From Magic to Muggles: Harry Potter author releases new book
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 00:09
Many fans of the Harry Potter book series will be excited that the author is releasing a new novel today. “The Casual Vacancy” is J.K. Rowling’s first published book since the conclusion of the Harry Potter series in 2007 with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
“The Casual Vacancy” is not full of wizards, house elves and cauldron cakes, though. Instead, it focuses on the lives of normal non-magical Muggles. The topic of the book is a big departure for Rowling. It is marketed as an adult novel and not for children or young adults.
According to the publisher’s website, the novel centers on events in the fictional English town of Pagford. After Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly, an “empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.” Class warfare and tensions between young and old generations are paramount.
It is hard to know what to expect about this novel with a subject so different from Rowling’s previous work. Will now grown-up Potterheads take the bait and buy this book? It depends. Fans of Harry Potter series who expect superb characters, realistic relationships and emotions and accurate depictions of grief, love and overcoming struggle will be more likely to pick up a copy. Fans who of the fantasy aspect probably will not go for “The Casual Vacancy. “
The initial U.S. print run of 2 million copies pales in comparison to the record-breaking 12 million printed for the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” but sales are still expected to be strong. Based on pre-orders “The Casual Vacancy” was already in the top spot of Amazon’s bestsellers list before it was released.
In an interview with USA Today, Rowling expressed little worry about whether readers will like the book.
“I don’t think everyone will like the book,” Rowling said. “But I’m proud of this book. I like this book. It is what it’s meant to be. As an author, you really can’t say more than that. I don’t mean this arrogantly, but if people don’t like it, well, that’s how it should be, isn’t it? That’s art. It’s all subjective. And I can live with that.”