..if the reviews would have been kinder if she was not such a celebrity now?
Here's what some had to say:
"I think J K Rowling is a brilliant writer and I would have bought this book if it were $117.99 and written in pencil on toilet paper. It is distressing that readers punish the author for the greed of the publishers. I had no idea what to expect and for some reason I was thinking Agatha Christie or PD James. Truth is, it was more like Salinger or Vonnegut, harsh realism and depressing insight into human weaknesses."
"I gave this book five stars in part to counter-act the many one star reviews coming from people who have not even read it. 4.5 would be more accurate. I highly recommend that you at least sample it - for those of you who love Ms Rowling's writing style, you will most likely fall in love with this book almost instantly. Just remember that if you are looking for the (mostly) lighthearted magic of the Harry Potter series, this is not the right book to look at..."
"I found that there were not too many characters with whom I could identify - perhaps this was Rowling's intent. In her previous books, the readers jumped onto the different characters and found elements that they appreciated. Here, the darker fare makes the characters seem more distant. Overall, the book was a good and entertaining read. If you dont mind a simple and expected plot, and a clear social message about shared responsibility, then pick the novel up."
"And that, in a nutshell, is the tragedy at the center of this novel: people hurt in ways they cannot take care of on their own, and the only ones who might help them are too lost in their own misery to even notice their suffering. But The Casual Vacancy tells their stories with the light and warmth that suffused the Harry Potter series, and that makes all the difference - Rowling captures their comedy and their loveliness, and makes you hope for them, for (almost) all of them, even as you realize they won't all find what they're looking for. For all the darkness, for all the sorrow, there is magic here."
"Rowling understands human beings, our limitations, and what a mixed bag we are of pettiness, and self-absorption, and (sometimes) the ability to change and grow, and (sometimes) greatness. The story is believable, with no jarring false notes, even though it fits the expected pattern with rising action, intense climax, and conclusion with enough resolution. "
J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, translated into 74 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films. She has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry’s schoolbooks within the novels. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages were published by Scholastic Bloomsbury Children’s Books in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. In December 2008, The Tales of Beedle the Bard was published in aid of the Children’s High Level Group, and quickly became the fastest selling book of the year.
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