Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is J.K. Rowling’s new book cover boring?

You can tell a lot about a book from its cover.

Of course, the opposite is true, too.

Still, fans of British author J.K. Rowling were avidly awaiting the unveiling of her new book cover last week.

I think, like me, most were disappointed.

The only things you can say, with any certainty that is, about the cover for ‘The Casual Vacancy’ are:

1. You’re not going to mistake it for ‘Harry Potter.’

2. Maybe there’s something political about the book.

Seriously. That’s it.

The cover is so generic that you really can’t divine anything else about the plot from it at all.

The description of the book reads as follows on Amazon: 

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but that description doesn’t scream excitement to me.

Don’t get me wrong, not everything I read has to be action-packed and fantasy-related.

No. In fact, I like thought-provoking books as much as the next person. Even when I factor that in, though, ‘The Casual Vacancy’ just doesn’t inspire me to order it for release date delivery.

I think Rowling is a terrific author – but I also think maybe she should ready herself for some disappointment. No matter what, ‘The Casual Vacancy’ isn’t going to have much of an impact on people.

‘Harry Potter’ sparked the imaginations of millions of readers – both young and old – across the globe. This book will be lucky to hit the best sellers list.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there will be a certain curiosity factor. I just don’t think it will be enough to actually fuel robust book sales.

Rowling has recently backed off promises to never return to the Harry Potter world. She has said she might be interested in revisiting the characters as adults.

I think that was a wise movie. No matter what she writes from here on out, it’s never going to be another Harry Potter.

Some authors are never able to overcome a hit series. That’s why authors like Janet Evanovich beat a series into the ground – just ask Stephanie Plum fans.

That being said, as the richest woman in England, Rowling has nothing to prove to anyone. If she wants to write for her own pleasure – she should. She just shouldn’t think that people are going to respond to it like they did Harry Potter.

Of course, I could be speaking prematurely.

‘The Casual Vacancy’ doesn’t debut until September 27, so it very well could be a literary masterpiece.

If the cover is any indication, though, it’s going to be a dull outing.

What do you think? Does ‘The Casual Vacancy’ look interesting to you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it'll definitely hit the best sellers list. I mean, it's a new book by JK Rowling. Even if it's not very good (which I'm not predicting at all; it might be great) millions of people around the world will buy it because they enjoyed Harry Potter and want to see what she does next.

July 6, 2012 at 5:59 AM 

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