The Gioconda Smile, by Aldous Huxley

33290188I’m not a fan of reading plays, as I said here so many times, but I had to read one for a reading challenge, so here I was… I chose this book because, every now and then, when I saw it in the bookshelf, I thought “Ah, might be interesting”, but then I saw it was a play and lost interest immediately. This happened to me many times, because apparently I always deleted the memory of it being a play.
What I’m not certain if this was originally written as a play, or this is just an adaptation…

The story plot, as found in Goodreads, is this:
Henry Hutton, a prosperous English landowner, flirts with Miss Janet Spence, an unmarried woman in her late thirties. After toying with her affections, Hutton hurriedly departs to take home his young Cockney mistress, Doris, and then to return to his wife, who is an almost complete invalid. Mr. and Mrs. Hutton have reached an impasse in their marriage: He is terminally bored with the relationship, while she approaches life with the querulous disapproval of the chronically ill.

This is a crime story, with so much drama added to it
I believe the Goodreads’ plot is a little misgiven, or maybe my interpretation is a bit different. I don’t think Mr Hutton flirted at all with Miss Spence, I don’t think he ever saw her as other thing than as a friend, but oh well, Miss Spence would have disagree with me, surely.
The back cover of my edition totally sold me the book as a crime mystery, with an unexpected ending. I don’t think there was a mystery at all. After reading the first pages, I could foresee who was going to be the victim, who was the murderer (I mean, the character practically does it on our faces) and who was going to be falsely accused. It did grow on suspense towards the ending, as one wondered if the true was ever going to come out.
All in all, it was ok, was enjoyable, and, as most plays, would probably look better performed than read.

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Hamlet / Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

hamlet-macbeth-william-shakespeare-clarin-d_nq_np_22164-mla20225340886_012015-fConfronted with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, and with his mother’s infidelity, Hamlet must find a means of reconciling his longing for oblivion with his duty as avenger. (from Goodreads)

Promised a golden future as ruler of Scotland by three sinister witches, Macbeth murders the king to ensure his ambitions come true. But he soon learns the meaning of terror – killing once, he must kill again and again, and the dead return to haunt him. (from Goodreads)

Ahh, there’s nothing like a classic shakespearean tragedy for a good dose of revenge and bloodshed.
I had to read Hamlet for a costume project for college, and well, Macbeth came along in the same book.
I’m not a fan of reading plays, but I didn’t dread doing it this time, mostly because I have read it before a long long time ago, so I wanted to set my memory right, since all I could remember was The Simpsons’ adaptation of it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and, apparently, J. K. Rowling

29058155It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. (from Goodreads)

I can’t discuss much about this book without spoiling it. I’m going to assume you didn’t read it and you plan to do it, so I’ll stick to generalities and superficial aspects without talking much about what actually happens. considering that there was a lot of secrecy about the plot and all that.  

  • I’m not into reading scripts, plays or anything that was written to be performed. I wanted to read this, however, because duh, Harry Potter. So one of the better things about it is that is a very straightforward reading, and I read it in just one sitting. One of the bad things about it is, obviously, that lacks of any writing apart from dialogues and few indications of place, time and scenography. I guess this last thing is where one misses the most Rowling’s work.
  • I liked what they did with the Malfoys and the relationship between Albus and Scorpius… I was about to write a little about the other characters, but I think I hate everybody else. I never really liked Harry, not even during the books, so that stays the same. Ginny is good as a mother, I guess. They didn’t get Ron. Albus is pure teenage-angst during the entire thing, a lot like Harry in the 5th book. Scorpius was my fave.
  • Certain particular new character and it’s backstory is pure bananas and it was predictable and I hate it.
  • Mostly, it was a constant state of WTF.

I can’t say I liked it but I can’t either say that I didn’t. It was enjoyable, I guess, in the way fan fiction is enjoyable: it fills a whole, but very loosely.

I hope the play was good.