JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy: the Twitter reaction
Despite mixed reviews from critics, the Harry Potter author's first adult novel proves Rowling is still capable of casting a spell over many of her readers
J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel The Casual Vacancy is the most anticipated book of year, so the media fanfare surrounding its release yesterday came as no surprise. Following millions of pre-orders, Rowling’s legion of now-grown-up fans found themselves a comfortable armchair and buried their noses in her latest offering. And after some impressive speed-reading many of them have finished!
The world has moved on from the days of Hogwarts so, whilst excitable readers might once have called, texted or Facebooked their opinions, nowadays they take to Twitter. And my how they tweeted… Here’s a round up of what they thought:
Professor Snape’s Twitter alias kicked off the hype by ascribing HRH J.K. the royal nickname used by many of her Harry Potter fans…
And as her readers embarked upon the 512-page volume, many of them tweeted their excitement before they’d even finished.
@hayleysmith shared her gratitude:
And Katherine Stuthman could not withhold her excitement.
But early impressions were not all positive – Laura Lam harks back to the Rowling reading experiences of old, namely starvation and insomnia:
While @macfrancis joins many Potter diehards who just couldn’t shake off that Hogwarts feeling…
Meanwhile, Justine Loise gives Rowling what she believes to be her harshest criticism:
Matt Selman is still wandering the streets of Diagon Alley:
At Flourish & Blotts last night, wizards and witches dressed up like muggles for the release of "The Casual Vacancy".
— Matt Selman (@mattselman) September 28, 2012
And @dormiens_draco has slumped back into the end-of-franchise malaise.
But it wasn’t just the lack of witchcraft and wizardry that turned off readers: Rowling’s use of obscenities gave many fans an unwelcome surprise:
But before you’re quick to judge what some readers regard to be the novel’s shortcomings, there were scores of fans who took to Twitter to share their delight in Rowling’s change of tone. Alexandra Darr was one of many users to tweet her praise to the author:
I can feel J.K. Rowling in The Casual Vacancy and I absolutely love it! @jkrowling
— Alexandra Darr (@alwaysalexas) September 28, 2012
While @TomGr4nt put his faith in the Harry Potter maestro…
— Tom Grant (@TomGr4nt) September 28, 2012
And @maximusfeen acknowledged the novel’s achievements, regardless of its famous scribe:
You Nose Who is willing to help inspire Rowling’s next brainchild…
The idea for Harry Potter came to Jo on a train, for The Casual Vacancy on a plane, Jo, can I buy you a bus ticket? @jk_rowling
— You Nose Who (@Pottergasmic) September 27, 2012
But Jasper Elwes spies the method behind her magic:
And finally, Livvy Dennis lauds ‘Queen’ Rowling AND The Casual Vacancy in an enthusiastic 140 character review:
Finished The Casual Vacancy. An incredible writer, far more than a one (seven) hit wonder. Beautifully yet bleakly put...
— Livvy Dennis (@livvydennis) September 27, 2012