By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,
Remember that tedious epilogue that we all hated at the end of the Harry Potter series? That’s right – force yourself to remember the awfulness. The one where Harry has a million kids all named after his idols (like who could forget little “Albus Severus Hagrid Hedwig Dobby James McGonagall Voldemort (no, wait not him) Potter”?) and everyone is disgustingly happy and married to each other 90210-style. Well, picture 330 odd pages of that dreck turned into a stage play and, voila! You have Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
We have a love of nostalgia and don’t want to let things go. I am all for this as someone who sits around reminiscing about ridiculous memoirs. But sometimes, things are better left buried. This is one of those times. Sure, we all had a good time reading Harry Potter and we all have some fun memories of the movies…but that was enough.
On the plus side, this is a super quick read…on the downside, I don’t think I have ever audibly sighed so much while reading a book.
Now that I have all that out of my system (and have bile rising in my throat), I will review the book. First up, it’s not really a book, it’s a stage play written by Jack Thorne (whoever that is??). Thorne provided a synopsis for the book and it’s just too good not to include:
“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
Yeeeeaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Put your big boy pants on already Potter.
Anyway the whole story centres on spoiled puke Albus who is sick of being a Potter and decides to defy his father by going back in time and trying to save Cedric Diggory (who died at the end of Goblet of Fire). Most of us just spit in their tea, but, each to their own I guess. But everyone knows that time travel is fraught with dangers – small changes can have massive impacts. Each time Albus travels back in time, he ushers in a new world of terror then has to scramble like a fool to undo it.
Spurring this all on is a random female called Delphi (who, spoiler alert, is the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix LeStrange *raises eyebrows – Voldemort can mate??? Eww). She is, I guess, meant to be the antagonist of the story but ends up having such an infinitesimal role that I barely noticed what happened to her at the end.
That’s actually all that happens…
There’s nothing enjoyable about this book. The characters are all unlikable and one-dimensional. Albus and his (homo-erotic) friendship with Scorpius Malfoy elicited the most sighs from me. No kids speak like that which makes all these interactions seem superficial and disingenuous. The script itself is ridiculous and the plot is paper thin. Littered throughout are the most bizarre stage directions I have ever seen (like “there is almost a warm moment between them then it doesn’t happen” – what does that even mean?).
Harry is also up to his old tricks being a whinger – to think I used to want to marry you Potter. I am so glad you ended up with Ginny instead and I am single with a disobedient cat (hmmmm?). He is a lousy father and, instead of owning it, he does the old hair tousle and “I had no daaaaaaddddddd” (*bites knuckle) speech. You had a tonne of respectable figures in your life Potter, quit whinging.
Speaking of whinging, perhaps the worst scene in the whole book is between Dumbledore and Harry (cos I suppose they think we want some resolution here). Harry (petulant as always) is yelling at Dumbledore in the portrait accusing him of not being there for him and not loving him. Then Dumbledore is all “I respect you brah” and Harry is like “no, man, I respect you too brah” and they hug it out. Dumbledore had hundreds of students to look out for and, hold the phone, /died/ protecting you – the egocentricity is disconcerting.
The whole book is a mess and will not contain the outcomes or closure you seek from any of the characters (unless you’re an idiot). Give it a miss.