I'm still a bookblogging newbie. A baby, A nobody. I don't have any experience, no feeling for the world of book-publishing. Honestly, I think I just scratched on the surface a tiny little bit these last few months.
BUT there is a saying I learned way before my book-blogging time. Actually way before my book-reading time.
And the saying goes like this:
Don't judge a book by its cover.
And yes, I will agree I've not always lived by that. Actually, almost never. I mean, look at my bookshelf! When I buy a book I almost always do it for the cover.
So, what is this random post about, you ask? Oh, come on. You know it.
Exactly! This is the cover I'm talking about.
And I agree - listen to me! - I agree with all of you guys out there who were like "What????" when they saw this cover. I thought my computer screen was kinda off for a moment.
Until it sunk in: this is the cover. The cover of the new book by my absolute favorite author.
Let's face it. This cover is not pretty, it doesn't make me curious and I wouldn't ever get the idea of picking it up.
So, assuming I'd actually turn it around and read the synopsis MTV was so nice to share with us.
According to a Little, Brown press release, the story begins when Barry Fairweather dies suddenly in his early 40s, leaving the little town of Pagford in shock. Now, Pagford seems a nice enough place on the surface with its cobbled square and ancient abbey, but beneath this idyllic setting lies a town at war. Dun dun dun.
The rich fight the poor, teenagers fight parents, wives fight husbands (you get the idea) — and the empty seat on the town's council left by Barry sparks the biggest battle yet. As the drama unfolds, the question arises: who will triumph in this election riddled with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? (Guess politics never change.)
Okay. Doesn't knock you off your seat, either, right?
And this where my actual criticism comes in ( I know it took me a while...).
Cover and synopsis of this book are not as appealing as everyone thought they would be - that's - I guess - a fact. Anyway, we don't know. You hear me? We can't know if there isn't a wonderful, awesome, breathtaking story waiting behind that ... unusual cover.
And this is where hope comes in. Because I have to say: I almost lost my faith in this book. Among others this blogger over at Bookalicious stated his (or her) disappointment over the new Rowling book here and here and contributed to my bad feelings towards the new Rowling (and made me type this post).
Again: I get it. I feel the same way.
Still, I can't believe A Casual Vacancy will turn out being a flop. I mean, this is JK Rowling we're talking about. She already wrote seven books I devoured over and over again. No other author has ever gotten me so hooked on his or her books.
And the publishers! I mean, they know what they're doing, don't they? This might be childish and naive but I do hope that the awkward bits they gave us from A Casual Vacancy might be little pieces of the huge picture of awesomeness.
Couldn't that be, too? Couldn't we all continue living in that bubble where JK Rowling comes and turns our boring lives upside down?
As you can see this is no real criticism post. It's rather the appeal to a discussion. Because in my head Rowling and a disappointment just won't go together :)
Added later: Posts that deal with exactly this topic
A cover designer on the cover for A Casual Vacancy