Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sequel Disappointment

I didn't have as much reading time as I thought I would today, so I didn't finish the book I'm reading. And, I have to admit it's an easy read. Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet? I have mixed feelings. I don't mind the stage directions and the fact it's a play. As I mentioned here before, I like to read plays. What I'm having problems with is the next generation. Like so many books in which favorite young characters grow up, I prefer to read about them in their youth. I don't really want to see Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny as adults. Think about your favorite books about young people. None of the sequels were as good as Little Women. Frankly, Alcott married Jo off to the wrong person, and all kinds of readers were disappointed. And, I read a comment recently about Peter Pan. It really wasn't as much fun after Wendy grew up. I can think of several other books off the top of my head that are the same. Although The Velveteen Rabbit really did get to become real because the boy grew up.

When it comes time to review Harry Potter and the Curse Child, I may actually like the story itself. As I said, though, it's just tough to see Harry as an adult.

What do you think about sequels to books about youth? I started to ask about sequels to favorite books, but that's a whole other subject when it comes to mysteries. I'm not talking about mysteries. I'm talking about books featuring young people. Maybe Alan Bradley is smart in keeping Flavia de Luce young.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

As a general rule I agree with you: you don't want to see your favorite child characters as adults. But the Potter book is mostly about the next generation (not that it's all good either, because Harry's son...). My problem wasn't that the characters were adults per se, as some of them (Ron) were fine. It was more the person Harry has become that wasn't what I would have chosen.

Still, overall I enjoyed reading the book, as long as you know going in that Rowling didn't write it and you shouldn't expect the Potter magic.

SandyG265 said...

I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Overall I enjoyed it although I didn't feel that the characters of Ron, Harry, Hermine, and Ginny quite matched up to the way they were written by JK Rowling.

I can't think of any other story I've read where the characters had grown up.

Lesa said...

Jeff & Sandy,

Thanks for your response to the question.As you said, I'm enjoying it, but the Potter magic isn't there. Good comment, Jeff.

Jane R said...

Ignoring the fact that the newest Harry Potter book is about the characters in adulthood, a reader has to keep in mind that it is in play form. Therefore, rich descriptions and details that Rowling is so well-known for are missing. That's what I consider the Potter magic.

As a play, the book is fairly bare bones, with the story centered on dialog and some basic sense of action, given through stage directions (I'm speculating here, since I haven't read the book yet and I'm basing my assumptions on other plays I have read). This is definitely different than what Harry Potter readers are used to and I would think it could influence enjoyment of the story.

As an aside, the two rabid Potter fans in my family, who are in their 30s both love this book. Maybe because they truly grew up with Harry and the gang.

Deb said...

I think of the ANNE OF GREDN GABLES series. When she grew up, she became less exuberant and spontaneous. Lucy Maude Montgomery had to device new ways to bring pre-adolescents into the mix, including one book about the students in the school where Anne is teaching. The Simpsons has it right: keep 'em the same age forever!

I think of Dalgliesh in the P.D. James mysteries. In the first books (early 1960s), Dalgliesh was a widower whose wife and child were killed during the blitz (that was still making him fairly old). As the years went by, the method of her death became more vague and in the last couple of books, she wasn't mentioned at all. Ruth Rendell said she allowed six real-time years to represent one year in the Rexford mysteries.

Lesa said...

Time in a series. Always a problem, isn't it? Sue Grafton said when she started writing, her books were contemporary. Now, they're historicals with no cell phones, etc.