Sunday, September 25, 2016

Harry Potter 8 - Different, But Still Enjoyable

By now, everybody (and I mean everybody - even the Buddhist monks living in isolation on the top of a mountain) knows about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  It's based on a new story by J.K. Rowling.  But it's actually been written as a play by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne.  And the book is in the format of a script, with stage directions and everything. It's really funny to read a book like this.  Did it affect my enjoyment of it? I'm not sure.  Like most people, I want to visualize what I'm reading. In this case, I didn't really have to, much of the time.  I'm still figuring out what I think about that.

On to the story.  It's 19 years since the end of the Harry Potter series (although there is a short section at the end of book 7 which brings us current).  Harry and Ginny, Ron's sister, are married with 3 children. Ron and Hermione are married with a daughter.  And Draco Malfoy has a son, but his wife has passed away.  The central characters in this book are Harry's middle child, Albus Severus Potter (named, obviously, after Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape), and Draco's son, Scorpius.  They become fast (and only) friends their 1st year at Hogwarts.  And although I didn't like that several years go by very quickly, I started to get into it when they settle into a new school year, and the action starts taking place.

I don't want to tell you what happens.  It's much more fun to learn that on your own.  But it definitely picks up as it goes along.  And the last 100 pages are very suspenseful.  I was really surprised that I actually shed a few (not the rolling-down-the-cheek kind, thank goodness) in several different spots and had a case of the chills in another.  And I do admit to a big smile when I started reading the book/script.  But what surprised me the most was the realization at the end of the book that I had made an emotional connection with Albus and Scorpius (in addition, of course, to Harry, Hermione, and Ron).  I did NOT expect that (it's a YA fantasy, for crying out loud!).  And, finally, I want you to take special note of the last 5 lines of page 135 and the 1st 2 lines of 136.  It's particularly cool.

JODI PICOULT APPEARANCE:  I just signed up to see Jodi at Rakestraw Books, in Danville, on Tuesday, October 18, from 12-1:30.  She's also going to be at the Fox Theater, in Redwood City, sponsored by Kepler's, that same night.  But the daytime appearance looks like something where we can actually see her without binoculars.  The cost for the Rakestraw visit is only $31.45, which includes her new book, Small Great Things.  Maybe I'll see some of you there? 


  1. I'm still on the fence about this book because of the format.

    Picoult spoke at SIBA about her new book and received a standing ovation. You're in for a treat at that event.

    1. I understand about the format. If I'm being honest, one of the things I did like about it was that it was a fast read, which allowed me to get to another of the books in my TBR pile!
      I saw Picoult 5 years ago when she was promoting Sing You Home. But the venue was so large, that it was impossible to hang around and get a book signed. This time, I'm going to a bookstore, where I hope I can actually be there for the book signing part of the event.