Well, it won’t be that much of a surprise that I am a bit of a Harry Potter fan. No, not one of those die-hard Potterheads that silence you quicker than a Silencio charm, but I recognise a Muggle when I see one. I know that this is a touchy subject because the second instalment of J.K. Rowlings Fantastic Beasts franchise has not been received well within the Potter community. However, trying to sort my own thoughts on this matter, I will write more generally about this book.

Well, having said that, let’s jump into the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay, shall we?

I will address the elephant in the room first: why read a printed version of a screenplay that has already hit cinemas around the world? Being a bookworm most certainly has its challenges 😉 But seriously: some details are simply better suited to be found in books – be it digital or analogue. I like watching movies as much as the next, but reading gives me more control over the tiniest bits of information that I can extract. Even when reading stories that are as benign as these I prefer written words to production-grade movies.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay” comes in a beautifully crafted hardcover designed by MinaLima Design. The story is stretched over 272 illustrated pages, that truly underline the full transition the books of J.K. Rowling have gone through. As good as this sounds, that’s been the best I can say about this book: it is beautiful.

I cannot hide my confusion about the contents of this publication. The story arc seems stretched, farfetched at points. There are serious plot holes and details that do not make sense when viewed from the angle of the Harry Potter book series. Which raises the question: are we being played?

As a physical object, The Crimes of Grindelwald is undeniably covetable and beautiful. But as literature? I am Potter-mad myself but even I remain unsure about the publishing of scripts.

Sian Cain

Sian Cain, Site editor of Guardian Books, sums it up quite nicely in my opinion. This book is a collectors’ item, a token symbolising fandom towards Rowling. It is one of the very first merchandising articles brought to the market that holds true to the very nature Potterheads like to experience Potteresque content – though presented in the rather unconventional form of a screenplay.

Summa summarum

I withhold my judgment until the full story has been published and we finally know how much J.K. Rowling is playing us. As we have seen in the Harry Potter series, she has been unmatched in building up confusing personas while dissolving plot holes and story related dilemmas in grand finale storyline twists. Yes, I am not overly content on how this story has turned out so far. But we will complain on how this ends soon enough 😉

Do you really need to have this book in your bookshelf? I don’t think so. But it’s a beautifully crafted collectors’ item so you might find yourself in possession of this book before I can say Quidditch.