A bluffers' guide to Harry Potter novelist's grown-up offering
It’s not every day that kids’ authors make the transition into adult fiction (usually, quite the opposite). But Harry Potter creator JK Rowling is making headlines again, this time for her first grown-up book, The Casual Vacancy. And while there has been little publicity about the contents of the novel, it’s always good to know what type of book you’re getting into before you open it. Whether you’re pro-Potter or couldn’t quite get stuck into the fantastical world of Hogwarts, read on for a beginner’s guide to Rowling’s new novel. Dhs110 (hardback). Available at Virgin Megastore, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4353).
1 It doesn’t feature any wizards. No wizards, no magic, no elves. Instead, the plot is based around the petty politics of an idyllic English village, where the death of a parish councillor leaves neighbours at loggerheads over a bitterly contested election.
2 It’s long. A rainforest-razing 512 pages, to be precise. It’s Rowling’s fifth longest book, and Kindle salesmen will be rubbing their hands.
3 Nobody received advance copies of the book. As with the later Harry Potter titles, advance copies of the novel were kept under lock and key (presumably within a massive electrified vault patrolled by ravenous two-headed dogs), meaning not even reviewers could lay eyes on it before it arrived in bookshops.
4 It’s already sold millions… A month before publication, preorders passed two million copies. Last week, it edged into the top ten on Amazon UK’s bestseller list, at a loss-leading price of Dhs58.
5 …but it might be rubbish. The Potter books have seen Rowling attain the profile of a blockbuster film director. But what sort of films are often kept from the press until the last minute? Bad ones.
6 It’s already been parodied. Some enterprising clown has already released The Vacant Casualty, which promises ‘casual violence, rude tea-ladies and tortoise milk’. We recommend not purchasing this.
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Trev Philips Oct 27, 2012 10:19 pm
It is so bad because it is likely the first time she has actually tried to write comething without massive input from others. Barry Cunningham her first editor and others at Bloomsbury had more than a little to do with Harry Potter. Who was her editor on this one. Where is he/she? Why don't you know? Fact is Rowling was created by the British establishment and is protected by them. She was created to fill the gap left by the death of Roald Dahl. And the one case that threatened to dismantle was squashed by her ruthless lawyers Schillings. Over 56 others have been dragged into court by her and them to protect the franchise meanwhile the devastating claims by Ireland's famous muralists The Bogside Artists that you can find on the net remain unanswered and unchallenged. How can that be? Unless, they are true Ungullible