The Casual Vacancyby J K Rowling
So I’ve given in to the hype and got me a cheap copy of JK’s new adult book, and it will be my weekend reading…
I see the knives are already out on Amazon with 50% of the 50+ reader reviews so far being negative.
I’m really hoping that it’ll be better than that. It’s 500 pages though. Fingers crossed. Report back next week.
7 thoughts on “I gave in to the hype …”
Good luck! I wanted to read it until I saw the Culture Show programme about it…
Now I recorded that programme and haven’t watched it yet – maybe I should watch it after reading …
It could be the best book ever written and the knives would be out simply because she is J.K. Rowling. We have serious tall poppy syndrome in this country and the recent fake review scandals prove how bitchy the publishing world can be!
I look forward to reading your view of it!
Thanks Liz – I think I will enjoy it given the Little England premise. Whether it’s great literature remains to be seen.
I don’t think we do have tall poppy syndrome. Indeed, we are now living in a country where it’s routine to deride anyone who finds fault with the rich or famous, however reasonably and intelligently, as being ‘jealous’. Or, in a silly metaphor borrowed from the Republican soundbite end of US politics, as suffering from ‘tall poppy syndrome’. This despite the fact that our current recession was created by the richest and is bearing most heavily on the poorest. It would be more accurate, if less pretty, to say we suffer from greedy stupid rich people.
There’s a good reason for picking on people who are successful. Especially when they launch into new fields of endeavour, which is what Rowling has done. It’s because they already have all the advantages. Time and money to write at leisure and in luxury, with a staff of proofreaders and typists and editors available day or night. And other people to do the cooking and cleaning, audiences who will read the books just because of a famous name (as in this case), journalists who will interview the author and bring a photographer with them, and bookstores that will advertise the possibility of preordering so as to avoid the chance of informed criticism having an impact on sales.
If the book is even readable in such a climate, it has a fair chance of coming to be regarded as a classic despite anything the critics might say. If it’s not, the same may still happen.
If it bombs, however, the chances are that it will have amply deserved to.
I think people are being too harsh about J.K.R and this new book (granted, I haven’t read it yet). I’ll look forward to your thoughts.
I read the NY Times review and it was mixed leaning negative. But not snarky or unfair. I think the reviewer really wanted to like it more than she did.