was turned into a play.

I do admit the more that I read it the less horrified and disgusted I was. The story does get a little better but still does have its outlandish moments. I don't want to give any spoilers away for you brave souls who want to read this. Maybe if I hadn't have loved the series as much as I did I may have actually enjoyed this more. As you can see from my review all this managed to do was turn me into a raving lunatic.
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
So much love! OK, first of all, it’s in script format. No doubt that disappointed some--it's not a new novel. But for me it was a plus. For one, none of the stylistic tics that have bugged me in Rowling were present: No jarring book-saids or adjective abuse. It’s not bloated in plot; there aren’t any plot holes that I can see. One of my friends said she did roll her eyes at one aspect, but even with her that was a minor complaint.

There's another way I find this a past due recognition. The way Gryffindor dominated the other books and all the Slytherins were depicted negatively really bugged me. One quarter of the kids are cool and another quarter evil little tyrants or their followers in the making? Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff still don't get their due but at least there are heroic Slytherins in this one and some Gryffindors who... well, let's say make some mistakes. There's one line of McGongall's I've been waiting for *someone* to say to Harry Potter for years: "The lesson even your father sometimes failed to heed is that bravery doesn’t forgive stupidity."

A lot of the lines are witty, out and out funny and/or wise. There are some old favorite characters that unexpectedly show up--a highlight of the book for me. And I love, love Scorpius beyond measure. In fact, in the immediate aftermath of reading this I'd name this my favorite Harry Potter story. No doubt partly because it's been a long time--I hadn't realized how much I'd missed them all.
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LibraryThing member Jonez

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 4am review/rant:

This is a difficult review, and one I may end up thinking on and possibly editing in the future. I first have to say that I went into this with an open mind. This isn't an eighth novel penned by JK Rowling. It is a collaboration, it's is meant for the stage and it is more a love letter come to life for the potter universe and its fans. Now, I could say this is almost like a piece of fan-fiction, and with that mindset I could probably enjoy it a bit more. Accept...JK's hands and blessing were on this. THAT my friends is where the problems begin. Let's start with what I liked, because there was a lot that I liked. From this point on...here be spoilers.

What I am okay with:
A stage production isn't meant to have the same pace as a novel. It is meant to be theatrical in nature. It's meant to sweep back and forth between acts sharply with crescendos, dives and peaks. It's often meant to have a cast of characters that represent different aspects of the human condition, and often times this means creating over the top or cartoonish characters. A play is meant to give the feel of a lot happening in a small span of time, so I can forgive some of the cartoonish bastardizations of our loved characters, the pace and timing and the showy dialogue. I also appreciate the stage directions, which lay down the workings for a wonderful theatrical experience. As far as those bastardized characters go...

Ron was a bumbling fool (ugh. Okay, okay...ill let it go. It upsets me, but I'll let it go).
Draco is slightly redeemed.
Albus (Harry and Ginny's son) turns out to be the black sheep.
And the character Scorpius saves us all with how amazing he is.
Snape comes back. A universe with a Snape. Yes. All the feels.
I have heard some reviews where people are upset about how Harry is portrayed. Harry is a bit tough on his son and has problems showing his love for him in a more direct way. Considering Harry's past and as someone who is now 40, I can say with authority that as you get older, you will find even with the best intentions as a parent you will say the wrong shit and screw up in ways you promised yourself you wouldn't. This Harry is not one I find fault in.

Other elements I appreciated:
The magic in this play sounds like it would be amazing to see on stage, and I'm jealous that I can't. Also, the deep love and friendship between Albus and Scorpius. Loved!!! However, this "friendship" itself seemed safe. I'll get to that in a moment.

My biggest problem:
The premise. The entire plot. Yes. I had to say it. Rowling forgive me I had to. Time travel? Why? Time travel!?!

As we know from the cannon the entire stock of Time-Turners, located in the Time Room, in the Ministry of Magic were rendered useless during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in 1996. For these aforementioned turners, the longest period that may be relived without the possibility of serious harm to the traveller or to time itself is supposed to be around five hours. But in this story a prototype is created that goes back even farther.

And a duplicate exists, one that belonged to Dracos father (mentioned and revealed conveniently towards the end of the play by Draco). You know...one that would probably have been useful back in the previous books at helping Voldemort beat Harry...one that could have aided the Malfoys...One that could have helped Draco...

In the play this prototype is used by Albus and best friend (shipped) Scorpius to go back a period of about 19 years to alter time. But don't worry...only for five minutes (except Dracos. The Malfoy's turner had no such restrictions. Ahhh the convenience of this showing up last minute). The prototype time turners are used four times in the space of days. Four. Times. It has serious consequences each time, but all are remedied by simply turning that clock back and going back to make quick little fixes...

Here lies my biggest peeve. They seriously alter time four times, opening several parallel universes in process, and somehow are unharmed and are completely aware of the first timeline and are shocked when entering the aftermath of each new timeline. They never change or alter with time. How?WTF? They do this over and over again. Playing hopscotch with realities and time lines. This throws away the basic rules laid out before in the previous cannon( and in pretty much all acceptable bookish theories of time travel) that use of a time turner can't seriously alter time lines. No doubt this makes good stage, but it still leaves a heck of a bad taste in my mouth.This is like trying to build a good story on the shakiest foundation humanely possible. Crap, not well thought out, not well presented, not well represented...time travel.

Not to mention the original turning of time is all to bring back Cedric Digory. A character who was always established as both kind and brave, but apparently would completely give up his base instincts and character if humiliated in the slightest, resulting in him turning into a death eater. One that will kill Neville Longbottom and therefore negate the death of the snake nagini, and make Voldemort victorious. Once again, all as a result of being embarrassed at a tournament. Death eater. Really?

Why? To issue in a prophecy that is apparently less stable then the actual time travel. One that has us now believing that Bellatrix somehow secretly gave birth to the Spawn of Voldemort.

I just. I can't. I'm having a hard time.

Also, Albus and Scorpious' relationship. What happened there? It seemed to be a build up to a beautiful relationship...and then it wasn't. Suddenly it went from there is no one I would want to spend my last moments with more than you to oh yeah, I'm completely heterosexual and just asked Rose to the dance. Suddenly the decision was made to play it safe? What was that? Now I'm wondering if JK will do what she is famous for and spin a homosexual relationship angle for these characters AFTER they are off the page (cough cough...Dumbledore).

Still, being in this world was still fun. I still loved the characters, I still enjoyed the read, even the cringe worthy plot device didn't completely kill the experience for me. Still, it was not a great experience.
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LibraryThing member nikkinmichaels
Halfway through, I thought I'd be giving this 2 stars — and if it weren't for the nostalgia factor finally overwhelming me, I would've. CURSED CHILD is lazily written, with on-the-nose dialogue and over-the-top characters pretty unlike the original novels, but in the end it's not, in fact, a novel. If you keep in mind throughout the reading experience that this is truly meant to be seen rather than read, you'll likely enjoy it more. But let's be honest: it was SO GOOD to be back in the Wizarding World again.… (more)
LibraryThing member LunaraDawn
As at least one other has mentioned, this script reads very much like bad fanfiction, and I'm still scratching my head as to why J. K. Rowling let this get published. I still want to see the play - I have a feeling it will be much better - but this was just disappointing. Having a story about the children of Harry Potter and his friends is fine, but there's so much I wanted to know that this didn't cover. What happened to Teddy, how has George been doing, is Hagrid still close to Harry? Those were just off the top of my head, but really, there was so much more left out.

Sadly, I honestly quite disliked Albus Severus, which I hadn't anticipated. I thought he'd be my favorite character in the script, but I just found him annoying. I also didn't appreciate what was done to a certain Hufflepuff that I shan't name for fear of spoilers, just know I'm not too happy about it. I do adore Scorpius however, I think he's adorable and lovable. And I personally feel that Draco has more than redeemed himself, but I won't spoil my reasoning here.

Overall, the three stars I gave this script is mainly for the Malfoy's, although I suppose the time travel element was interesting enough. The best thing this script did was show that Slytherins (such as myself) can be good people, and that, at least, is something positive.

(I do apologize if anything in this review is incoherent - I'm typing on a tiny screen and it's hard to look it over and edit typos or add clarification at this time.)

P.S. I completely forgot, but I meant to mention that the train scene completely flabbergasted me, and really took me out of the story. If you read it, you'll know what I'm talking about. It was just really strange and quite unnecessary in my opinion.
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LibraryThing member thebookmagpie
Harry Potter and the Curse of Being Literally The Worst Thing I've Ever Read
LibraryThing member courtneygiraldo
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the infamous Battle of Hogwarts with a new generation of witches and wizards, focusing mainly Albus and Scorpius, the children of Harry/Ginny & Draco. I don't want to go into too much detail about the story line as I really don't want any spoilers but it's suffice to say that Albus gets himself into trouble, trouble that could have dramatic consequences not only for himself, but all of the wizarding world. I had such high hopes for this book, being the huge Harry Potter fan that I am, and I can only imagine the pressure Rowling, Tiffany and Thorne felt while writing it. The Harry Potter series has set the bar so high and to try and recapture the feelings the original evoked must have been a daunting task to say the least. I must say, J.K. Rowling delivered. I had my hesitations, and was worried that reading a play may not translate the right tone and mood for the story but I was so wrong. Perhaps because I am so well versed in the HP universe, or maybe reading plays isn't, in fact, as boring as I recall from highschool, but in any case, it was superb. All the "oldies" (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Professor McGonagall, Draco) were the same well loved characters I remembered, same quirks and vices, same loveability (and ability to get under your skin, *ahem* Draco). And the new characters, mainly Albus and Scorpius were so wonderfully written and with an amazingly constructed story line. To be transported back into one of my most favorite literary worlds to be with old friends, was in a word, magical. The book was everything I had hoped for and more. It made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to read it slowly so it would never end but was too exciting to put down so that it was finished in a few hours.… (more)
LibraryThing member bragan
This is the complete published script of the two-part Harry Potter play that recently premiered in London. And... it's not bad. The story is a mixture of some fun plot elements, some implausible ridiculousness, and some character stuff that has its heart in the right place, but sometimes gets a little melodramatic or emotionally clunky. So, pretty much exactly like the original series, really. Most pleasingly, it turns out that Scorpius Malfoy is a really good, even downright endearing character, and hey, who've have figured that?

But I'm thinking there was no way this was ever going to fully live up to the legacy of the series, pop cultural juggernaut that it is, and I say that as someone who isn't even really a huge Harry Potter fan. My initial response, as I began reading, was, "This is okay, but, honestly, a story about the next generation, two decades later, just feels so tacked on and unnecessary, like an irrelevant coda to a story that was definitively finished." As the play went on and began to revisit a lot of elements from the original books, I found myself instead thinking, "But the next generation surely deserves to have their own story, rather than to be caught up in this sort of navel-gazing into things we've already seen." Basically, the poor play just couldn't win! Fortunately as I moved on into part 2, I found myself relaxing a bit and doing a better job of just enjoying the story for what it was, and I had a pleasant enough time. But coming into it with all that impossible-to-avoid baggage in my head probably meant I was never going to find it 100% satisfying. Even though that's totally unfair to the play, which is making no attempt to pretend it's Book Eight in the Harry Potter Saga (even if the publisher of the script certainly didn't go out of their way to keep people from thinking that). Basically, it's a decent piece of authorized fanfiction in play form, and there's nothing wrong with that. Or, at least, nothing that's not caused by my own irrational inability not to expect that a new, official Harry Potter story ought to be not just a new Harry Potter story, but some sort of overwhelming Pop Cultural Event.

And, of course, that difficulty in being entirely satisfied is exacerbated by the fact that this isn't even the medium the story is intended to be consumed in. I have little doubt that I'd have found it much more engaging on the stage. Not least because I found it impossible to even imagine what kind of visual techniques might have been used to pull off any of the magic described in the script, and I'm willing to bet it was fairly impressive to see.

All that having been said, though, I am glad I read it. It's a very fast, reasonably entertaining read that invites the reader to think a bit more about some of the characters and events of the Potterverse, even if -- as I'm sure will be the case for some fans -- it's only to disagree with what this story does with them. I'm also glad, by the way, that I managed to avoid spoilers for this before I read it, as there are at least a couple of plot elements that I'm sure I would have found much less fun if I'd known about them beforehand.
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LibraryThing member whitreidtan
Surely everyone who wants to has read this latest entry into the Harry Potter canon by now, right? I actually allowed the two of my children who were interested in it to read it before I did because I was a little ambivalent about the whole thing. With the releases of the last few books, I packed up my then young children and carted them to the midnight launches so they could experience the magic for themselves. But with this one, I didn't really care about the midnight launch, and not just because my children are now older and less awed by such things. I didn't know what to expect and felt as if I had been happy enough with where the Deathly Hallows left the characters and the world. I'll admit the format of the book gave me pause as well. I have never particularly enjoyed reading scripts, firmly believing that their nuances are only showcased in performance and not on the page. But when you are thousands of miles from anywhere the performance can be viewed, you make do. And so I read this. I don't regret it, and maybe there was no way around it, but I was left a little bit underwhelmed. It was fine. It was fine. But I've come to expect magical and this wasn't that.

When I say that this wasn't as magical, I'm not referring to actual magic being performed in the story but about the feeling it gave the reader. The originals were delightful and enchanting while this was a much darker, melancholy feeling read. There were some interesting parallels between young Albus Severus and young Harry in their desire to right wrongs, in their loyalty to a friend, and in their discomfort with unearned fame. These parallels do neatly tie this to the original series but not in the way of a normal sequel. The exploration of the parent child relationship between Harry and Albus was, at times, difficult to read as Harry clearly floundered with this sensitive child. But if Harry as father isn't all the reader could have hoped, the portrayals of the other adults in the novel are hard too. They are underdeveloped and oftentimes nothing but buffoons, still stuck in their own immature school personas.

But the biggest beef I had with the story revolves around two plot threads. First, I find it completely and totally unbelievably out of character to posit the idea that Voldemort would ever have been close enough, even just physically, to anyone to have sired a child. Although Bellatrix would have been the logical witch upon which to get his spawn, he didn't like or trust anyone enough to be that close to him when he would be vulnerable. His character just wasn't drawn that way. Secondly, I don't love alternate histories and so the idea of continually jumping back and forth in time was not all that appealing to me. And the final jump back to Godric's Hollow felt like just one more time for Harry to make things right, to honor sacrifice, and then to make his own for the good of the Wizarding World. But we already knew all this about Harry's character and this felt like a redux, like an unnecessary addition.

I didn't necessarily want more of Harry Potter but if we were going to go back to that world, and what a world it was, I would have liked the same magical, not melancholy, feel and a stronger connection to the ethos of the other books. Over all it was fine. It was adequate. But it didn't rise to the level of special I would have liked. If you haven't already, read it yourself and let me know what you think. And if you've been lucky enough to see it, let me know if the translation to the stage imbues it with some of what I think is missing on the page.
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LibraryThing member Kristymk18
Anything written about the Harry Potter world is bound to bring nostalgia. And Harry Potter and the Cursed Child certainly did. A lot of our favorite characters are back or make an appearance of some kind. It had the feel of a reunion episode you might watch of an old favorite TV show. Old jokes or lines reappear and you reminisce about old times, but some of the magic of the original is missing. Still, I enjoyed the story and loved revisiting this world.… (more)
LibraryThing member twhite13
Obvious villain, overly dramatic dialogue, some pacing issues. But I liked this book anyways. It was so much fun to hop back into Harry's world and immerse myself for a day. Without the nostalgia, it would probably only merit 3 stars.

This isn't the next Harry Potter book. This is very much an adult story, revolving a lot around Harry's parenting and the legacy of THE Harry Potter weighs on his son. And as much as these are always Harry's stories, I wish we spent more time on Malfoy and his relationship with Scorpius.

It was good, not great, and I'm glad to have just a little more time in the world of Hogwarts.

And I loved Scorpius. Albus is fine, but I really liked Scorpius.

(What the heck with the trolley witch? Just... no. That made no sense.)
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LibraryThing member Belles007
I loved being back in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. It lost one star for two reasons: first, I would rather have read a fleshed-out novel than than this stage play, which felt like a stripped-down version of a full story. The second reason I knocked a star off is that it seemed to be trying too hard to make this a grand epic adventure worthy of being a Harry Potter story; some of the story elements seemed too gimmicky. Still, overall an enjoyable read.… (more)
LibraryThing member lindamamak
Remembering that this is script of a play the story is consistent with a true story of the Harry Potter legend
LibraryThing member armchairreader
(There are no plot spoilers in this review) Disappointing. The script is shallow, with very limited character development, pedestrian dialogue and a predictable, action-propelled plot that has no subtlety.
In performance I imagine it is much more satisfying-the script calls for some truly amazing staging and effects, which would make the performance entertaining for any audience member in the theatre.
The playwright, Jack Thorne, must be relying on the audience's prior knowledge of (and love for) these characters and of the existing backstory to make this play work, because his writing is pretty weak.If not for the J.K. Rowling brand, I imagine this play would struggle to please audiences.
The new generation of characters are just as barely-sketched and uninteresting, which is really too bad, since they should be the heart of the story. I had hopes they would be as compelling, funny, complicated and endearing (or terrifying) as Rowling's characters from the books. These are character sketches, not fully-fleshed people. It is entirely possible for a playwright to create living, breathing characters audiences can't take their eyes off of, and will think about for hours/days/weeks/years afterwards. (Hamlet, anyone?) These people on the page barely occupy their costumes. I hope the actors are bringing some life to them in performance!
The plot and character reveals (which come from Rowling, I assume) are interesting and do carry the saga on to the next generation, but it feels so thin- everything happens impossibly quickly, without time to build depth or richness. Scenes are very brief and go very predictably from plot discovery(!) to reaction(!) to another scene of discovery (!) a setback (!) and so on. It feels like it was written very quickly. Staging it must have been a challenge-scene changes must be pretty amazing since we are constantly shifting from place to place for short, declarative exposition-filled scenes.
Reading the play script feels like hopping across a deep river from boulder-top to boulder-top. fast, breathless, no time to stop and be in the moment or look around and let anything resonate.
I'm glad I bought the script, it is always a pleasure to visit the world of Harry Potter, but I hoped for so much more from this. A better playwright might have made this a script (and hopefully a fully staged play) to treasure and revisit often, the way I do the books.
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LibraryThing member ecataldi
Worth the wait, I loved every word in this book. I refuse to post any spoilers, just know that it takes place nineteen years after book seven and is in play format. It's a quick read and once you get going you forget you're reading a script. It's dark, beautiful, and it drops you right back off into the wizarding world. I laughed, I cried (a lot, but that's just me), I was enchanted. I cannot wait to see this acted out on stage. It's wonderful, JK Rowling never disappoints!… (more)
LibraryThing member ceecee83
**WARNING!!!! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. LIKE LOTS AND LOTS OF SPOILERS. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please do not read this until you have read the play!! I really don’t want to be someone who ruins a Harry Potter story for an innocent 😛 #keepthesecrets**

I don’t even know how to begin this review. I mean, how do I review a Harry Potter story, especially one that has been getting a lot of mixed reviews? It still seems so surreal that this is an actual book, and I’ve experienced the first official Harry Potter release in almost ten years. I’m so used to reading things online about Harry Potter that it took me a moment to realize that Queen Jo herself collaborated on this story, and that it is a real play showing in London right now. I guess I’ll start by saying that I loved this book and I don’t care what anybody says about it! There has been a lot of Negative Nancies roaming the internet over the last few days, and I will address them now.

I’m actually a little taken aback about how much criticism this script is getting from the Potter fandom. People are complaining that it doesn’t have the same feel as the books, that it reads like fan fiction, and that the story is ludicrous. Personally, I was never expecting this to be a deep, magnificently written eighth Harry Potter book, meant to fill the void that has been in our lives for the past nine years. This is a play. I knew that it was going to be a fun and crazy new adventure, meant for audiences that love Harry Potter to appreciate and enjoy. Yes, there were dark moments that made me emotional, but all in all, this is a production to be performed over a couple of nights. This was given to the fandom as a little treat, full of new reveals, tidbits that fans would appreciate, and light moments that will give the audience a good time. We have a new Harry Potter story, and how can you not be overjoyed at simply the experience of obtaining and appreciating Harry Potter in this new dramatic medium? Come on people!

Furthermore, of course it’s going to have a different feel from the books. The books are so rich in detail, story, and character, that it’s impossible for a script to have the same ambiance as a book. Not to mention that this script was written by Jack Thorne, NOT J.K. Rowling. Due to the fact that I wasn’t expecting it to live up to the ridiculous hype that only a Harry Potter story could receive, I enjoyed it immensely. As soon as I finished, I wanted to start reading it again from the beginning! Phew. And that ends my rant about the haters! On to the positives of the review (and trust me, they will be plentiful!)

Considering this play takes place in the Wizarding World, and therefore has quite a lot of magic, I would imagine that this play would be absolutely phenomenal to see live. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but wish over and over again that I could watch these scenes play out on stage. I love theatre and I love going to plays, and I’m certain this show would be one of the most spectacular I have ever seen. I’m really interested to see how they would do the scenes with Polyjuice Potion and transfiguartion. Also, there are sections of the play where scenes are happening really quickly and in a dream-like state, not to mention there are scenes concerning TIME TRAVEL. I would love to see how the scenes flow magically and seamlessly from one to the next!

Story-wise, it was so much fun to revisit our favourite characters and to get to know the new generation. I loved learning what Harry and the gang were up to, what everyone did for work, and the little tidbits that were mentioned nonchalantly that made my little fangirl heart squeal. I really liked that we were simultaneously enjoying a new adventure with Albus and Scorpius, but the adventure relied so heavily on the past and our love for the previous Harry Potter stories. I mean, the boys go BACK IN TIME with the purpose of SAVING CEDRIC DIGGORY?!? Let’s be real, when the boys revealed that this was their plan, I’m sure every single one of us were like NOPE. You DO NOT mess with time. YOU BOYS ARE SO STUPID! You play around with a time turner and one little thing you do can change the world! These boys learn the hard way that if you change things in the past, people may not be born and major events may have different outcomes. Yeah, messing with time travel. Rookie mistake. However, as fans, we get to see scenes from beloved stories like The Goblet of Fire, revisit characters that have passed (Snape ❤️), and get a glimpse at alternate realities within the Harry Potter universe. Are those enough spoilers for you? 😛

Now, let’s talk about characters! First, our big three. I actually don’t have much to say about Harry and Ron (lol), but I do not want to brush over the fact that Hermione Granger is THE MINISTER OF MAGIC. Yaaasss girl ❤️ I was so happy to see Hermione still slaying after all these years. I also really enjoyed Draco in the play. I felt that near the end of the series, Draco definitely became more complex and a little more human to us. I wasn’t expecting Harry and Draco to become friends or anything, but it would have been nice to see them talk and ease up a little on the mortal enemies thing. We didn’t really get that in Deathly Hallows so I was happy to see Harry and Draco interact more and work together to save their sons in The Cursed Child.

Now let’s talk about the new characters! I cannot say how much I love the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. It’s just too perfect that Harry’s son and Draco’s son would become the new Harry and Ron. ALSO the fact that Albus is in Slytherin? LOVE ❤️ I know it was something that Albus was worried about, but I didn’t think that it would actually happen! And when it did, I was more than okay with it. Slytherin gets a bad wrap and I love that our two main guys were Slytherins and that they were saving the world! Even though they messed it up in the first place… But let’s move past that! 😛

I feel pretty cliché saying this, but I also really loved the fact that Scorpius was like the new Hermione. He was adorably nerdy and loveable, whereas Albus definitely inherited his father’s angsty side. In regards to Rose, I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of her. I wish she, Albus, and Scorpius could have been a new little trio, because that would have been too good. Oh well. Maybe they thought that would be too similar to Harry, Ron, and Hermione? I don’t know. I just know I would have loved to get to know her a little more!

Finally one glaring presence in this play is the character of Delphi. This is the one aspect of the play where I can understand the WTF reactions from some fans. Delphi “Diggory” is the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. I mean whaaaaaaatt? First, ew. We knew that Bellatrix was oddly obsessed with Voldemort, but the fact that they actually had….. “relations?” That just seems a little too human for Voldemort. I imagined Voldemort as someone who was so dedicated to his plan of world domination that he didn’t even think of things like sex. For some reason I would think that things like that were below him? It sounds weird to say, but do you know what I mean? Especially because of his whole inability to love thing, you would think that he wouldn’t even think about women 😛 I know love is different than lust, but still. Voldemort wanting his jollies? TOO WEIRD. Also, Delphi says that she was born right before the Battle of Hogwarts, which made me shake my head a little bit. I mean, we did NOT see a pregnant Bellatrix at any point, and to my knowledge she didn’t mysteriously disappear. Or did she? I kind of want to go back and really pay attention to Bellatrix because we know how Jo plans these things. She never just pulls stuff out of the air and everything always connects or makes sense in a certain way. I wonder if she was planning this all along? But Voldemort having a daughter? It’s definitely crazy!

Well, I think that’s all I really have to say about this new Harry Potter story. One of the main points I wanted to make in this review was to shake off the haters. I just feel that some people need to chill out and appreciate this for what it was! It’s not going to ruin any aspect of our beloved world and book series. This play is simply meant to be a treat for the fandom, a show to watch and enjoy while receiving some new information about the world we know and love. I am not one to think that an author should stop or leave a series where they ended it. I will always be on board if an author I love wants to continue with new stories in a world they created. And who would really dislike the opportunity to get to know Albus and Scorpius? I know that this play has received a mixed bag of reviews, and you can count me in with the positives! I definitely want to see this play if I ever have the chance, and it now sits in its rightful place on my beloved Harry Potter shelf.
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LibraryThing member Sheila1957
Done in play form, it is a quick read but there is a lot that goes on during the read. I liked Albus and Scorpius. I also liked that they did not give into their families' pasts and continue the fighting between the Potters and Malfoys. I liked that the characters from the earlier books were brought into the story. I also liked the alternate stories. I would love to see it live… (more)
LibraryThing member TheDivineOomba
So I finally got to read this book - and I liked it. Its not perfect and I'm not sure if a play form is quite right for it. It takes place 19 years after the last book, and its the story of Harry and Ginny's Son, Albus Severus Snape. He's not a happy a kid - he is the middle child, not in Gryffindor, and isn't living up to his father's reputation. So - when he gets a chance to change history (for the better, so he thinks) he goes for it -and it requires his best friend Scorpius (Draco's Son), to help him out.

First, I'm disappointed that this is a story about Harry, not a new story (or a story with elements from Harry's). I do think the author has got the teenage middle kid syndrome figured out - but I wish that there was more to it - everything was a bit flat (which might be the play format), but I don't think there was enough time developed to the characters.

And lastly, this isn't a children's story. Its much darker - and some of the topics are bit more adult. This is really a book for adults who grew up on Harry Potter.

And, if the play every comes to town, I'd like to see it.
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LibraryThing member sszkutak
This is a long one -- but it does NOT have plot spoilers. I do talk about locations and the characters a bit though, so tread lightly if you don't want any information before reading.

Ok, so all the feels with this one. I know that many readers had horrible reviews of this and I feel like some of it is that people don't like change and there was a lot of change with this book, I will go into that a little more later.

I actually enjoyed this book. It was a very nostalgic experience and I wanted to run out and get it and read it immediately and swoon over another Harry Potter adventure but once I had it in my hands all I wanted to do was cry - I was SO excited to have another jaunt in Harry Potter land but I was SO sad to also see it go once again. So I tried to read slowly, I was super good about not going on the internet and reading anything anyone had said about it and I read through it in about 2 weeks, although it would have been easier to binge it.

My overall thoughts on this one was that I am very happy with it, you get a glimpse into the world of adult characters, adult problems and now that I am an adult I found that refreshing that the characters are growing with me. You also get an adventure - what is HP with out one? right?! - but in this case you get it with the children of the older main characters. I think that the plot was very interesting, it kept me on my toes the whole time, I laughed, I was shocked, I cried... ok I cried a lot, but COME ON it is the last Harry Potter and there are so many emotional flash backs in this.

I, for one, also did not mind that it was a script, when I am reading I really enjoy a good lengthy dialogue and that is what this is, lots of talking with some stage notes throughout to set it up a little. I think that if you read the Harry Potter series you won't be missing anything with the lack of descriptions - when it says the 'Ministry of Magic' or the 'Forbbiden Forest' you form the same image in your head as you did when you were reading the originals... you already have that information so why reinvent the wheel so to speak.

So why only 4 stars and not a rave review? Well there were some things that I did not like about it. Firstly, it seemed a bit all over the place and that is purposeful but a pain- the plot is centered on a time turner, but even knowing that it was hard to keep up with some of the scenes, you really had to recall a lot from the series to form a whole picture. Secondly, as much as I liked seeing my favorite characters as adults, it seemed weird and off - Harry is a little too inconsiderate for my taste, Ron was not really there, and Hermione seemed distracted the whole time and they seemed disjointed until the very last few scenes. And lastly, I have read somewhere (after I was done reading) that this was actually fanfiction and Rowling didn't really write it, and while it is still a very enjoyable story that just kind of makes me a little sad (I am hoping this is not true, but the fact that this note exists somewhere is a downer)... but I will take it, since otherwise we wouldn't be seeing more Harry Potter.

So what did you think? Did you have a chance to read this yet? Where are you on the spectrum? - because there is a lot of emotion with this - did you love it? Hate it? Passionately abstain from the madness?
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LibraryThing member BooksForTheLiving
I know people have had mixed feelings about this new Harry Potter story, but I really enjoyed it. Yes, at times it was a little fanfictionesque. However, I tried to read it as a separate story entirely from the original 7 books. I also tried not to compare the two. I think that helped me enjoy it more.
LibraryThing member Daumari
It was ok.

I get the hype, that it's an 8th Harry Potter story, and I imagine this is different on stage, but I feel the same way about this as I do with Andrew Lloyd Weber's Love Never Dies...

...in that wow, this reads like mediocre fanfic, which is disappointing considering this comes (partially) from the author and is therefore canon... time travel to drastically change events from midseries that creates multiple timelines, a villain that's very much like a fan OC (original character), and death of a regular series favorite offscreen in at least one timeline.

Theater and novels are different mediums, but I also have difficulty imagining people sitting through 4 hours and/or two plays to see this. I'd feel very frustrated leaving Part One knowing I'd see Part Two the next day instead of immediately after, but that would be difficult for the actors and stage staff, I imagine... it might fix the pacing, though.… (more)
LibraryThing member amandabock
Always ask yourself: Is there more story to tell, or do you just want more? This is the definition of just wanting more.

There were some things I liked:
- Sympathetic Slytherins. I always felt that was a flaw in the earlier books. Surely not every single Slytherin is a jerk? Glad to see more nuance here.
- A Potter/Malfoy friendship. I was disappointed that the animosity continued in the Epilogue and was passed down to the next generation.
- Father/Son issues are generally good for a story.
- Revisiting old favorite characters. (I'm not proud; sometimes I just want more.)
- Voldemort and Bellatrix had a daughter. That shit's awesome.

But there are a lot of issues, and it generally got worse as it went along.
- Oh my god, the premise. Voldemort's back, really? No. That story was already written. Write a new one.
- It is all tell, with no show. Even Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione start explaining their feelings and actions from the original books.
- While there were glimmers of the old characters here and there, mostly they felt flat and like caricatures of their former selves. Especially Ron, who is written more like lame-o movie-Ron than awesome book-Ron.
- While I like having sympathetic Slytherins, Scorpius and Albus don't actually display the qualities that would put them in that house- valuing connections and influence, having ambition. I'll give them resourcefulness and a certain disregard for the rules, but that's about it.
- Small things like time-turners acted very differently previously and there's no good explanation for it, and I doubt McGonagall lasted another 15 years, and the magic wasn't as coherent.
- Time travel is just inherently problematic.

Bah. I'm mostly mad I read it. It's all just lazy writing.
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LibraryThing member Sylvester_Olson
So there's this variety show on NPR called "A Prairie Home Companion." Terrific writing, great music, wonderful humor, and lots of inside jokes for my fellow Norveejun Looterans. I've listened to "Prairie Home" in the car (especially during long drives) for many years now, and am sad to hear that Garrison Keillor has retired.

About ten years ago, director Robert Altman adapted this show into a major motion picture. Most people seemed to enjoy it, and I believe that I ought to give the flick another viewing sometime. But in all honesty, the results of adapting a radio variety show into movie format was a bit odd for me. There was nothing that the movie really added to "Prairie Home." It didn't add to the continuing story of Guy Noir, Private Eye, or Dusty and Lefty the Cowboys, etc. All it did was showcase the program for another medium.

So what does this have to do with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Everything, in fact.

I think that most reviewers out there have it all wrong. This is not the eighth Harry Potter book, despite what the publishing marketers want you to believe. This is an adaptation, for the stage, of the "Harry Potter" series. Yes, the story continues beyond the pages of Book 7 and explains what happens after Albus Severus Potter leaves on the train to Hogwarts. But these subsequent events and scenarios serve more as a framing device with which the stage company can retell/reintroduce characters and situations from Books 1-7. The plot utilizes a "time-turner" (like the one in Book 3) to revisit specific scenes from the series, as well as beloved and/or infamous characters from the books. Snape shows up for a while. So do Dumbledore, Umbridge, Cedric Diggory, Hagrid, etc. Once again, we witness Harry's parents killed. We witness Harry being raised by his terrible Aunt Petunia. We witness Harry competing in the Triwizard Tournament from Book 4. I half expected Sirius Black's death scene to play out again.

In other words, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the script for a "Harry Potter" show. Emphasize the SHOW there. Each of the Books 1-7 are too bulky for theater. Even if each actually could be adapted we would be left with a monstrosity of stage time that would make Wagner's Ring Cycle look like a 30 second Geico ad. So what do J. K. Rowling and the stage production people do to get around this fact? They create a supposedly-all new story that dwells on nostalgia and past characters to reframe the intellectual property into something that celebrates what we already know about "Harry Potter" rather than taking the story into bold new territory. Much like "A Prairie Home Companion," it showcases the series into another medium.

At least, that's the feeling I was left with after reading it.

The true measure of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child should rest with the actual production itself. There are stage directions that seemed like enormously tall orders to me. From the little that I've read about the show going on in London right now, it's a feat to behold. But judging as a script, as a piece of literary art (and the marketers certainly want us to believe that this is Harry Potter, Book 8), then I'd argue that the writing falls well short of expectations. 2/5 stars.
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
Alright, if you shut off your brain (logic and knowledge of the HP universe) and simply abandon yourself to this book without thinking, it's a good read.

That being said, this is *not* a good read. It's an absolute insult to the world and characters created by JK Rowling. It is amongst the worst fanfiction I have ever read.

First of all, it's all based around time-travel with a time-turned. JK herself realized the potential these devices had for creating ridiculous and idiotic plots and therefore had them all destroyed in the battle of the department of mysteries. But this isn't a JK book - her name may be on it, but she had only the slightest role in its creation (I personally think the extent of her role in the creation of it was a "go-ahead").

Characters are absolutely ridiculous - Scorpius is a send-up to the most obnoxious of sycophantic fans in his idol-worship of Albus. Albus is a stereotype of the worst possible tweens (though we're never really given any explanation for this). Harry starts as an excellently supportive father (when Albus joins Slytherin), but *I guess* Albus resents his father's acceptance? And just becomes as sullen, withdrawn, and standoffish as possible to drive his father into saying he wishes he'd never been born.

In one of the universes created by the screwing with the space-time continuum, Cedric becomes a widdle embarrassed during the Tri-Wizard Tournament to the point that he becomes a Death Eater.


In this same universe, Hermione never marries Ron - as a result, she doesn't achieve any of her hopes and dreams and instead becomes a female version of Snape - bitter, child-hating, and a hag. Glad to know women can't accomplish the things they want in life without their man. Ron, in this universe, becomes a slapstick caricature of himself.

Harry is a controlling asshole regardless of the universe. He belittles McGonagall and treats her like his personal minion. Bare in mind, this is the woman that Harry has so much respect for in the original universe that when a Death Eater insulted her, he could finally summon enough anger and hate to use the cruciatus curse on someone.

I was excited *while* reading this, but the moment I put it down and allowed myself to think about it, it started getting bad. Really, really bad. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. It's just sad and pathetic. I think someone other than JK wanted in on the HP cash-grab; how many guns they pressed against her head to get her approval for this is still to be revealed.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up at the epilogue to Book VII, with the adults putting their children on the Hogworts Express. This script is for a stage production (which must involve some pretty elaborate stage effects!) The main plot involves Albus Potter and his surprising best friend Scorpius Malfoy, and their decision to use an illegal time turner to return to the Triwizard Tournament in 1995 to save Cedric Diggory - which has disastrous results. The children, and the adults all must work together to stop the problems they unleash.
But the deeper story is about the poor relationship Harry Potter has with his son, Albus, and to an extent the troubles Draco has with his son, Scorpius. Friendship and family, bravery, honor, and loyalty... these are the things the play is really about.
Although not directly penned by Rowling, (The play is actually by Jack Thorne, based on a story by Rowling), it is a very fitting addition to the series. It is a joy to see the characters we grew to know so well in the series again as adults, and with the time travel element, occasionally during their earlier lives as well. And the new characters, Albus Severus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, and Delphi Diggory, are all great additions to the saga.
One thing that was particularly enjoyable to me, was that my favorite single character was Scorpius Malfoy, and that Draco, while not a delightful person as an adult, was certainly good, not evil.
I give four stars instead of five simply because I wish it had been a novel instead of a script.
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1338099132 / 9781338099133


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