J.K. Rowling For Adults
The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, even though many adults pored through every Harry Potter tome the moment they came out. Rowling recently said that if she comes up with another brilliant idea, she would write more Harry Potter which to me is a clear signal that “yes, the adventures of the boy wizard shall continue.”
But what about this new book...
THE CASUAL VACANCY
I received my email notice from Chapters/Indigo that they would open at 7 this morning to sell the book. Some stores reported line ups. Line ups!...usually reserved for hot new tech devices and big name concert tickets. I suppose it's a good sign that people would wait in line to be the first to read a book.
In the U.K. there were one million pre-orders. The record for first week sales of adult novels is at 550,000 set in 2009. It was Dan Brown's follow up to The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol. In the U.K. alone E.I. James' Fifty Shades of Grey has sold 5.3 million copies in print and e-books. They feel Rowling could outpace those sales.
Here's the basic premise: In a small West Country community, there is an unexpected vacancy on the parish council following a death. The subsequent election divides the town and exposes its dark side of jealousy, desperation and snobbery. Some conjecture it is based on the place where Rowling grew up and locals there are already defending press speculations.
REVIEWS: Here's what early critic's reports are saying and it's everything from “unadventurous” to “brilliant.”
The GUARDIAN says, “It rattles along nicely enough, but it leaves a slight sense of disappointment.” The TELEGRAPH said, “It feels as if the author has unleashed all the swearing, sex and vitriol that have been off limits to her since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in 1997. The book is at its weakest when it is most angrily political.” The TIMES, “The difficulty in this fat novel, is the difference between the reader's level of interest in a wholly invented world, such as Harry Potter's, and the world we're stuck with.” The DAILY MIRROR, “The Casual Vacancy is a stunning, brilliant, outrageously gripping and entertaining evocation of British society today.” The NEW YORK TIMES: “The real life world she has limned in these pages is so willfully banal, so depressingly cliched that The Casual Vacancy is not only disappointing, it's dull.
J.K. Rowling has risen from poverty to the top echelons of publishing. The fact that she chose not to sit on the Potter laurels and continue writing is commendable as is her bringing attention to the adult novel as a suitable pasttime. It is certainly going to be among the most talked about books of the year. Will you read it, or just wait for the movie? LEAVE COMMENTS.
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