Remember this date: Thursday, September 27, 2012. Then, this book title: The Casual Vacancy. And finally, the name that virtually everyone in the world already knows and remembers: J. K. Rowling.
About five months from now, Rowling’s new book – not part of her Harry Potter series and not targeted to children – will become available worldwide.
At 480 pages, her hefty novel for adults is set in an idyllic-seeming English village, where the sudden death of a town leader exposes the ugly underside of life in Pagford. The election to replace Barry Fairweather “unleashes passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations,” the Guardian reports.
It’s been more than a decade since British publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Rowling’s seventh and last Potter book was published five years ago, and the last of eight movies of the series was even more recent. The Casual Vacancy proves Rowling’s claim that she kept writing after finishing Harry.
Billed as a “blackly comic” work, the book reportedly includes no witches or wizards – but may nonetheless need a bit of magic to catch on -- will devoted readers accept anything but Harry Potter from Rowling? will the children who read the Potter books move on as adults to this totally different book? Will critics decide Rowling has more than had her day, and this one can’t measure up?
To be published by Little Brown Book Group, the book will available in the traditional hardcover format, as well as eBook and audio formats, according to Forbes.
One of many questions about it is how close will Vacancy come to the 450 million Potter copies sold worldwide? Reportedly translated into 74 languages, the series also spawned the Potter film franchise that grossed over $7.7 billion all told.
But that’s all for the future. Right now, just look forward to Sept. 27.