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JK Rowling's Latest Decidedly Not for Kids

But The Casual Vacancy has Potter-esque themes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2012 10:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – In JK Rowling's estimation, just seven people read the final Harry Potter book before it was published. But the New Yorker has already managed a read of her first adult novel, out Thursday, and it's definitely for adults. One quotation, for instance: "The leathery skin of her upper cleavage radiated little cracks that no longer vanished when decompressed." Still, The Casual Vacancy is no Fifty Shades of Grey: Instead, it's "a rural comedy of manners" that "builds into black melodrama." Set in an isolated English town, one Potter fan calls it Mugglemarch.

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Indeed, it does bear similarities to Potter in its coming-of-age elements—not to mention its interest in "mortality, morality, the two things that I obsess about," Rowling says. Writing for adults, it seems, was freeing: "There are certain things you just don’t do in fantasy. You don’t have sex near unicorns. It’s an ironclad rule," the author notes. Already, the book has garnered a million pre-orders, making it one of this century's top releases, the Telegraph reports. "I think 99.9% of us (in the industry) are predicting it will go straight to number one," says an analyst. (Read more JK Rowling stories.)

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