I definitely recommend reading this knowing as little as possible, even though any “spoilers” did not have the potential to ruin the reading e4 ½ stars
I definitely recommend reading this knowing as little as possible, even though any “spoilers” did not have the potential to ruin the reading experience anywhere near as much as I’d imagined. I read it as soon as I could after its publication date, to read it sans spoilers, and it’s why I’ll post the bulk of my review in spoiler tags. I’m not saying anything about the plot or what happens to various characters, but just expressing my general feelings about the book, the story, and especially the characters, might give potential readers more information than they want to know prior to reading the play. I actually would have still enjoyed it if I’d learned too much prior to reading it, but it was more entertaining to go in knowing little.
I found this to be an incredibly quick read. I read Part 1, Acts 1 & 2 one day and Part 2, Acts 3 & 4 the next day. I’d love to see the play, particularly with the original London cast, but reading the play was fun too. I had seen some still photos of the West End production and some details about the sets and cast that I occasionally thought of as I was reading. I’ve always enjoyed reading plays though and don’t absolutely need to see them, though I also find delight in plays I’ve gotten to see as an audience member.
I’ve seen many 1 and 2 star ratings of this and I’ve read comments from those who despised it and have many complaints about it. In fact, until I was starting it, and I learned that some people I know did love it or at least really liked it, I was not feeling enthusiastic. I went in with low expectations, figuring I love the seven book series so much that nothing could ruin it for me, that if I hated this, I could just look at it as fan fiction and put it out of my mind. Well, I loved it, and I found it enjoyable from the start. I’ve gotten a couple comments from others who are shocked about that. And at this point I’m really surprised by how many are unhappy with it. Even if I’d heard nothing but good things about this play I’d have greatly enjoyed it. I’m eager to read reviews after I’ve posted this one in the usual three places. I look forward to politely and respectfully chatting with other readers who have similar or different opinions about this play, whether they loved it, liked it, found it mediocre or didn’t like it, or hated it.
However, even though I think it’s special in its own way, when I do rereads of the series I don’t know if I’ll feel compelled to reread this book. I do own the hardcover and paperback editions of the seven books, plus the British edition and the illustrated edition of the first book. For this book I read a borrowed library copy. If the play comes to my city I’ll try to see it.
I had a lot of fun reading it. I’m really happy that it was written and published.
There are no significant spoilers here, but with an abundance of caution the rest of what I say will be in spoiler tags:
As usual with Jo Rowling, as this play is based on a story written by her, a lot of wise and psychologically sophisticated things are said about relationships, people, life.
There are smart and heartfelt messages about all sorts of things, including being able to go only forward, about getting over trauma, about everyone needing to receive and give support from and to others, about parenting and trying to be a good parent, about truly seeing and accepting others for who they really are, and about friendship and loyalty, and about how even though parents and children have similarities family (and history) aren’t definite destiny, though I loved seeing the all too real similarities between members of different generations. It’s about growing up. It’s about not needing to be perfect, about the impossibility of perfection. I loved the mentions of the experience of being an orphan as they really resonated with me how they’re never over even when childhood is over.
I adored Scorpius and loved Albus, annoying teenager and all. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with characters I knew from the Harry Potter books and meeting the new characters, including members of the younger generation. It was lovely to see what happens to the original gang, in more than one scenario, and I felt that how everyone turned out made perfect sense.
In the series, the Time Turner was a favorite part for me, and I enjoyed it having a huge role in this story.
I appreciated all the humor, and there was a lot, especially because at times the story does get very dark. There was a lot of suspense throughout the story, and I did worry a fair amount about the fate of various characters and a couple in particular. It’s one reason I zoomed through the story. I was so eager to see what would happen and how it would end. I also made sure to savor what I read.
There were some good quotes, though I didn’t officially “like” any of them. At some point I might. Maybe soon!!!
A while back I read that J.K. Rowling said if viewers (and I assume readers) of the play don’t cry at the end they have hearts of stone. I didn’t cry but I was very touched.
I didn’t really look at the cover until after I’d read the 3rd of 4 acts. It’s intriguing. (hide spoiler)]
The following are some details of contents and might be considered spoilers by many, much more than the contents of the above spoiler tag:
Scorpius seems to fit much better in Ravenclaw and maybe even Gryffindor and definitely not in Slytherin, and Albus also doesn’t seem to fit in Slytherin but in Gryffindor. I don’t think the reader is really told if Albus tried to sway the sorting hat about his assigned house.
I do like how this story sort of starts where the epilogue of book 7 leaves off. It’s obvious that the story is Rowling’s vision and that she must have approved everything in it. I will say that I don’t think the endings in this book and book 7 of the series are the strongest parts of the entire story. They’re a tad anticlimactic, but I’m okay with that. It’s the scope of the entire story that appeals to me.
Near the beginning I was so hoping that the whole montage of the sorting and the early Hogwarts years was a dream or a fear and not really real.
I was confused by a few things, including why the trolley witch refers to Sirius Black and his cronies Fred & George Weasley when they’re a generation apart. Other things I saw that bothered others didn’t bother me, such as polyjuice potion being readily available and ready to use. After all, a good two decades have passed and there are bound to be changes such as possibly the ability to keep it preserved for later use and compelling reasons to always have some on hand.
I was so worried as I read about the eventual fates of characters but I was never concerned that there wouldn’t be a meaningful resolution, and once I started reading I knew that I would be entertained.
The most common negative word I’ve seen to describe the play is mess. I disagree. I don’t have the patience to write a more perfect review so maybe this review is a bit of a mess but in my opinion the play is not. Not perfect but definitely good enough!
Jo Rowling has said this is the last Harry Potter story and I hope that she sticks to that. Even though I’m always curious to know more and more, I thought books 1-7 would be the final word and I was worried about even this story and play. I think it worked and I’m grateful for all the books, but they’re there to always dive back into and in my opinion we need no more. I feel this way even though from this book I took away some considerably worthwhile things to ponder and even though I had a blast reading it. (hide spoiler)]...more
I wish I’d started on a day when I could have read the entire play in one day. I was able to read Act 1 one day and Act 2 the next day and4-1/2 stars
I wish I’d started on a day when I could have read the entire play in one day. I was able to read Act 1 one day and Act 2 the next day and that worked well enough. It’s a quick read.
The print in my (this) edition is so tiny that it did slow me down a bit. It was hard for me to read. This edition does have illustrations at the end, of the stage set and of a special effect.
Thanks to a recommendation and some urging from GR friend Caroline, I finally read this very funny and entertaining play. I’m so glad that I got to it, eventually.
I chortled my way through it and there were a few times I burst into laughter. It was fun to read. I found it to be wickedly funny, smart, and witty. Uplifting too! I had a couple issues with the ending and enjoyed the first act more than the second, but overall it has a wonderful resolution, with an extra twist at the end. It’s mostly a very silly story but it’s smart, and there is also seriousness and a lot of heart. Especially in the first act it reminded me a bit of The Importance of Being Earnest, and that is high praise since it’s probably my favorite play.
It looks as though at least one full-length (high school) performance of the play and excerpts from at least one professional production are available to watch online. It’s tempting to watch it/some of it. I’d love to see it performed....more