Tag Archives: news

Cover Reveal for New Rowling Book

The cover!

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Little, Brown has the details; not a lot that we haven’t heard already. But the cover’s interesting, at least in that it’s entirely cryptic. It gives us nothing but the marked check box of a ballot and the title and author name. Also, the red and gold is much more suggestive of alchemy than of a gossipy, petty-warring little town in England.


Rowling’s Website Updated

In conjunction with title and release date news for her new book, J.K. Rowling’s newly-remade website has gone live!

Like the old Potter-themed one, it’s a little Flashy; not quite so heavily animated, but still possessing motion and the need for a lot of user clicks and scrolling. The timeline is an interesting feature, likely to draw both praise and criticism, but there’s a fair bit of information on it. The days of the W.O.M.B.A.T. look to have passed away; we’ll see whether anything else comes into play around the release of A Casual Vacancy.

What do you think?

Rowling’s New Book’s Title Released

On Hypable this morning, the title was announced as “A Casual Vacancy”, with a length of 480 pages and a release date of September 27 of this year.

The Little, Brown synopsis:

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?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

Obviously very different material from Harry Potter, though as Eric comments over at Hogwarts Professor, “I wonder how much we should make of the fact that the first book began with a boy named Harry who lived, and this one begins with a man named Barry who dies?”

The synopsis tells us a lot about the town but absolutely nothing about any living characters, suggesting that Rowling may be diverging from the tight third-person (limited omniscient) narrative voice she used in Harry Potter, or at least using multiple perspectives throughout. The situation has a lot of potential to get very political, although it could also be a comedy of manners–or both; neither would be far from Rowling’s tendencies or influences.

Any thoughts or prognostications? Now that we have a title and synopsis, will you be out to get a copy?

To Imagine Better: The Tale of Katie the Prefect

What’s the magic of the Harry Potter stories? And, for those of you who have been, what’s the magic of Harry Potter’s Wizarding World in Orlando? I’m not sure about either, but I have hunches. And I have even more after discovering this unforgettable article at  Joe Blogs, reporting on his trip to the Wizarding World (in Orlando) with his wife and daughters.

For those of you interested in Harry Potter as shared text, you’ll want to pay attention to what he explains part of what may make the theme park work: the ridiculously long lines. For everything. Continue reading

Watson: ‘This is controversial!’

Through the labyrinth of the Webmagraph arrives this fascinating study in cultural imperialism. Can, in fact, everyone’s favourite Harry Potter stars learn to talk American? Can they come to grips with the irrational American penchant for doing incomprehensible things, like saying ‘Glenn Beck’ and ‘Charlie Sheen’ in the same sentence? Is this interview really part of a vast conspiracy to promulgate one best-selling YA SF series over another? (Twi-hards, put your hard hats on.)

And, sink me, what the deuce are these–how do you call them? Mozzareller sticks?

This video arrives at Hog’s Head via Ben Zimmer at Language Log, who got it from the Economist’s Johnson blog, and I don’t know where they got it. Ben Zimmer also offered this link on the wonders of hyper-rhotic pronunciation, for those curious why Felton’s dialectal experiment worked better than Grint’s, and why not even Americans know what the deuce a mozzareller stick is.

Harry Potter Theme Park Promises Thrills

by Arabella Figg

This article (9-21-09) (click here) details the prominent attractions and rides “to make the experience immersive.”

“Along those journeys they’re going to be swept up into the greatest parts of the movies and the books,” says Paul Daurio, producer of the Potter area. “We’ve pushed every technology available to us to give tuests a theme park experience unlike any they’ve had before.”

I found interesting this quote, in the light of Harry Potter being Shared Text:

“It’s such a huge worldwide brand, and the only place in the world you’re going to be able to experience it is in Orlando.”

Do you think the HP theme park can enhance your experience of HP… or not?

Around the Common Room

Added:  Poster for Half-Blood Prince (not a very clear picture, as it’s not been actually “released” yet)

Last Harry Potter Film Split into 67 Parts (Spoof)

Brief but poignant observation from John Granger about the story of Rowling’s contemplated suicide.

Get more familiar with Andrew Peterson’s music from these YouTube clips.

Completely not-Potter and non-literature related, but if you’re a sports fan, the Prayers for Blowouts blog ran an interview with me yesterday.

And if you haven’t checked it out yet, our own Dave Jones is running his own blog now: Nowhere on the Ohio River.