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Brand New Details on J.K. Rowling’s First Not-A-Harry-Potter-Book The Casual Vacancy

About a month ago, when J.K. Rowling announced that she was moving publishing houses and penning her first novel that wasn’t a part of the Harry Potter series in some way, that was pretty much all we knew. Little, Brown would be putting the book out, it wouldn’t be tied to the Boy Who Lived, and it was going to be written for adults, rather than the children’s or young adult market.

Today, however, Little, Brown has delivered a synopsis, release date, pricing and even a hint at how long the book is going to be on its own website. So read on, for some juicy details on J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.

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.

Vacancy will be out this fall, being published internationally and simultaneously in words on paper and digitally; and as audio on CDs and downloads. Little, Brown even goes as far as to say that it’ll be approximately 480 pages long, although I’ll believe it when I see it. (Not because I don’t think Rowling is capable of writing a hardback that isn’t a doorstopper, but because I expect the book is still being written and so the page count is based on speculation.) The British market is the only one for which Little, Brown has pricing information for just yet, clocking it in at £20 for the hardback and downloadable audio book, £11.99 for the ebook, and £30 for the audio CDs.

I’m pretty sure I’ve stripped the listing of all its relevant information, but if you’d like to take a look yourself (of course you do) you can right here.

(via Flavorwire.)


  • Kifre

    Oh man. I am excited for new Rowling lit!  However, I can’t help but feel that this plot is a little well worn in modern brit lit.  It’s just so different from Harry Potter.

  • Marshall

    I am sold. Knowing Rowling’s humor and love for puzzles, words and in-depth knowledge…ha. I am there.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Ten bucks says that if “Vacancy” doesn’t sell, we’ll see “The Many Adventures of Harry Potter Jr.” by 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Rowling has already stated her intention to continue with the world of Harry Potter in an encyclopedia type format, so a new HP-related book from her could hardly be contributed to the failure of her first attempt to branch out from HP.

    It seems more than a little unfair to assume Rowling is writing to be famous, or on the bestseller list, or to make huge gobs of money. Given how much she uses her money and fame for charity, I can’t imagine she’s a addicted to wealth and/or her celebrity status that she’d churn out another HP book just to line her pockets and put herself back on the bestseller list.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    You’ve made quite a few assumptions. I never said that Rowling was “writing to be famous” or “to make huge gobs of money” but now that you mention it, I’ve never once heard J.K. Rowling’s success described on television or in print without her rags to riches story being outlined ad nauseam. If seeing or hearing your name repeated the world over isn’t something that you think could effect the way you see yourself, than you’re made of sturdier mental I-beams than most human beings. And, even if you were equipped with Herculean self-awareness, surely you would get used to living at a particular comfort level that you wouldn’t want to end. According to Forbes magazine, Rowling is now worth $1 Billion and she is one of several thousand or so wealthy people that spend money on tax deductible charities between buying up real estate for themselves or whenever their name hasn’t been in print for a while. An H.P.-related encyclopedia sounds boring as shit, by the way, little more than a way to keep making money off of a burnt out property, akin to Harry & Ron’s school books that they sold for charity once upon a time.

  • MacKenzie Turner

    Aw, sad day. I loved those school books as dearly as I loved the original series. And, as you said, they were sold for charity, and before the series was completed–hardly “a way to keep making money off of a burnt out property.”

  • ✰ Ємρʏяɛαℓ Ɖяɛαмɛя (´・ω・`)

    TBH it doesn’t really sound like my cup of tea, but I’ll definitely have to read it, just because it’s JKR. :]

  • Hannah Overton

    I hear ‘Parish Council’ and I think ‘Vicar of Dibley’…. so it it’s anything like a black comedy version of that then I’m all for it. xD