Lifestyle & Belief

J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' gets mixed reviews


Author J.K. Rowling announced she will be selling Harry Potter e-books through her own online platform, Pottermore, retaining all electronic rights to Harry Potter. It is estimated that Rowling will make more than $160 million off of e-book sales through Pottermore.


Christopher Furlong

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's first adult book, "The Casual Vacancy," hit bookstores today to mixed reviews and with less fanfare than the Potter books.

CNN called the book "firmly aimed at those in the grown-up world, with the writer's pen dissecting social inequality, small-town politics and snobbery -- with sex, abuse and a mouthful of swearing thrown in for good measure."

It is set in the fictional town in western England and is a tale about a local town election, CNN said.

"We are firmly in Muggle-land -- about as far from the enchanted world of Harry Potter as we can get," wrote critic Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times. "Unfortunately, the real-life world she has limned in these pages is so willfully banal, so depressingly clichéd... is not only disappointing — it’s dull."

More from GlobalPost: J.K Rowling adult novel 'The Casual Vacancy' pre-order sales top one million

Other literary critics and readers have called the book "unadventurous", "bleak" and also "brilliant," the BBC reported.

Rowling told the BBC, "The idea just came to me, I had that almost visceral reaction when you know you want to do something."

She said the book is quite different than anything she has done before and warned Potter fans, they might not like it.

When asked what she has left to accomplish, Rowling told the BBC, "To get better would be great. You are working and learning till you die..."

As for the age old question if she will return to her beloved Harry Potter series, she said "I can say, with my hand on my heart, I will never write, for any reason other than I burningly wanted to write the book. There were a couple of the Potter books that I definitely knew that they needed another year... where I had to write on the run, and that it was really tough... Maybe I will go back and do a director's cut. I don't know."