JK Rowling and the much anticipated new novel
Worldwide star and Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s first book for adults only hit the shelves Thursday and has already had advance sales of one million copies, but reviewers haven given the gritty tale a mixed reception to say the least…
Aficionados of Jo rushed to snap up copies of “The Casual Vacancy” when the book went on sale, although there was none of the hysteria that accompanied each launch of a new title about the boy wizard. Which of course, is understandable. Wands have been swapped for drugs, and owls for angst.
Quite a few reviewers said the eagerly awaited work was a ‘dull read’ in parts despite scenes of drugs and sex, and her most vivid writing was on the familiar ground of children fighting against the authority of adults.
“I had just read a passage written by the world’s favourite children’s author in which a teenager is raped by her mother’s heroin dealer, a man who may well be the father of the girl’s own three-year-old stepbrother, although it’s hard to know for sure when the mum concerned is a prostitute,” wrote Allison Pearson in the Daily Telegraph. She also said the novel was “sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed, and full of cruelty and despair”.
A UK tabloid labelled it “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Filth”, warning that Rowling was “sure to face stern criticism” for its liberal use of obscene language. However, at least some credit should be given to her, having stayed so clean written throughout the entire series of wizarding books.
Set in the fictional village of Pagford in England, the dark comedy deals with the fight to fill a position on the parish council after the original person’s sudden death, and rests on the fate of a desolate housing estate.
Kept closely under wraps until publication, it is widely expected to be Britain’s top-selling fiction title this year. Other reviewers hailed Rowling’s foray into books for adults.
In the Independent, Boyd Tonkin called it a “song of freedom” after Rowling’s seven books about the boy wizard, which by some estimates made her the world’s first billionaire author.
Rhiane Jones, a fan of HP in London, said: “Harry Potter was a large part of the experience of growing up so I was quite curious about what she’d produce. I think her fan base will be curious about a novel that is targeted at them now they’ve grown up. She may not be the most stylish user of language but she’s an amazing storyteller. It will be a good read.”
Rowling has said she left “the door ajar” for a return to the world of Harry Potter, although she said she was not intending to write any more books about the young wizard.
“There’s only one reason to write now: for me,” she told the BBC. She admitted it was “murder” saying goodbye to her most famous character.
“But truly, where Harry’s story is concerned, I’m done. I just think it would be for the sake of milking it and that’s just not in me.”
Article By Emma Sankey