J.K. Rowling’s entry into the adult world with her new novel for “grown-ups”, ‘The Casual Vacancy’ has knocked off the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James from the numero uno position on almost every best seller list. Serious competition is brewing between the two books to engage more readers. While debutant author James is silently enjoying the acclaim of the masses, seasoned novelist J.K. Rowling (the creator of Harry Potter) is greatly amused by the success of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
In a recent interview Rowling talked about how her new novel is a complete break from the wizarding world and advices against children below the age of 15 reading it. The Casual Vacancy is a book which is morbid in some places, surprisingly funny in others and tugs at your heart strings as it deals with issues like teenage sex, domestic abuse, drug addiction and the underlying politics of it all. The novel begins with the death of a local council member which triggers a series of events which leaves the entire town staggered.
At a time where Fifty Shades of Grey was all anyone talked about The Casual Vacancy comes along to prove that there is more than one kind of ‘adult’. Where the Fifty Shades trilogy is panned by the critics and most of the seasoned authors for being misleading and uninformed, Rowling’s book has received much critical acclaim but leaves the readers disappointed for lack of that special magical touch.
E.L. James’ books are in your face erotic fiction for adults. They lead you to an undiscovered world of BDSM. Although it is something new and piques our curiosity it can be misleading to readers who try to implement this kind of lifestyle without proper training and knowledge of the psychological effects of BDSM. It is entertaining with its subtle romance and passionate sexual relationships. J.K Rowling’s work on the other hand is a political commentary dealing with a small town population trying to survive in the face of death, abuse and complicated inter-personal and professional relationships. A complete break from the Harry Potter series Rowling brings to us a book which is realistic and thought provoking.
Both the books belong to completely different genres and have managed to wow their respective audiences. One grabs eyeballs with its controversial content while the other is an exposé of the current political system and the society in general. Defining two different meanings of ‘adult’ the war between the books provides food for thought leaving the reader to pick their favourite.