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Let’s all rush to judge J.K. Rowling’s new book now that it has a title, release date, and synopsis

Just over a month ago, when J.K. Rowling announced she had completed her first adult novel, details were scarce except for word it would be “very different” from her Harry Potter books. Today, her new publisher, Little, Brown, and Co. posted a title, release date, and brief synopsis that probably won’t inspire too many midnight release parties at bookstores around the world.

Rowling’s first post-Potter novel will be called The Casual Vacancy, and it hits shelves on Thursday, September 27—a school night, as if we needed any other markers that this book isn't aimed at kids. The synopsis contains just enough to show how much her focus has changed this time around. Provincial politics, class wars, and generation gaps have replaced Quidditch, the seven spell types, and wand lore. After seven books spent creating a sprawling, magical world with an incredibly intricate backstory, Rowling can probably afford to take a laid-back victory lap. But we won’t stop you from prejudging the whole thing with only these scraps to go on.


Full synopsis, from Little, Brown’s site:

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?


Who indeed? Probably Voldemort, right? He’s owed a win at this point, isn’t he?

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