For adults only! Harry Potter creator Rowling’s new book set to be released

J.K. Rowling

Finally it’s here. In what is being billed as the biggest publishing event of the year, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is all set to release her new book, The Casual Vacancy, amid much hype and hoopla on Thursday.

And this is not a children’s book. So do not expect invisible cloaks, magical alleys and loveable youngsters.

This one is for adults; not that they weren’t kissed by dementors and stunned by spells, but The Casual Vacancy is about the middle-class set in British village, Pagford. And even before it is out, it is No. 2 on Amazon; its Indian publishers, Hachette, meanwhile, have predicted that it would be this year’s top-selling book in hardback across the country.

The Casual Vacancy is about the middle-class set in British village, Pagford.

Writing about the book on her website, Rowling said, “The Casual Vacancy is set in a small community, which involved writing about characters who are adolescents all the way up to people in their sixties. I love nineteenth-century novels that centre on a town or village. This is my attempt to do a modern version. As a writer you have to write what you want to write; or rather what you need to write. I needed to write this book.”Pagford is not what it seems at first. Barry Fairbrother, a parish councillor in his early 40s, dies unexpectedly. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

“Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with the poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils” – that is how Rowling’s new publishers, Little, Brown and Company, have described the book. Bloomsbury had published her Harry Potter series.

The world’s richest author said the success of the Harry Potter series gave her the creative freedom to explore new territories. This is a dark comedy with complex characters who are being just human. Not much more is known about the book. Just like the secrecy that shrouded the plots of Harry Potter books, the narrative of this one too, has been guarded with great care, most probably by wizards.

Rowling’s British publishers have said the book is a tale of dark humour and social concern worthy of Dickens. Let us hope the magic at the tip of her pen runs well into this one too, taking her readers on a wondrous ride into an unexplored territory.

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