how come nobody has bought Rowling's new book?

(112 Posts)

went into town at 4pm after work, thinking 'shame, they'll all be gone' only to find that every shop had them discounted - a tenner in Waterstones! HMV had piles of them and I gave in and bought one in Tescos for £9 - what happened there then?

cocolepew Thu 27-Sep-12 21:48:16

Because she' shite?

lydiamama Thu 27-Sep-12 21:49:39

I am waiting for the film

oh, maybe that's it...grin just wondered - never read harry Potter but assumed that everyone would buy this?

Because it's not Harry Potter!!

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 21:50:23

I think they read the reviews and thought "Naaaah........"

Have you seen the way she represents vernacular speech? <hoots>

Having read the reviews I think it's definately one to get from the library!

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 21:51:22

never read harry Potter but assumed that everyone would buy this?

Are you she?

TunipTheVegemal Thu 27-Sep-12 21:52:42

The over-hype about this is incredible - on the front of the Times it says 'Rowling to revive the novel?'

picturesinthefirelight Thu 27-Sep-12 21:56:17

I only ever bought Harry potter book discounted. I never buy hardbacks only paperback but I didn't realise she had a new book out.

JollyToddler Thu 27-Sep-12 21:58:22

Because hp was very badly written. Good plot, but she should have got someone else to write it.

I'm sure her adult one will be just as bad.

JollyToddler Thu 27-Sep-12 21:59:22

Oh, and because she gives money to the labour party. I will not be buying anything else of hers if she's just going to give my cash to them.

Waswondering Thu 27-Sep-12 21:59:59

Aren't all big blockbuster books heavily "discounted" when published? I'm sure my Nigellas/Jamies/Hugh FW cookbooks are all "half price" when first released .... is it not just a publishing thing?

Because hp was very badly written. Good plot, but she should have got someone else to write it.

Why do you say that?

JollyToddler Thu 27-Sep-12 22:06:20

Because that's what I think. Every time I have re read them I notice bits that are not very good.

In the first book, the bit where Hermione has to work out which vial Harry should drink is very weak. Throughout the books there are weak parts.

On the strength of the writing I really believe the books would not have been a success. The plot is excellent though.

I loved HP and won't hear a bad word against it. So there.

New releases by popular authors are always discounted. Harry Potter was always half price in the first week, especially in the Supermarkets. Same with CDs and DVDs. They use them as loss leaders.

Harry Potter is easy to read with a good plot and some fab comic moments. It's not great literature, it's not exceptional. The first Harry Potter book is the book any clever, literate woman could write. The rest of the series and the global success is down to a lot of luck and some bloody good marketing. JKR is a sharp, bright woman. In the latter HP books and I suspect in this one, she has been chronically over-indulged by her editors and publishers. I'm sure this isn't a bad book but I doubt it's an original one or one that you'd want to take to a desert island. Still anything's better than bloody Kate Atkinson or the Time Travellers awful Wife.

It just doesn't sound like a book I want to read or even have on my shelves ...

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 22:11:50

Oh Suzy.

How I envy you with Pratchett, Tolkien and Wynne Jones as yet undiscovered! grin

JollyToddler Thu 27-Sep-12 22:12:14

I agree 100% with NorthernLurker

TunipTheVegemal Thu 27-Sep-12 22:16:05

I quite like Kate Atkinson!

I don't quite agree that any clever literate woman could write Harry Potter. There are too many imitations out there now that haven't just not had the hype, they're also not as good.
I don't think she's as many times better than everyone else as her fabulous wealth compared to the pittance most writers earn would suggest, but I think HP was a cracking first novel though I agree the later ones weren't tight enough.
Of course she was lucky too - she was there just at the moment when all the publishers were getting tired of gritty realism and wanted magic. A few years earlier and they might have not it a look in.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 27-Sep-12 22:16:27

not given it a look in, I should have put

Gosh, interesting thoughts here; didn't think of the loss leaders thing. - just v surprised that this morning it was all 'wwoo, were opening early' and tonight just piles of rejected little hardbacks. Will read with interest.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 27-Sep-12 22:17:44

Amazon charge more for pre-orders then on publication day the price shoots down.

I'm sorry are we assuming here I'm some poorly read halfwit???? Of course I've read better written books, but the whole world of Potter is just amazing

FYI I have a degree and Masters in Spanish and Translation, focusing of film and literature

smile

*on

vvviola Thu 27-Sep-12 22:22:24

I always felt, especially in the later books, that she was in need of a really good editor. The story was still there, but the prose seemed to need to be tighter.

I won't be buying the new one (hype like this always has the opposite effect on me) but I'll probably grab it from the local library at some stage.

To be fair to her, it's a hard leap to make - children's fiction to adult fiction, especially with all the focus on her.

Enid Blyton tried her hand at writing for adults, I think a stage play, and it didn't work at all for her. Hopefully JK won't follow in her footsteps. Sad to think that no one's buying her book :-(

greencolorpack Thu 27-Sep-12 22:28:07

It got my back up that she was on the breakfast television programme holding forth about British politics every fifteen minutes. I missed the memo where I'm supposed to care about her political opinions.

greencolorpack Thu 27-Sep-12 22:30:15

Diana Wynne Jones wrote better more inventive books thirty years earlier. I still yearn to read those books again, I consider myself very lucky to have discovered her books. Whereas Jk Rowling books are okay but they ain't all that. No offence.

MrsjREwing Thu 27-Sep-12 22:30:33

I will grab it from the supermarket and give it a go. I think JKR showed a great imagination and background knowledge, that kids would possibly never have known otherwise.

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 22:31:10

The whole world of Potter is derivative twaddle.

She has merely branched out into a whole new genre of derivative twaddle.
Standing over her cauldron, pinch of Trollope here, soupcon of Cooper there, batwing plucked by McEwan..................

Of course I'm not assuming you're a halfwit hmm, Suzy. No more than anyone else who lauds the Empresses New Typewriter.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 27-Sep-12 22:31:49

The thought of sitting through a stage play by Enid Blyton fills me with horror!

She really needs to just get on with it and develop at an adult writer at her own pace. Harry Potter has given her the financial freedom and publishing clout to do it without worrying about those things, but doesn't provide a shortcut. I'm not rushing to buy this one but I wouldn't be surprised if JKR wrote something really good for adults one day. Just like adult writers who switch to writing for children sometimes take a while to get into the swing of it.

Grr

Viviennemary Thu 27-Sep-12 22:36:06

It might be rubbish. I'll wait and get it from the library.

expatinscotland Thu 27-Sep-12 22:38:08

Because it was over-priced.

parques Thu 27-Sep-12 22:38:32

Rather like Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie books. Not keen on the others though.
Never read Harry Potter.

cocolepew Thu 27-Sep-12 22:41:35

DD1loved HP she was obsessed. I banned her from reading them in the end because I didn't think they were very well written, and I thought she should broaden her reading. Admittedly I had only glanced through one but I though it wasn't great.DD was still arguing that they were wonderful up until the summer. She's 14 and I said she could re read them in the summer. She gave up halfway through the first one and admitted it was because of her writing style. Score one to mum.

KrispyCakehead Thu 27-Sep-12 22:42:54

Ha ha.. if JKR wrote HP "weakly", I wish I could write such weak stuff.... grin

AppleCrumbleAndFish Thu 27-Sep-12 22:44:41

I don't really understand the OP. It's normal for books to be piled high in supermarkets at a discounted price. Of course they have some left. They wouldn't have expected to sell out on day 1.
Jollytoddler, I really doubt that JKR is crying into her millions tonight at the lack of your tenner. She has a different political opinion from you. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy her book.

HardHittingLeafletCampaign Thu 27-Sep-12 22:46:01

Perhaps any woman could have written them, but they didn't, she did.

cocolepew Thu 27-Sep-12 22:46:47

The books would never have been so popular if it wasn't for the films <taps nose>

You know what else is badly written? The bloody Mr Men books and look how popular they are. Absolute nightmare to read out loud.

Dh bought one for me. I'll let you know how it is if you like?

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 22:54:48

It's a bit like Nerf Guns.

Reinvent the Airgun, dilute the power, immediacy and thrill and watch the £££££s roll in.

JollyToddler Thu 27-Sep-12 22:57:33

AppleCrumble, I am happy enough to get her book from the library or second hand, I am just not comfortable giving her money because she might then give it to the labour party. Just because I disagree with her politics doesn't mean I dislike the HP books or anything else she may write - I just don't want to give her money.

I loved Harry Potter and I'm not ashamed about it. Lets face it, it was one of the most successful series of books ever and I would love to have written it, no matter how many people thought it was badly written.

I'll prob get her new one on Kindle once the price comes down.

AppleCrumbleAndFish Thu 27-Sep-12 23:08:39

Jollytoddler, it must be exhausting checking the political views of everyone before choosing how to spend your money.

JollyToddler Thu 27-Sep-12 23:11:00

Again, not their political views, their political donations.

BigWhoop Thu 27-Sep-12 23:11:53

I've just started a degree module on Children's Literature - first set text is a choice between HP and Northern Lights. I've read both - and think Northern Lights better written, but there is a lot of interesting discussion already on what makes good children's literature. It also raises the point - who are we to decide? Surely that is up to children. (unless of course you ate reading it as adult literature - in which case it is entirely up to you to decide if it is any good or not).
She obviously has a lot of appeal to children, and a rare gift to get inside their heads without being patronising or judgemental. She has the ability to write as a child, not for children.
Who cares if some of her writing is a bit off track.

As for the new JK Rowling novel... I'll wait for the paperback thanks smile

BigWhoop Thu 27-Sep-12 23:13:19

Sorry - extra full stop added itself, and I meant 'are' rather than 'ate'.

AppleCrumbleAndFish Thu 27-Sep-12 23:14:10

Again, you must be exhausted with all that research.

Jesus LeMarchand, bitchy and snobbish much? I won't be buying the book but will probably get it off my sister when she's finished it. I liked Harry Potter, I also liked DWJ. Each to their own I suppose.

livealoha Thu 27-Sep-12 23:16:50

No Coco, the films were a hit because the books were so popular
<blows raspberrys at all you HP haters>

cocolepew Thu 27-Sep-12 23:18:11

No, I'm right grin

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 23:18:21

It's got a lot of appeal to children because it was marketed to the hilt and then franchised into a series of films.
Nothing to do with the writing.

HP series does a huge disservice to children's literature.
It illustrates the point at which marketing took over the genre and trampled lucratively over the graves of those who came before.

Hmmm I'll disagree with you on the film thing Coco, but wholeheartedly agree with you on the Mr. Men books. What a pile of wank they are, luckily DS is too young to realise that I'm making them up as I read them to himsmile

LemarchandsBox Thu 27-Sep-12 23:21:54

Freddie - I care when children are served warmed-over shite as entertainment.

If that makes me 'bitchy and snobbish' in your eyes then I can live with that.

imperialstateknickers Thu 27-Sep-12 23:29:37

The first three HP books were excellent, I demolished them and couldn't wait for ddtwins to be old enough to enjoy them. The Goblet of Fire was unreadable. I mean that.... I tried three times and couldn't get past page 100. Turgid, uninterested in characters - it was like trying to get through Women In Love (when it was a set text) all over again. YY to whoever said she needed serious editing, me and our local vicar (!) agreed this one about five years ago.

That's fine, each to their own. I just think it was unnesscessary to make assumptions and be condescending to another poster on the basis of that.

Corygal Thu 27-Sep-12 23:40:02

Anticipating an irresistible read in the vein of Harry-heroin, I snatched my copy at 5pm from the panting Amazon man as he came up the path. I am now on Mumsnet.

That is my review.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 27-Sep-12 23:55:22

Whoever buys hardbacks - even 'discounted' to £9? I've not even read a review of JKs latest, but if I do get it, it'll be a paperback and probably not till they're discounted too.

I don't even buy Pratchett in hardback, though waiting for the paperback to come out later bugs me a bit.

Grimma - reviews weren't allowed! Thats why I was so surprised to see piles of the things left; completely different to all the mania over harry potter books, and yet quite a lot of hype around it.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 28-Sep-12 11:22:34

Reviews weren't allowed? confused do you mean prior to public release there were none? (presumably there's no way to prevent review now). How extremely silly of JK and/or her publishers. Even fewer people will shell out for a hardback of an unreviewed book.

Thanks Freddie smile

MooncupGoddess Fri 28-Sep-12 13:25:10

It's all about the hype, Grimma. Reviewers were biked their copies on Wednesday and then had to file reviews for the Thursday newspapers to tie in with publication and release date.

To be fair to JK Rowling, from the reviews I've read, the new book, while not a masterpiece, sounds considerably better than one might expect from the rather pedestrian (albeit with a few flashes of genius) HP series. And I admire her for doing something totally different that will alienate wizard-lovers.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 28-Sep-12 13:54:59

It's got to be price that's putting people off. It's £10 in Asda - I could get 10 kindle daily deals for that price wink.

I had a flick through a copy this morning and, whilst I was there, two other people picked up copies. One person put it back after flicking through (like I did) and the other put their copy in their trolley, took it for a short walk and then brought it back (second thoughts presumably) grin

NicknameTaken Fri 28-Sep-12 14:33:58

I've reserved a copy at the library. Could be a while before it's my turn.

I would strongly defend the HP books, and not because of the films. The prose is functional (nothing wrong with that), the plotting and the creativity are strong. I think the series peaked at Prisoner of Azkhaban, but I still found the rest compulsive reading (although I haven't felt a strong desire to re-read).

DuchessofMalfi Fri 28-Sep-12 14:39:25

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the 72 people ahead of me on the waiting list at the library are fast readers grin.

I read and liked the Harry Potter series and am looking forward to my DC being old enough to read them (DD's nearly there).

I'm curious to know whether she really can write for adults. Looking forward to reading it, eventually.

donburi Fri 28-Sep-12 17:57:26

I would read it - if it came as a newspaper collect-coupons freebie. 'I'm still Jo from the block". I think Liz Jones may like it?

No problems Suzysmile

MissWooWoo Fri 28-Sep-12 19:10:25

there must be someone on mumsnet who's read it, cone on! what's it like?

never read a HP and not likely to read this new one either I'm just being nosey

I shall start it tonight and update...

newpup Fri 28-Sep-12 20:01:08

Ordered it and waiting for it to arrive. I read the first two HP books and thought they were fun and quite good but not amazing. I bought the new book because the idea sounded interesting and I wanted to see how her 'adult' fiction is.

sieglinde Sat 29-Sep-12 08:08:16

I read the free Kindle sample of TCV and will not be reading on. The writing is absolutely awful. If possible, worse than 50 Shades. Clunky, pretentious and barely grammatical.

Like many here, I loved the first 3 HPs, but from then on I fell out of love because the writing declined, or the editors didn't dare to do their jobs. Good luck to all who enjoy the new book; chacun a son gout.

Corygal Sat 29-Sep-12 09:52:01

I've finished it now, thanks to an appalling cold that sent me to bed with the cat.

It's not very good - my first instinct is that it wouldn't have made it into print without the author's name on the front. I can't detail without outing myself, but all I can say is that when the main selling point of a book is the author's name, the least one can do for the paying public is hire someone who can write, ie someone else, to create the text. That hasn't happened - that's the first instance I can think of in book publishing, too, except Iris Murdoch's last book that was famously written when she had Alzheimers.

The story is, as everyone knows, about a local council election and its effect on various families in Smalltown Village, West Countrrreee.

The council election raises temperatures all round but it's not much to with the the real theme of the book, bad parents - from the adopted kid who wasn't wanted by dad to the beaten sons of maniac above to the local crack whore's flailing and terrified chaos victims.

But first, I have to point out that the only outstanding feature of the book is that it's full of typos and reps, noticeable even to someone like me who is used to overlooking these things in raw typescripts. They stick out so much they're irritating and confusing - one character is only ever introduced as "Fat, plain...", but when you get to page 500 you kind of know that already. And think author is introducing a new character, proudly using two of the ten adjectives she knows.

(Thinks JKR must be hyper-stroppy and tough - no editor lets that out unless they're terrorised. See below for the worst non-edited slip, the one that blows the plot out of the water.)

None of the characters is very nice. So there's no empathy or drive to get to the end of the book. They represent one fault each, and each fault is just repeated stoutly every 50 pp through all 500 pages. There's no insight or development into say, the deli owner's smalltown snobbery, or the local maniac's wife beating. All the snobbery is really out of date 70s-style, too: skirts jeered at for being above the knee, etc, other skirts look 'like hessian'.

The non-ghastly characters are there as props - you get nothing, say, of the beaten wife's interior monologue. Or how Ms Fat, Plain feels about not being Miss World. The 'social comment' JKR makes is limited to 'wife beating is bad'- You don't say.

What gets me is that all the 'children' in the book, while universal victims, are not very nice themselves and have zero insight into what's going on around them. OK, victims aren't always nice people, and that's fine, but most abused children don't turn nasty - mostly because they're too frightened. Some cope, some get out, and some flail silently. Some survive unscathed, which is what I have always found the most interesting, but this possibility is not allowed.

The social comment, which is like being smacked over the head with a hammer, is beyond obvious. And FACTUALLY INCORRECT. The plotline of crack whore's teen DD Krystal trying to get pregnant so she can get a flat, while about the only character-driven development in all 500pp, couldn't happen in today's England. She would have known all she would get is a fostering with baby, and we are told she hated being fostered. The book is supposed to be about today's England.

I did enjoy the crack whore house of heroin strand, felt mildly illuminated with Krystal's story and very sorry for her. Krystal the Krack Khaos Kid was the only mildly empathetic character - nothing you couldn't have got from Dispatches on C4 in 5 min tho'.

All in all, a curiosity piece - you won't be enlightened or entertained. But you will hope the book makes enough money to subsidise a state of the nation novel set in this century without howlers.

hackmum Sat 29-Sep-12 11:58:23

I do plan to read it, though I have a long list of other books to get through first (including the new Sebastian Faulks, which I'm reading at the moment, plus the new Ben Goldacre book and the Salman Rushdie memoir, and various others). Am slightly put off by the fact that the Kindle price is apparently higher than the hardback price - normally one of the reasons I like the Kindle is that I can buy books as soon as they come out rather than wait for the cheap paperback edition.

The Guardian review was largely favourable - the only other review I've read is Jan Moir in the Daily Mail, which was very hostile, which as far as I'm concerned counts as an endorsement.

whatkungfuthat Sat 29-Sep-12 14:05:21

I just don't fancy it. The story doesn't interest me and it's been hyped to hell and back which is always puts me off. I would never shell out for a hardback anyway.

I'm a huge Pratchett fan too, but I always wait for the paperback.

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Sat 29-Sep-12 15:03:08

Doesn't appeal to me.
I read the first HP to ds and then gave up.

I buy hardbacks...love them. I like the idea of reading a book before all you lot. [ grin]

rubberglove Sat 29-Sep-12 19:35:39

I have heard all kinds of twattery on here, but banning your child from reading Harry Potter really is quite something.

maillotjaune Sat 29-Sep-12 21:37:55

No interest. Had no interest in HP until DSs were old enough, and like others upthread liked the plot but not the writing.

At the time DS2 loved it, but he doesn't reread them the way he has Percy Jackson or Philip Pullman, for example.

I generally avoid stuff with this kind of hype so unless I read great reviews I am unlikely to read it even from the library.

Read the opening bit, and feel like carrying on. Whether or not I end up feeling like corygal remains to be seen. Not sure if local electtions are that exciting.

rubberglove Sat 29-Sep-12 23:47:30

Corygal - 'none of the characters is very nice'

Think you will find that should be, 'none of the characters <are> very nice'

And for the poster that stated Harry Potter is the book any literate, clever woman could have written, well why didn't you?

Startailoforangeandgold Sun 30-Sep-12 01:22:12

I don't buy HBs, even discounted. All my shelves are set at PB hight.

maillotjaune Sun 30-Sep-12 08:08:05

rubberglove genuine question as I often get these things wrong, but "none of the characters is very nice" looks right to me as in "not one of the characters is very nice".

Therefore "is" seems right as you would say "one is" not "one are".

Have I got this one wrong? Sorry I know this isn't pedant's corner but need to know grin

ThorPhowargh Sun 30-Sep-12 08:31:10

Corygal - I disagree, I thought sukhvinder (sp?) and Tessa were also sympathetic. Yes the relentless beating of the middle classes was a bit tedious. I am middle class and although yes the snobbery and disdain exists there are also some amazing kindness and generosity of which no drop is evident in this book.
I thought some of her observations and metaphors were excellent but the book was just so damn grim. The families were all so vile to each other it was depressing. She is excellent at capturing the self absorption and misery of teenagers.
I am a huge Harry Potter fan. If I had read the casual vacancy as a novel by an unknown author I probably wouldn't read their next book. I think, though, JK Rowling had to write something so extreme in its difference to Harry Potter in order to distance herself from the inevitable comparisons.
It's just the enormous chip on her shoulder dominates this book and some great writing is blanketed under the weight of her hatred of the middle classes. It prevented her from writing in any truly likeable characters. Personally I need to like at least one character in a book.
So no, I don't think I'll be buying any more of her adult stuff but I really do not think she deserves the slating she gets. She needs slightly stricter editing (but who would dare these days) as she can drop to a snail like pace but IMO she is a good writer.

Corygal Sun 30-Sep-12 09:57:42

Shout out to all you pedants out there...

None takes the singular.

The only thing I'm not getting so far is the huge amount of interest in the parish council vacancy, and the slightly cartoon like characters - the very huge deli owner etc. Also a bit of stereotyping - can't tell if she is taking the p*ss out of middle class attitudes to council estates or if she thinks that's what they are like? Kind of what pov is the story told from?

TunipTheVegemal Sun 30-Sep-12 11:05:01

According to the Times today it has exceeded sales expectations for the first few days.

DisorderlyNights Sun 30-Sep-12 23:07:36

Enjoying the pedantry on this thread!

I'm a huge fan of HP. Yes the writing is generally functional and sometimes clunky, but the plotting is close to peerless. The amount of Chekov's guns and the mastery in how they're used in later books is amazing.
There's that saying about character's to love, plot to excite, great writing. Having two of the three makes up for the other one, and HP has the first two in spades.

Which is why, based on the reviews, I won't be buying a hb copy of the CV. I'll get one from a charity shop later on.

Saying that, I very much admire Rowling for not sticking to what she knows already.
She could have played it safe.

well, i was enjoying it but am getting a bit bogged down by the writing. its a bit ploddy in places like eating a really doughy scone.

saffronwblue Thu 04-Oct-12 00:39:13

I just finshed TCV. I made myself finish it despite the dull writing and the singularly unappealing characters.
I am a fan of the HP books. I know they aren't perect but my DC have had so much pleasure from them and I found them fun and sometimes very moving. The sense of heart and love in the HP series is completely missing in TCV. Nasty cardboard cut out characters going through the motions.
And I paid full price!

Omg I am having trouble getting thro this!
Sooooooo hard like wading through porridge.

Finished it, very disappointed. Social comment by numbers.

Valdeeves Fri 12-Oct-12 07:34:46

I don't think anybody could write Harry Potter and I think her writing style and use of dialogue are very good. If anybody could write it why haven't they?
Fair enough it's not War and Peace but it has a great plot which takes everybody back to Enid Blyton style books.

Chopstheduck Fri 12-Oct-12 07:52:33

Because it's easy enough to go online and download it for free wink

I've started it. It's not compelling enough to drag me away from mumsnet keep me that interested, not bothered finishing it yet.

Jux Fri 12-Oct-12 10:07:23

Yes, Diana Wynne Jones is a fabulous writer, same genre but infinitely more inventive, and well written.

Greencolorpack, they're all still available, so you don't need to yearn for them!

I can't imagine reading HP again now dd has grown out of it.

Trudi Canavan wrote better with her magicians guild books.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 13-Oct-12 11:07:21

I'm glad someone else picked up on the twattish behaviour of controlling a child's reading and shoving your views upon them.

? Mrs richards ?

Don't know why anybody else has or hasn't bought it, but I am boycotting it because of the appalling treatment of her translators:

"The upcoming book is due to have 480 pages. Translators may not see it before it is published. (Usually translators can prepare by reading preliminary texts in advance.) The translator has to agree, sight unseen, to turn in the finished copy in three weeks, by October 18, in time for release for Christmas sales. That’s 23 pages of polished final text every day for 21 days – without time to read the book beforehand!"

Source

cumfy Mon 22-Oct-12 15:36:53

JK is clearly intelligent.

So why do you think she was so determined about publishing this clearly sub-standard work ?

evenkeel Tue 23-Oct-12 09:38:53

Chipping in to note that I saw a copy of 'The Casual Vacancy' in a local charity shop yesterday. Can't recall ever having seen a much-hyped hardback (indeed, one of the most-plugged ever) falling from grace so spectacularly and so quickly after publication.

It'll be in all the remainder shops soon methinks.

Blimey! That is quick. I guess maybe she felt it was a really valid social comment cumfy ...

FellatioNelson Tue 23-Oct-12 12:54:36

I've just read it. I really liked it. My only bugbear was that she doesn't write working class dialogue terribly convincingly, but then it was set in the West Country somewhere, and my grasp of West Country working class vernacular is not that great so perhaps she has it right after all. It just didn't read convincingly to me. Having said that, I find that very few writers really get working class dialects spot on, and they use phrasing that it outdated, or just not geographically appropriate. But it's pretty hard to convert an accent in writing anyway. I also thought that she was a little overly reliant on stereotypes, and stereotypical scenarios, but on the whole I really enjoyed it. It was all about the characters and the relationships between them, rather than plot driven.

FellatioNelson Tue 23-Oct-12 12:55:54

Oh FFS. hmm

phrasing that is outdated

hard to convey an accent

Woozley Tue 23-Oct-12 12:59:40

I bought it. I hated it through the first four chapters, but it has just started to get more interesting. Very character led and slow to start with, and I thought it was all going to be full of trite stereotypes, but now I am starting to get that it is more than that, and one to stick with, I think.

blimey yes, forgot the awful dialect (only the council house people spoke like that tho?). Krystal etc was a dreadful steroetype.

Woozley Thu 25-Oct-12 19:10:11

I thought she was at first (the big boobs = early sexual activity thing really irked me) but I can see she may develop into a more sympathetic character.

wildfig Mon 29-Oct-12 23:40:15

I almost gave up after about 100pp - being a bit middle class and provincial myself, I've never felt an author hated me, personally, quite so much - but by the end I was completely absorbed in that world. The lack of one properly sympathetic character was a problem, though; when so much of the cast is broadly loathesome, it doesn't give the reader much incentive to invest emotionally in the novel and get through the opening chapters, which are largely scene-setting.

She does really hate fat people though.

lingle Tue 30-Oct-12 12:30:17

"I almost gave up after about 100pp - being a bit middle class and provincial myself, I've never felt an author hated me, personally, quite so much "

LOL wildpig, I know what you mean, I think she has been living in my home town in secret.

I know all the characters, save for the teenage boys - they all live within a mile of me.

I can be Barry with kids I think - I think it's because I had a slightly shitty childhood - but sadly have Howard and Shirley tendencies in the rest of my life.

I have personal experience of the equivalent of the coaching-the-rowing thing and yes, I know the author is preaching but I totally understand why Barry had photos of the rowing team up on his wall.

NicknameTaken Fri 09-Nov-12 10:37:08

Just finished it. I didn't dislike it (lukewarm praise indeed!) I can get behind her moral purpose, the idea that it's all very easy to sneer at the poor and excluded for not improving themselves, but they can be struggling under immense burdens and just about holding on. The portrayal of Terri was, to me, very poignant. I also thought the portrayal of domestic violence was very convincing, including the way the mother tries to put the best light on it to her sons.

But it's a hard book to really warm too. All that relentless unhappiness. I also find there is something a bit paint-by-numbers about her characters - they don't really strike me as fully rounded and convincing people.

mrsshackleton Fri 09-Nov-12 10:42:00

I'm sure the book is selling, all big retailers discount big name books. Also, it will be selling hugely on Kindle.

Whether people like it or not is a different thing

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