For any Harry Potter fans seeking warring magicians in J.K. Rowling’s new book, the newly release cover imparts a strong message: this is not your childhood fantasy novel.
The publishing house Little, Brown and Company released the cover Tuesday morning and its most striking feature is its total simplicity. A black ‘X’ marks the cover, and the title is scrawled across the bottom in the 1950s noir style of a dimestore novel.
Rowling’s previous books made famous the U.S. cover illustrator Mary GrandPre for her rich depictions of the magical world of Harry Potter. They often showed Harry Potter fleeing from some precarious situation.
In contrast, this cover will strike a more adult pose on bookshelves.
The publisher also put out a longer book description:
“When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
“Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
“Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
“And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?
“A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.”