Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Musings: J.K. Rowling & "Magic Mike"

Today is the start of something new on my blog! I have a lot of thoughts about lot of little things -- some book-related, some not -- that don't exactly fit elsewhere on the blog and don't necessarily warrant entire posts of their own. So I decided to start a new blog segment called Monday Musings, in which I will rant or rave about various topics. So here's what's on my mind today:

1. Last week J.K. Rowling's publisher, Little, Brown and Company, released the cover art for the Harry Potter author's first adult novel, due out September 27.

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What do you think of the cover? I'm definitely a judge-a-book-by-its-cover person and I'm not too taken with this. But I'm even more of a judge-a-book-by-the-summary-on-the-inside-flap person. Here's the synopsis Little, Brown has released for "The Casual Vacancy":

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.

Of course I wasn't expecting witches and wizards and flying cars and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, but where's the literary magic here? This sounds like something I'd doze off reading if the room were a little too dim. Still, I think J. K. Rowling is a fantastic writer and I have no doubt that her literary style can carry over into the adult fiction world. I'll most certainly read "The Casual Vacancy" when it comes out this September, and I can only hope that it exceeds my somewhat lowered expectations. And doesn't put me to sleep. Yawn...

2. A wailing toddler and an elementary-school-age kid in the theater really ruin the mood of "Magic Mike." Talk about birth control! And honestly, I cannot fathom what would possess someone to bring a child of any age to a movie about male strippers.

3. Astonishingly, I didn't like "Magic Mike" very much. This is why I went to see it:

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The hot, hot, hot, hot men. But I found that it wasn't as raunchy as I expected. On the other end of the spectrum, the plot was contrived and obvious, and Channing Tatum (who I actually think is a pretty good actor) seemed inarticulate (though, let's face it, still sexy as hell). For me, "Magic Mike" failed majorly in the storyline department and -- shockingly -- somewhat in the sex department. And come on, this is a movie clearly meant for women (and possibly gay men?) and we see multiple sets of breasts but no male hardware other than padded stripper pouches? Honestly! If I wanted to see boobs, I'd just look down my own shirt...

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