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Customer Discussions > The Casual Vacancy forum

Do Good or Bad Review Really Matter To JKR

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Sep 2012 12:14:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Sep 2012 12:15:02 BDT
JKR is one of the few writers/actors/musicians who, no matter what they do, will sell a shedload of books, albums, whatever anyway. If she'd released a book with 500 blank pages then she would get 1 star and 5 star reviews in equal measure. Same with Coldplay, U2, Dan Brown and other big hitters.

So, really do all these bad reviews make a difference too her? The cash tills will still keep-a-ringing.

Posted on 28 Sep 2012 14:40:38 BDT
Dog lover says:
For authors, reviews are personal, not about money. In her position, I'd be annoyed that I'd spent a couple of years writing a book, only for it to receive negative reviews by people who hadn't read it - and based on something outside my control, like the Kindle price. I hope Amazon deletes the fake reviews and only leaves up those commenting on the content of the whole book, not the price or just the preview.

Posted on 28 Sep 2012 23:52:16 BDT
Andrew Sims says:
absolutely right ! casual vacancy will be a massive bestseller and well make JK buckets more money........but she will fail to gain what she wants......which is reviews admiring her command of advanced english and novel constuction.......she is not G.K. chesterton , nor anthony burgress or kinsley amis..........Jk's books will most likely sit better alongside andy mcnabs' bravo two zero than charles dickens' oliver twist.

JK must except she is not up to sitting with the greats.......childrens fiction is what she's good at she should of stuck to that.......i think she's in for a very bumpy ride ?

Posted on 29 Sep 2012 07:08:09 BDT
Ben says:
Why is it all about money? I couldn't care less how much she earns or how much she's worth, she did her work and she "earned" it with her HP books. And as she's a human being then she probably will be interested in the reviews for her work, wouldn't you be? would you get upset if someone said that your work wasn't up to standard or you could do a lot better and your only interest was in making money... I don't think anyone believed she was a literacy genius, but IMO I don't think she's as bad as some are trying to make out.
It's only the Brits who would punish for becoming so wealthy, the Yanks would kill for her and I for one am very proud that she's British and has written probably the most successful "series" that the world as ever seen.
PS I've just started listening to her book on audio so not sure yet what my review would be, but it will be based on the story, not on her name.

Posted on 1 Oct 2012 11:38:15 BDT
@Ben. But you have probably only got the Audio book because of WHO the author is! Whether the story is good/bad is irrelevant.

I'm not having a go because she's wealthy. I'm just saying she is in a privileged position so no matter what she writes will sell loads regardless.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2012 20:47:56 BDT
Andrew Sims says:
ben , i would contest that JK earned it ! she had a instant bestseller as a ''rookie'' author........she did not labour for decades over a great work without getting published , harry potter became cult reading for youngsters regardless of the quality of her work........many great writers struggle to make a living over decades and JK earned millions with great ease.
i am alarmed over casual vacancy getting 5 star reviews.........what rating does ''lord of the rings'' get ? or ''oliver twist'' ?
5 stars is the reserve for masterpieces........5 stars is the highest rating..........if JK'S next work is better where can you go after 5 stars ?

Posted on 6 Oct 2012 09:56:59 BDT
cat1cat1cat1 says:
^ what? you give five stars if you like the book!! It doesn't mean you think it is better than Oliver Twist! Irrelavent comment

Posted on 6 Oct 2012 11:45:21 BDT
Bought it, read it (her latest AObook), have no bias or prejudice since the only HP book I am familiar with was the Order of the Phoenix via audiobook and Stephen Fry made it brilliant but on repeated re-listenings even that one was a bit derivative, unimaginative, not very original. Her "first book for adults" is an entirely different matter. If aimed at immature adults it is amusing , derivative and shamelessly un-acknowledging of Dorothy L. Sayers as far as imaginary toponymy goes. She can write. The plot is interesting to begin with (slowly does it better, for me that is). Disappointing in later bits and above all in the ending. Flashes of sparkling brilliance? Not exactly, but competent. For adults that are not immature stay clear not because you disliked or didn't read the HP saga. It is just trite, contrived and not very satisfying. Still, I'm sure it'll sell by the millions and that always hopeful for aspiring writers (no, I don't mean me). The 5 stars and 1 star reviews are interesting. She is not a genius, her oeuvre will not be a classic and she dwells on details that distract from the main narrative. But she is not exactly a semi-literate pulp fiction american with collaborators writer either is she? She has a certain gift or talent for being surprisingly refreshing when you are amidst a stale chapter. And a good (not just reasonable, I truly mean Good) command of the language. Some of her imagery is a miss, some of her characters' interactions a hit. A decent, average writer. Expectations for any of her books apart from HP blown out of all proportion. I have no idea if the HP thing was so devastatingly brilliant that she can do no right outside of it (not after, I'm sure) or so incredibly light that she can do no wrong as an " adult " writer. I don't happen to think this is particularly adult, except in a combination of Jeffrey Archer/P.G. Wodehouse way (terrible combo even if you could pull it off). Methinks she was aiming more for Barbara Pym/Thomas Hardy (great combo but she doesn't pull it of). If this was a review I'd give her 2 & 1/2 stars. 3 For the first third, 2 & 1 /2 for the middle part, 2 for the end third. Who cares, she'll be lauded or hated. Sublime or mediocre. When to me she just seems readable, providing bits of enjoyment/delight and boredom/annoyance in almost equal parts. If she turns out to be a defining 21st century writer..I'm glad I was born othercenturywise ...

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Oct 2012 20:02:05 BDT
Andrew Sims says:
cat1cat1cat1 Irrelavent comment ? for reviews to mean anything they must reflect the quality of the work , i like some poorly made movies , i really like them and replay them often but it does not mean they are great works of art !

if everyone took your attitude we would have ''the godfather'' rated alongside ''sex in the city 2'' we rely on accurate reviewing to help us all make judgements.

Posted on 7 Oct 2012 15:23:51 BDT
Janie P says:
Hi, I am 20% of the way through and bored by it. Is it worth persevering with?

Posted on 7 Oct 2012 15:42:17 BDT
Andrew Sims says:
news is that JK's next book will be for children , i suspect the rocky reception she's received for casual vacancy has dented her morale and she is keen to go back to where she will always do well ?

having said that , 3 stars on amazon is not too bad for a first attempt at adult fiction......i hope she tries again and does better next time , good luck to her i say !

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2014 13:32:18 GMT
Oscar says:
Well Mr Sims, you may feel that you are up there with the great book reviewers, but you ain't. Reviews for JK's book, at the moment, are 3-1 in favor.
What the publishers failed to mention when launching this book that it was not only for adults but for those adults with more that a couple of brain cells. You know, those who actually are intelligent, and not those who merely think they are; which sadly is a high percentage of the populace.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2014 13:45:35 GMT
Oscar says:
Coincidence Vs.

'Probably,' suggests supposition on your part, and has no basis in fact.
Empty vessels etc. springs to mind.
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Discussion in:  The Casual Vacancy forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  28 Sep 2012
Latest post:  13 Feb 2014

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The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (Hardcover - 27 Sept. 2012)
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