Billions of ardent Harry Potter fans across the globe were treated with ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on 31st July this year, on Harry’s (and Rowling’s) birthday. It was an addition to the original series of seven books, telling the story of nineteen years later, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione, our golden trio, are all grown up and, the happy days in the mystifying castle of Hogwarts have been replaced with gloomy adult responsibilities.
The first reaction of the readers to this book was that ‘it was not a book’! As Rowling had warned beforehand the muggle world on her twitter handle, it was not a novel, but the script of the play that was performed in London. To add to that, it is not written by J.K. Rowling herself. She has only contributed the story, and the play is written by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.
Although the book made and broke records for being the most pre-ordered book ever, the fanatical Potterhead community remained discontented with it.
The book is hardly a three-hour read. The focus on Harry, Ron and Hermione has been very little, and Harry’s son Albus, and Draco’s son, Scorpius remained the highlighted characters of the story. The story revolved around Albus living with the over-burdening job of being the son of the Boy Who Lived, and Harry constantly wrestling with parenthood.
The story depressingly lacked the charm of the original Harry Potter books. The imagination was too ordinary to be Rowling’s. I, myself, have been a devoted reader of the series since my childhood, and I did not feel at home with the plot. The woman whose pen painted the most exciting, magical world that we know, could not have given us a story so mundane and redundant. The story even goes bizarre at times, leaving you rolling your eyes at the stupidity of the situation. At many points throughout the story, you would say to yourself, ‘That’s enough time turning for a lifetime.’
But there are certain niceties that would touch the soft, soft heart every Potter fan possesses. You would face a turmoil of emotions when Draco says, ‘It is exceptionally lonely to be Draco Malfoy’ when Albus tells his father he wishes that Harry wasn’t his Dad, and when you find out that Ron and Hermione are best and perfect together in every possible alternate universe!
To everyone who has followed the series like religion, of course, go buy it, but be sure to be disappointed. And to a new reader, read it, but remember that the magical world we know is far more exciting and adventurous that the one portrayed in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.