If you’re like me, you can enter the Harry Potter world at the drop of a hat. When
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was published early this year, I was absolutely ecstatic. Of course, there’s no way I’ll be seeing the play any time soon, so I happily picked up my copy and re-entered the wizarding world after waiting for 9 years!
Even though “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was technically published in 2001, it is severely different than the screenplay version; which is the book I’ll be reviewing here. The original is more of a classification field journal of sorts, where Newt goes into description of “fantastic beasts” and gives them a Ministry of Magic classification of how dangerous they are. There is also a bit of wit involved with the original book as there are several “scribblings” from Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Even if you’re not a fan of Harry Potter, how can you not appreciate how GORGEOUS this book is?
I don’t want to give ANYTHING away, so I will not post the amazing drawings on the inside (just know they are amazing, and I see a future trend with tattoos).
This book did take me 3 days to read. . . not because it was hard, but mainly because life just got in the way of my reading time. It is QUITE possible to pick this book up and read it in a day. While I know some people who do not prefer the writing style of a screenplay (I’ll admit, it’s not my first choice of reading material) it does make it an extremely fast paced read.
Our book starts in Europe in 1926. Obviously this is set BEFORE the original Harry Potter books, so fear not, as it is not an extension to the characters we are already accustomed to. In fact, just the opening scene somewhat piggy backs off of a small snippet from “The Deathly Hallows”, very easily overlooked, but well remembered for a true fan.
Within a page we are transported to our final destination for the remainder of the book: New York. From the very start of this book I fell in love with Newt Scamander’s character. He’s very reminiscent of Hagrid; very caring, witty, a bit awkward, but all around lovable. The main focus of the book is the suitcase filled with fantastic beasts that he has brought to New York.
Of course we all know that the case comes open, releasing said beasties out into the world. But my absolute favorite part of the book, is seeing all of them. As soon as I read how it was set up in the book, my first thought was: “Welcome, to Jurassic Park”. . .I’ll let your imagination take hold right there.
There is one MAJOR twist in the book that I did not see coming (maybe some of you did, but I was surprised).
So if you read this exact copy of the book, the screenplay version that is. . . you could quite literally take your book into the movie theater and pretty much read along. It’s the EXACT outline of the movie, verbatim.
What I loved about the movie is how it transformed everything I had just read and imagined onto the screen. I will admit, there were a few things that I had pictured differently while reading, but I honestly was not upset with how they were portrayed on the screen (IE how certain characters/beasts looked). All of the vivid description that was in the book, is well translated to the movie.
The movie pulled the book twist off perfectly- again I thought it was extremely well done, and the visuals absolutely did the book justice.
The ONLY difference. . . .and I say this with a lot of hesitation, because it’s not at all a difference or was left out of the book. . . .is the HUGE surprise at the end. . .and yes I will leave it like that because if you have not seen the movie, there is no way I will ruin it for you.
So- all in all, if you were a fan of the magical beasts that Hagrid always had, and were enraptured by the many different species, you have to give “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” a try. This is a brand new world for the animal lovers out there.