Critically acclaimed author of the Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling today released her first book intended for grown-ups, featuring an abundance of adult themes. According to mixed reviews, The Casual Vacancy deals with suicide, rape, addiction, adultery, and a mother who is "struck dumb" when her daughter comes out as a lesbian.
The book has already made best-seller lists in the United Kingdom, selling a staggering 2.6 million copies — on pre-order. But if readers were hoping to find some magic and mystery in Rowling's latest 500-page tome, they are sorely out of luck. The Casual Vacancy deals strictly in the banalities of humanity, expounding on the mundane, Muggle lives of the residents of fictional Pagford, England.
While some critics commended Rowling's "nimble voice and the quick way she manage[s] to get inside a character's head and simultaneously comment on its contents," most reviews panned the book. One of the more scathing reviews came from notoriously homophobic Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir, who says Rowling's latest book doesn't live up to the hype; "Not unless you want to have more than 500 pages of relentless socialist manifesto masquerading as literature crammed down your throat."
Well, if that isn't a ringing endorsement...