Today is the day that JK Rowling’s first ‘adult’ book is released, and her first non-Harry Potter book! There are less than 5 hours before the book is released worldwide at 7 am UTC, and you can easily figure out what that means for your time zone. It is an exciting time for JK Rowling fans (well really Harry Potter fans) because this is the first time we get to see JK do something different. And I bet it is a nervous time for her too, what if people don’t like it? That is very unlikely to happen, let’s be honest. But if you’ve had such a big success with one book, and let’s face it, Harry Potter has been a HUGE success, releasing something different has got to be terrifying.
I grew up reading Harry Potter, like many of you I’m sure, and I have re-read the books so many times and seen all the movies so many times, you could well say I was obsessed. As I was growing up and reading them, I missed out on all the opportunities to really dissect the books, and theorise what would happen in the next ones. I was too young to do that, and all I wanted to do, was read the books to find out what had happened. I didn’t even realise there was such a thing as ‘fan-fiction’ (which is probably good considering some of the stuff that is available on the web, which would have destroyed my innocence as a child), or even an online community of other fans. Even though The Casual Vacancy is a stand alone book, and we know little more about it than the what’s on the blurb, I still feel very excited to try to imagine what might happen in the book. It has been exciting seeing the lead-up to the book, but unless it is just because I don’t really remember what it was like when Harry Potter was released, there seems to be very little hype. Sure the HP websites have been going mad, reporting on every little detail, and every little media release and interview JK has done (which has actually be a few, considering her almost media silence for the past few years), but there is no real excitement, beyond those who are fans.
There hasn’t been too much hype in the news, and there certainly has been very limited (at least from my point of view) fanfare from bookstores. There has been no indication from any of my local bookstores that they would be doing anything like the Harry Potter lineups, and some didn’t even know whether they would have the book on the day! Indeed, all I’ve seen about the book (apart from online, and now in catalogues) is a single poster in a store. Maybe I was expecting more (and when I go today, to try and get a copy from my local bookstore, I do try and support them, maybe there will be more coverage and excitement), maybe I’m just more excited than the general public. But after the fanfare that bookstores had over ’50 Shades of Grey’ (which by all accounts that I have heard, is nothing more than shitty porn, and isn’t even a good ‘romantic’ novel), I expect more for the world’s most successful author! The local store I spoke to was only getting 100 copies of the book, but if I compare that to 50 Shades, they had what seemed like hundreds of books. Admittedly, this is the first batch of books, and I’m sure they’ll get more over the coming weeks, and maybe people are nervous to see what JK can do, outside of Harry Potter, and that means people might just wait to see whether they should go and get it?
All I know is, it’s coming out pretty soon, and I’ll be trying to get a copy, at the exact time of its release. And once I do, I’ll restrain myself enough, to come back home before reading it (if I can). And I’ve decided to do some posts/reviews on the book, but not in the style of any previous books. It will likely just be a list with my thoughts on what is happening so far (very small amounts of what is happening, to make sure I’m not hunted down and sued or something) and what I think might happen, and just my general excitement. My other posts, won’t get interrupted (hopefully not anyway), and I have no idea how much the book I will cover today, and tomorrow, or how long it will take, and the real logistics of it all. But I’ll just see what happens, and I hope you can be involved too (as long as you are NOT SPOILING ME or ANYONE ELSE!). If you would like to make comments about the book, and I haven’t posted anything up yet on that chapter, or haven’t finished it all, and it is in any way spoilerish (including any plot details, characters, settings, writing technique, hinting at important things, saying this chapter/character/thing is amazing or terrible) either restrain yourselves and comment later OR use the wonderful site called: rot13 this site allows you to write in whatever you want, and then cypher it, so others can read it, unless they put it back into the site and decypher it. You may use this on the proviso that you say what you are about to spoil, so people can decide whether or not they want to read it (obviously not in rot13, otherwise people wouldn’t know what you are saying). I can’t wait to read it!