Harry Potter's 'Cursed Child' story already a U.S. best-seller

Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:58pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Harry Potter is casting a spell, again, over the publishing industry

Nine years after the publication of the seventh and last book in the best-selling boy wizard series, pre-orders for the script of a new, sold-out London play is the most pre-ordered book since 2007 in the United States, retail book sellers Barnes & Noble said on Monday.

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is billed as the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and is to be published at midnight on July 31. A script rather than a narrative novel, it is being published a day after the official opening of the London stage production of the same name.

The play, based on an idea by British author and Potter creator J.K. Rowling, is set 19 years after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." It features a grown-up Potter as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and father of three children who is grappling with his past.

Barnes and Noble said in a statement that "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" was the U.S. company's most pre-ordered book since 2007's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" - the final book in the original series.

It did not give sales figures but said the book was expected to its biggest seller of 2016, and that midnight parties are planned in stores around the nation on Saturday night.

Amazon Books said "Cursed Child" was already its top U.S. pre-order in print and on Kindle e-book of 2016.

"For the millions of us who are Harry Potter fans, a new Hogwarts story is a huge event," said Amazon Books editor Seira Wilson. "I could easily see young fans adapting to the format and using it to act out the play on their own."   Continued...

British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of books, poses during the launch of new online website Pottermore in London June 23, 2011.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo