Too Much Hype: ‘The Casual Vacancy’

As you have heard, J.K. Rowling is at it again. Her latest book, The Casual Vacancy, came out today to much fanfare. The publisher built suspense by keeping all of these secrets. No review copies (for paupers like me anyway)! No writing about it–or selling it–until 1 a.m. on September 27! If you want it, you have to pay $17.99 on Kindle! The list price is $35!

Sorry. I get worked up.

I’m not that excited about the book. First of all, there are no wizards. I repeat: Not one wizard. Second, the reviews have been scathing: The New York Times called The Casual Vacancy “disappointing” and “dull.” Third, J.K. Rowling is a billionaire author, and I wish she’d given her loyal readers a break on the price.

As much as I love Harry Potter, and will defend it’s awesomeness to the death, I don’t think I’ll read this one. It’s about an idyllic English town called Pagford, where a dude dies and political and personal fallout ensue. I’ve read that the book–most definitely not for children–includes suicide, rape, heroin addiction, beatings and “a grotesque description of a used condom.” I like dark subjects–give me Gone Girl or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo any day–but The Casual Vacancy sounds like it lacks redemption and hope. I kind of need those two things to really care about and get behind a story.

What do you think? Am I a hater who needs to pipe down? Are you totally psyched for this great author’s adult fiction debut? Are you going to buy it? (It’s been Number 1 on Amazon for days!)

Update: Just now, at 1:14 p.m., a review copy of The Casual Vacancy arrived on my front porch. So the publicists are cool after all. Thank you, Little Brown!

I give. I’m curious. I’ll read it. 


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