J.K. Rowling may have closed the book on Harry Potter and Hogwarts, but she apparently still enjoys the phenomenal success she first earned from the adolescent wizard.
The Casual Vacancy—labeled, to the chagrin of Potter fans, as Rowling’s first foray into “adult” fiction—easily debuted at the top of the fiction charts in its first week. How easily? With first-week sales at 124,603 copies, Casual Vacancy outsold the next highest debut, Bernard Cornwell’s 1356, by a factor of 10, and sold 20 times more copies than the third highest debut, Jackie Collins’ The Power Trip.
Just keep in mind that when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows dropped in 2007, it moved more than 2.6 million copies in its first week—20 times the Casual Vacancy numbers. So remember, aspiring writers: Crafting "adult" novels may be your serious intellectual pursuit, but the real money is in stories with talking hats.
TODAY IN SLATE
Scalia’s Liberal Streak
The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.
Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters
There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?
The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”
The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B
Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey
No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.
The Other Huxtable Effect
Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.