New JK Rowling novel out today is already a bestseller

Bookshops open early due to demand for The Casual Vacancy, the new book aimed at adults by Harry Potter author

JK Rowling’s new novel has gone on sale and is already a bestseller after being shrouded in secrecy for months.

The Casual Vacancy went on sale this morning, with bookshops including Waterstones and Foyles opening an hour early due to demand.

It’s currently on the Amazon bestseller list based on pre-orders alone.

The book, which has been kept so under wraps that even the publishers were unable to read it, has had a mixed response from newspaper critics who have called it both ‘brilliant’ and ‘unadventurous’.

The story is set in a small-town in the West Country which is divided by a parish council election.

In contrast to Harry Potter the book is very much for adults with its ‘gritty’ themes, including porn, self-harm and heroin dealing.

Theo Tait from the Guardian described it as ‘a solid, traditional and determinedly unadventurous English novel… a study of provincial life. The book seems doomed to be known as Mugglemarch.’

Allison Pearson of the Daily Telegraph said it was ‘sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed, and full of cruelty and despair.’

The most scathing review came from the Daily Mail’s Jan Moir who said ‘can The Casual Vacancy ever live up to the hype? On balance, I would have to say no. Not unless you want to have more than 500 pages of relentless socialist manifesto, masquerading as literature, crammed down your throat.’

Have you rushed to get your copy of The Casual Vacancy? What do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments below.

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