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Old 08-07-2016, 07:52 PM View Post #9 (Link)
Infinity_Man (Offline)
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I wasn't going to buy this, originally, but I work at a book store and while I didn't work the midnight release, we were so busy during the release day itself that it might as well have been a midnight release. Seeing all these people (all adults, no children came to buy the script) get excited for the new Harry Potter reminded me that once upon a time I used to get really excited for these books... plus, it's a $40 book here, and it's 40% on release, on top of my staff discount, so I figured I'd go ahead and purchase it. My thoughts...

From a bookseller perspective, I hate this thing. You can tell a lot of people aren't buying it because it's a play. Like, you can literally watch them see it in the window, get excited, proclaim to their friends that they didn't know another Harry Potter book was out, run in to look at it, and then the look of confusion and disappointment as they realize it's a play. A lot of people walk out straight after (and one of the statistics stores track is conversion, which is how many people who enter the store actually buy something, so this is killing our conversion percentage). I've already had a handful of people return it because they bought it not knowing what it was, and didn't want to read a play. Dozens have people have asked "so when's the novel version coming out?" and try as I do to explain that this is a publication of the script of the London production so there probably won't be a novel (or, at least, one written by any of the writers here) people still have this hopeful look in their eye, and decide to wait to buy the book.

But I like scripts. I enjoy reading scripts, so while it was odd to get into, I was still able to get into it. I did not have high hopes for this--I'm not a fan of revisiting series' years later and making a point of destroying rose-tinted glasses (it's one of the reasons I will not read Go Set a Watchman, because I do not care about humanizing Atticus Finch).

Anyway, my thoughts can be best summed up with: It didn't ruin the series for me (though I was starting to worry when that trolley lady nonsense started). It has no where near the same effect on me that the books did, but I didn't expect it to. There were a lot of uncomfortable and awkward lines, pretty much everything Scorpius said seemed silly, but the rave reviews the performance is getting makes me think it's probably better in performance. There's one particular moment I can't tell if it's supposed to be played for laughs, or if it's just literally the dumbest thing I've ever seen written, it's when...

They have the time-turner, and they're going to go back in time, and Scorpius suggests testing whether or not they can even get back when they travel back in time, saying they should go back an hour first so they don't get stuck. The response is literally "we don't have time for that." The person. Holding a time-travelling device. Says they don't have time for that.

One of the characters also felt extremely shoe-horned in, or at least the explanation of their existence, right at the end when...

Delphi tells Voldemort (or, who she thinks is Voldemort) that she's a baby that Bellatrix Lestrange gave birth to right before the battle of Hogwarts... So other than the awful mental picture of Voldemort having sex, and the mental gymnastics of trying to see him as someone who could even, er, perform, that means Bellatrix Lestrange was pregnant for the majority of the seventh book. And like, really pregnant. According to the wiki, Delphi was born in March, but Bellatrix is torturing fools right in April. I mean, it just feels like an extremely contrived explanation for how Voldemort could have had a child we otherwise heard nothing about.

Otherwise I thought it was okay, while giving it the benefit of the doubt that scripts don't capture the same emotion that seeing the play performed does, or reading in a fleshed-out novel. There are quite a few climaxes throughout this script that I think, if seen or read in a novel, would have been really powerful moments... but in the pacing of a script don't hit home quite as hard.

Also, it still annoys me that Harry got to name all three children. Like, you'd think at the third one Ginny would have put her foot down. "You got to name the first two after your parents, Harry, but I have relatives I'd like to honour too."
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