Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Miniseries vs. Book: The Casual Vacancy

Upon finally getting around to reading The Casual Vacancy (aka the first book J.K. Rowling wrote after the Harry Potter series ended), I had so many thoughts and feelings. Primarily: this book is a lot better than I expected it to be, based on what I’d heard and the criticism I’d read. Also: I can’t wait to see how this is adapted for the screen in the BBC miniseries of the same name.

The story revolves around the residents of a small British village called Pagford. Barry Fairbrother, a member of the village’s council, is a friend to everyone and a general do-gooder. But when he suddenly, tragically dies, the casual vacancy on the council becomes a not-so-casual vacancy for the rest of town.

With each section of the book, more and more characters unravel as Howard and Shirley Mollison’s son, Miles, prepares to run for Fairbrother’s seat — as well as Simon Price and Colin Wall. But each person running has their own secrets — secrets which are subsequently spilled online, posted anonymously by their very own children, who happen to despise them.

There are far too many characters to name, too many relationships to get into and too many domino-effect casualties to mention. But I enjoyed it. As she did in the Harry Potter novels, Rowling continued her theme of children vs. adults (and the children generally winning). Plus, the interconnectedness of the characters reminded me of other stories that stem from the British mainland (Love Actually, anyone?). In the end, the best characters were crushed.

A lot was changed for the TV adaptation. Those who disliked the book will likely tell you the series was far superior. Those who were fans of the book will tell you the series was awful. I’m here to tell you the series wasn’t awful but it was far less grim than the novel.

The novel is dark and twisty, much like the end of the Harry Potter series. I thought each character was an awful person, and the end was truly tragic and morbid. That, I believe, is the reason that producers made the series less severe. Of the two deaths at the end of the novel, only one dies in the show. I suppose all that death would have been too much for the average viewer.

Most of the other changes were due to time restrictions, I’m sure. The series was three hours, but certainly could have used a fourth. I was upset that one of the book’s characters was left out entirely and that some of the big “meeting” and “party” scenes were combined. The series also added extra relationships between characters. For example, Barry Fairbrother was an uncle to some of the kids in the show and a half-brother to another character. These relationships were never established in the book.

On some level, both the series and novel may seem as though they have no “point.” But it seems to me that any vacancy is anything but casual, and that’s what should keep readers and viewers on their toes.

Get The Casual Vacancy in paperback for $14.23.

Or get it on your Kindle for $8.99.

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J.K. Rowling/”Robert Galbraith” To Release New Detective Novel in Series

Another detective novel from bestselling author Robert Galbraith (reminder: the pen name for bestselling Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling) is on the way.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the next Cormoran Strike novel is due to be released this fall. The novel is the third in the detective series, following The Cuckoo’s Calling in 2013 and The Silkworm in 2014. The third novel is titled Career of Evil, and an official date has not yet been released.

Rowling planned to release a total of seven novels in the detective series, similar to the Harry Potter series. As previously reported, the books are also being adapted into a TV series.

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Real-Life Hogwarts On the Way?

There are no more books and no more movies, but now Harry Potter fans have something to look forward to: a real-life Hogwarts may be on the way.

According to Entertainment WeeklyCollege of Wizardry is a four-day wizard school LARP (live action role playing) event that allows people to play wizard dress-up — learning the “magical arts,” meeting creatures and doing it all in a castle in Poland.

Yes, this is a real thing, a very real thing. So real, in fact, that College of Wizardry has a crowd funding site to raise the $50,000 it costs to host three sessions in November. One of these LARP events already played out for real in November 2014, and the sessions for April 2015 are already sold out.

But wait — there’s more! Now the founders are hoping to raise $1 million dollars by the end of their campaign, which is April 29th. If they do it, they plan to use the money to buy a castle.

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Harry Potter E-Books Now Available

Unless you’ve checked out J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore web site, it’s been impossible to download e-book versions of the Harry Potter series….until now.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the Harry Potter e-books are now available via Oyster, a site considered to be a type of Netflix for books.

In addition to the seven books in the series, fans will also be able to download HP counterparts, including Rowling’s Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

The best part? Readers can pick their house before reading — each house has its own color settings and typography in the e-book!

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J.K. Rowling’s Detective Series to Be Adapted into TV Series

Harry Potter may not be coming back to the big screen — or any screen — time soon, but J.K. Rowling’s other novels are soon expected to make their TV debut.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the BBC has announced it will adapt J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels into a BBC One TV series. The detective series was written under Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The TV show will start with the telling of the first novel in the series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was published last year. Rowling will be involved in the project, working with BBC and Bronte Film and TV. So far only two novels in the series have been published — The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. A date for the TV series has not yet been announced.

But Bronte Film and TV is also helping Rowling adapt her other adult fiction novel, The Casual Vacancy, into a three-part series that will air on BBC One in February 2015. The Casual Vacancy is not part of the Cormoran Strike Series.

So…who will be watching?? Considering how much I loved The Cuckoo’s Calling, I know I will!

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J.K. Rowling Updates ‘Harry Potter,’ Plans More Detective Novels

rowlingWhen Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling ended her acclaimed children’s book series about the most famous wizard of all time, fans worried that would be the last we’d hear from the bestselling author. But time and time again, she’s proved us wrong.

First, she created Pottermore, a web site with games, stories, and details about the universe of Harry Potter. Then she wrote an adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. She penned a Harry Potter spin-off story collection called “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.” Then came two adult crime detective novels under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. And now there’s more.

Earlier this month, Rowling released on her Pottermore web site a new Harry Potter story, the first she’s written and released since the seventh and final Potter novel was released in 2007. According to Huffington Post, the online story describes Harry Potter and his friends in their 30s. It details what they’re up to now, how they look, and how they’re faring. It’s written in the form of a gossip column, penned by Rita Skeeter, a well-known character from the novels.

The story was such a huge deal for Potter fans that it crashed the Pottermore web site. It’s also led to speculation that J.K. Rowling would write another Potter novel. But so far, that’s just speculation.

In fact, it’s Rowling’s adult crime detective series that she’s more focused on at the moment. She’s already released two novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling and the recently-released The Silkworm, under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym. It was recently reported that she would pen seven novels in the so-called Cormoran Strike series — the same number of books she wrote in the Harry Potter series. But according to Time, she’s changed her mind and now plans to write more than seven Cormoran Strike novels, as Nolan Feeney explains:

“I really love writing these books, so I don’t know that I’ve got an end point in mind,” Rowling said at a crime-writing festival, the BBC reports. “One of the things I absolutely love about this genre is that, unlike Harry, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and an end, you’re talking about discrete stories. So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases.”

Rowling is apparently already halfway through the third novel in the series and has ideas for the fourth. Could this be her new legacy? Will Potter fans ever get more than the latest 1,500-word story about it?

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History of Quidditch Posted on Pottermore

pottmoreSo you think you know everything there is to know about Harry Potter, huh? Well, probably not — unless you’ve already read through the new additions to author J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore web site.

Just last week, Pottermore was updated with information about the history of Quidditch, the beloved wizard and witch game, played on broomsticks. According to Entertainment WeeklyHarry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote a 2,400-word essay on Harry Potter-centric web site entitled History of the Quidditch World Cup.

The story was posted in two parts, one detailing the history of the tournament, how the tournament is played, and information about controversial tournaments. The second part deals with recaps of some of the recent tournaments played within the last 20 years.

So, who’s read the story? What do you think of it? Always cool to have additional background, right?

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J.K. Rowling To Pen 7-Book Detective Series

rowlingIt’s only been about  a week since I told you the last bit of J.K. Rowling news — that the famed Harry Potter author is penning a sequel to her bestselling detective novel from last year, The Cuckoo’s Calling.

But according to Entertainment Weekly, the sequel, entitled The Silkworm, is not all we can expect from Rowling. Like the Harry Potter series, she plans to write a total of seven novels in the detective series. The series follows Detective Cormoran Strike, his sidekick/secretary/assistant Robin, and whatever crazy case they happen to be investigating.

The Cuckoo’s Calling sets itself up for a sequel, and let’s be honest; most detective novels are just one in a long line of books about the detectives. It’s an easy formula to follow. Plus, considering how much success Rowling has had with the Potter series and the first Cormoran Strike novel, it’s no surprise she plans to write more. The series will be published under her pen name Robert Galbraith.

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J.K. Rowling’s ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Sequel Coming Soon

silkwormIt’s been just about a year since Robert Galbraith released the crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling. But it’s been less than a year since it was revealed that “Robert Galbraith” was a pseudonym for the bestselling author of the Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling. The news then pushed Galbraith’s adult crime novel to the top of bestsellers lists around the world and ended Rowling’s ability to keep any other books a secret.

According to Entertainment Weekly, a sequel to Rowling’s/Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling is due to be released this June. Entitled The Silkworm — and written under the Galbraith pseudonym — the novel will once again follow detective Cormoran Strike and his sidekick Robin as they, this time, investigate the mysterious disappearance of a novelist. According to a release from Mulholland Books, “The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.”

The Silkworm  is set to be released in the U.K. on June 19 and in the U.S. on June 24.

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Lawyer Fined for Leaking that Pseudonymous Author was J.K. Rowling

rowlingIf the man who leaked information about J.K. Rowling being the true author of this year’s crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling thought he was in the clear, he thought wrong.

According to The Chicago Tribune, lawyer Chris Gossage has been fined 1000 pounds ($1650) and has received a warning for revealing that bestselling Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was the true author of The Cuckoo’s Calling. The novel was released under the pseudonym Robert Gailbraith.

Gossage is a partner in the firm Russells Solicitors, which represented Rowling. He apparently leaked the information to his wife’s best friend. She then tweeted it out, causing international book shock and making The Cuckoo’s Calling a fast bestseller.

After it happened, Rowling was publicly upset, telling the press that she had enjoyed releasing the book under a pseudonym and not having hype surround her. The book had received positive reviews, but initially hadn’t sold well.

In addition to the fine and warning, Gossage’s firm paid Rowling’s legal costs after she sued them. They also made a donation to the charity of Rowling’s choice, the Soldiers’ Charity.

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