Thursday, November 8, 2012

Casually Vacant


©2012 by LeeZard

“twad-dle – Noun – Trivial or foolish speech or writing; nonsense.”

The joke is on us and J.K. Rowling is laughing all the way to the bank.

The billionaire creator of Harry Potter published her first book for adults earlier this year, “The Casual Vacancy,” and watched it rack up 125,000 sales in its first week of release in the United Kingdom. That was second only to Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” which sold half-a-million copies its first week. While sales after that slowed, Ms. Rowling’s book still found its way to many bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. My question is, “Why?”

LeeZard is a huge Harry Potter fan; read all the books – some of them twice – and saw all the films. Loved ‘em! When Rowling’s new book was announced I rushed to my library’s website to place a “hold” only to be disappointed by my place in line, 388. “Well worth waiting for,” I told myself even though the publisher’s preview blurb didn’t scream excitement and page-turning drama; in fact, it screamed business as usual:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the 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?


I finally got the notice this week and rushed to my local branch to get my hands on what would surely become a new LeeZard favorite. Sixty-eight pages into it, I closed “The Casual Vacancy” forever, with a big yawn. If it wasn’t by J.K. Rowling, I doubt I would’ve gotten that far.

No less a publication than the New York Times agrees with LeeZard:

 “Unfortunately, the real-life world she has limned in these pages is so willfully banal, so depressingly clichéd that “The Casual Vacancy” is not only disappointing — it’s dull.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Here’s my theory then: LeeZard cannot believe J.K. Rowling would knowingly write such TWADDLE (love that word!) unless she had a reason and the reason, my friends, is the joke.

Let’s face it, kids; J.K. Rowling does not need the money. So I’m thinking she decided on a little social experiment.  “Let’s see,” she tells her agent, “if I can write something totally inane, won’t it be funny to watch people snap it up just because my name is on it?”

Yup, the joke is on us and, because you are J.K. Rowling, I’ll give you a pass…but just this once. Now, you owe us something good – better than good. Please, sit down and write something for we adults with the same imagination, spirit and adventure that made you a billionaire in the first place.