Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Screenplay) by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

I can’t believe I’m actually saying this: Make sure to watch the movie before cracking open this book! This is not a novel (or even a novelization), and it is not the lackluster and minimal-effort filler Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“>mini book  published in 2001. This is a screenplay, pure and simple, and follows script format. If you’ve read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (see my review here), then you already know what you’re in for.

I mention this know, because when purchasing from Local Bookstore, the poor, defeated woman behind the counter informed me of this not once, but twice. I guess a few people made a stink about the book not being an actual novel.

But as a Potterhead, and a fan of the movie (and, let’s face it, a completeist) I couldn’t not get this book. Plus, have you seen it? It’s beautiful!

Anyhow, the story (again, this is the screenplay from the movie, you should have seen the movie already)follows Newt Scamander, future author of Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as he travels to the United States to do research for his book, and to conduct some magical animal rescue along the way. He inevitably gets pulled into American wizarding politics, and the dangers of a group known as “New Salem”, who are seeking to unmask and persecute witches. The movie was engaging and fun, while at the same time holding a light onto some important social issues (segregation, conversion therapy, etc.). The is by Rowling herself (unlike Cursed Child) and so retains a good deal of her whimsy.

So see the movie. The book, being merely a screenplay (a novelization by Rowling would have been spectacular, but perhaps I am greedy), is not a necessary read, nor a necessary purchase, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is currently available for purchase.

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