Since I am a retired Potterholic, I was asked to preview the new Harry Potter book (or rather, the play) for the New Indian Express. Which I did, below.
|30 July 2016|
WHAT I EXPECT FROM HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD
New Harry Potter book? What? When? Where? Update me.
Yes! Yes! Yes! It’s called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and it is set nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Jo Rowling is guarded about her life and projects, and we admire her for it. This is an original story, was written for a stage play which is to officially premiere at London’s West End on July 30 (today!). The rehearsal script will be released as a book on July 31. Rowling only announced it a year back, with little hoopla.
TIL. Great. So what else do we know?
As mentioned, the events of this story are set nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts. It tracks the life and the major events in the life of Harry Potter, former ‘chosen one’, former ‘boy who lived’, and now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, and the younger of his two sons, Albus Severus Potter.
Kinda grown-up-ish, non?
Yeah. I can expect midlife crises, and existential questions. What happens to a chosen one after the thing they have been chosen for is done and dusted? How has he lived the last nineteen years as the chosen-one-no-more? Has the past been dead and buried? How is Harry doing now?
And the son. Albus Severus, you say? Crikey!
Albus Severus. Potter. How does the boy not collapse under the weight of those three names? Did you know that Donald Bradman’s son changed his last name to Bradsen, after living for years in the shadow of the most illustrious last name in Australia, and in the cricket playing world?
Ah, but JK Rowling will dumb it down and just give us a fun story with wands and Quidditch Tournaments and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. No?
Another of the many things to admire about Jo Rowling is that she does not take the easy way. Expect the difficult questions. And Rowling will attempt to answer them the best she can. Will they satisfy everyone? Of course not. And that’s a good thing.
There has to be some Quidditch. Pretty please, Ms. Rowling?
We remember in the epilogue, Draco Malfoy’s children are in Hogwarts, just like Harry’s? Second generation Potter / Malfoy conflicts?
They helped develop the characters, but I think they did not add too much to the overall storyline. Not my favourite parts. But if you are asking me to guess – yes, I think there will be a fair bit of that in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
This will be JKR taking another swipe at non-genre fiction, I think. And The Casual Vacancy did not work so well, did it?
Firstly, I liked The Casual Vacancy.
Second: the play (remember, there is a play too) is mentioned to be for ages 10 and above. So no, it will definitely not be a fun-less existence.
I am pre-ordering the book. 100%. Are you?