JK Rowling's Potter-Free Novel Fails to Impress

Take out the fantasy, and critics find The Casual Vacancy dull


"No doubt there will be reviewers who have already decided to pour vitriol upon [The Casual Vacancy] no matter its merits," said Jonathan Ruppin, of Foyles, yesterday, and it appears he might have had a point. Reviews have been pouring in for JK Rowling's first adult novel this morning, and they are nothing if not mixed.

"A solid, traditional and determinedly unadventurous English novel,"wrote Theo Tait for the Guardian, while the famously vituperative Michiko Kakutani, reviewing The Casual Vacancy for the New York Times, was unimpressed. "It's as though writing about the real world inhibited Ms Rowling's miraculously inventive imagination, and in depriving her of the tension between the mundane and the marvellous constrained her ability to create a two-, never mind three-dimensional tale," she wrote.