And she’s still saying that really.
Fans went a bit bananas last week when J.K. Rowling announced that her upcoming stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is going to be published as a book on July 31st this year, the day after the play opens in London.
Many people, myself included, believed that this was essentially Harry Potter Book 8, a continuation of the saga which we thought had ended with the release of the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, back in 2007. But Rowling has been at pains to point out that it’s not actually a new novel, it’s just the script of The Cursed Child published in book form. Which is something rather different.
I’m in two minds about it. On the one hand, I’m curious to get a further glimpse into the lives of all the characters 19 years later. On the other hand, I’m not sure how keen I am on the format of it. The Cursed Child was first envisioned for the stage so it might feel a bit off to read it from the page instead of seeing it performed by actors as intended. I imagine it will be strange reading the scene directions and so on. However, the argument has been made that reading a play can in fact be a very special experience as, without any narrative language, you must rely wholly on the dialogue to enter into the world of the story.
I wonder how it will be marketed? Is it going to be aimed at a school-age demographic, like the rest of the series? When I first heard about it, I questioned the idea of a children’s story with a 36-year-old protagonist – Harry’s a father now, after all! But research tells me that Harry’s son Albus will actually be the main focus of the plot, so at least it will have a child’s perspective. Still, how will younger readers adjust to the script format? It will be interesting to see how that will work out.
I have to admit, a new Harry Potter book wasn’t something I was yearning for. I had closure after the original seven books. I was happy with the ending and I could look back on good times with Harry, Ron and Hermione with simple nostalgia, and not with a longing for more.
Nevertheless, this is Harry Potter we’re talking about so I don’t think I will be able to resist. On the whole, I’ll just trust that Rowling knows what she’s doing and be cautiously optimistic about July 31st. My friend says she’ll have the tent ready for camping out at midnight. 🙂
I thought I’d conduct a poll to see what everyone else thinks on the subject! Comments very welcome!