Posts Tagged With: harry potter

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Okay, so I know that “keep the secrets” is a thing, and I’m going to try my best to hold to that.  However, this review discusses the plot of the book, so be warned.  I won’t give away anything that is a major secret, but reviewing a book without talking about the book is impossible.  If you want to stay 100% pure, don’t read any further.

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The Harry Potter books are an interesting thing.  They’ve become such the stuff of legend that it’s hard to separate the myth from the actuality.  I just know that I read them recently and fell in love all over again, so they do stand the test of time.  I was obsessed so quickly with the series when I was younger, attending every midnight release and reading the book in a day.  I’m a huge fan.  I’m quiet about it, but that doesn’t mean the fervor burns any less bright.  I didn’t attend the midnight release for Cursed Child, but some things haven’t changed.  I read this book in a day.

In general, I don’t like plays as reading material.  I think I should say that, too, so you know where I’m coming from.  Without anyone to speak them, the words can sound sappy and trite.  Without the emotion and the inner life of the characters, the narrative feels cold.  That disappears when you have actors to play the parts, but reading the script on the couch doesn’t help.  I was predisposed to love the book; I was predisposed to hate the book.

I ended up falling somewhere in between.

The basic premise of the play is this: Harrry and his youngest son Albus don’t get along.  At all.  Some of the problems seem to stem from the fact that Albus was sorted into Slytherin and makes a best friend in Scorpius Malfoy, but mostly it’s because Albus can’t come to grips with some of the things Harry has had to do to save the world.  Most notably, the death of Cedric Diggory.  Shenanigans ensue.

By the end of the first part, I was angry.  The plot seemed much like Back To The Future: Harry Potter Edition.  I felt like the whole thing was an excuse to trot out everyone’s favorite characters from the series who died or disappeared and had nothing original to offer me.  Was it neat to be back at Hogwarts?  Yes.  But that’s all I can really say for it.  The world felt cold, the scenes passed too fast.  I loathe reality reunion shows when everyone talks dirt about the contestants and rehashes their time in the sun.  I didn’t need the Harry Potter version.  I could go on and on: Inexcusably, Ron is the buffoon he was made out to be in the movies, and not himself at all.  They play with time, and the way they play with it is so anti the rules set out in the book that it’s maddening.  People are outright friendly to Malfoy, who did unspeakable, unforgivable things in the novels. I mean, I’m all for nice.  Nice is what you do when you’re an adult.  But friendly is a little steep for someone who broke your face, tried let Death Eaters into the school, constantly uttered racist slurs, and allowed your best friend to be tortured.  How much time do you have for me to rant?

But by the end of part two, it had redeemed itself.  Not enough to be fully satisfying, but enough that I didn’t feel like my money had been extorted.  The kids end up falling into disaster, the adults band together like old times to try and help, and it’s suddenly a new story with the old relationships I know and love.  It suddenly feels like Harry Potter and it starts to really grapple with its premise that sometimes bad things have to happen to create a good world. It becomes more the book I wanted.

I’m not gonna say don’t read it.  Because you either will or you won’t.  And I will also admit that there may have been no way this book could live up to the huge expectations I had of it.  But if you read it, just know that it probably wasn’t the thing you were expecting to get, though some of the qualities make sticking to the end worthwhile.

 

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Lazy Week

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My week has mostly been the boring kind.  Which is the kind I like best, in some ways.

I bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated Edition on Monday and have burned through it.  Brian has hardly seen me, as I’ve been reveling over diagrams of dragon eggs and portraits of Harry and Hagrid in a rowboat, seagulls wheeling overhead.  It’s prettier than you ever could imagine it would be, even if you’ve already seen the pictures.  My only criticism is that it is a bit too huge to hold and read, though it’s good for spreading out on the pillow next to you.  (Brian?  No, he doesn’t need a place to sleep).

Previews of Chamber of Secrets are available, and I already can’t wait for the next installment.

I made strawberry jam from strawberries we bought at the farm store down the street on Sunday, which I know Brian has been DYING to get into.  We still have ½ a jar of Apple/Lemon left first, though.  It was so good that I licked the pot clean (shhh… don’t tell anyone).  I also had about ¼ of a jar’s worth of leftovers that didn’t fit nicely into the 6 full jars I made, which I promptly ate as well.

The tomatoes have tripled in size, overnight, and are starting to flower.

The kitten has been into her usual shenanigans.  I let her ‘help’ me clean up this weekend (by which I mean I crumpled a bunch of the junk mail into balls she could chase around the house so she would stop bothering me to pet her).  I put them in the recycling at the end of the day.  Don’t worry, she upended it all and pulled them out again (plus more), and strewed it all over the house.  It might have been my own fault for giving that stuff to her to play with in the first place…  I’ll tell you though, the lesson is not learned.  She’s too adorable, and at least the mess is clean paper.  She was waiting in the window for me to come home last night, too (and then promptly showed me that she didn’t care about me at all when I walked in the door).

My mom started a puzzle of Yellowstone at her house, which I find impossible to step away from.  Must get one more piece in (*eye twitch*). I have most of the lodges together, and was starting on the bears taking pictures of humans when we realized how late it was.

Hats off to lazy weeks.  I don’t get many of them.

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