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The official newspaper of The Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano, did not have a glowing review for J.K. Rowling’s new novel The Casual Vacancy.

The Telegraph reports that a review of the book was published today and said “Rowling probably has all the qualifications to be the worthy successor of Grace Metaloius. But there’s something missing.” They went on to say the book “disappoints,” but they still have “only admiration” for the Harry Potter author. Her children series, by the way, has been praised by the publication in the past.

They also today reviewed Skyfall, calling it one of the best Bonds film since the franchise began.

The Telegraph notes that the paper in 2007 began offering more coverage of pop culture as requested by Pope Benedict XVI.

L’Osservatore Romano’s negative review of the book is the latest in a long line of mixed reviews about Rowling’s first post-Potter book. A month ago the author responded to the criticism. “I am not a particularly thick-skinned person,” she said. “It is true that a lot of what I am looking at in the book are certainly middle-class issues, but then I think that’s fair and I am well-qualified as I am from the middle class, which I can empathise with. But I think some critics have misrepresented my views as more extreme or black and white than they really are. I don’t think I am evangelical in my work.”

The Casual Vacancy is in stores now.

Please note: the original version of this story described The Vatican’s review of the book as being an attack. This is not the case.

  • http://twitter.com/eiVega eiVega

    Uh…the Vatican itself is not attacking the book, their newspaper gave a negative review. That’s a very big difference. Such a misleading headline! It’s not like the Pope or Cardinals or anyone from the Magisterium is officially condemning it. This isn’t infallible doctrine here. The L’Osservatore Romano is not the mouthpiece for the Church. They’re not really attacking it either, they’re just giving a luke-warm review just like many of critics. Their comments aren’t even as harsh as other reporters. Every time any single newspaper releases a review that doesn’t become a news story in itself. Does each individual negative review get its own shocking headline and treatment? This is just trying to create a scandal on something that really isn’t news. It is sad and stupid that so many media outlets are jumping on this. It disappoints me that people don’t understand this better.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Andrew Sims

      I’m just now reading the comments, and here’s my response…

      I made a mistake. Here’s what happened: I wake up at 6 in the morning and jump straight on my computer. This was the first story of the morning that I saw and noticed quickly the newspaper described it as a “slam.”

      Sometimes when you read things they stick with you, and that stuck with me. I wrote the story with that in my mind. I didn’t think it through.. I didn’t digest the story fully and realize that it wasn’t a slam or attack. It was early and I wasn’t completely ticking yet.

      I’m going to adjust the story now. In regards to us sensationalizing headlines: we’re only as good of a site as our writing and coverage, so we work and write to find things that are most compelling. If we write a headline that is, lets say “unique” or “different,” we do it to be eye catching and we most certainly believe it to be an accurate reflection of the story. If we don’t write a good headline, what purpose do you have to read it?

      But like I said, it always has to be accurate and in this case it wasn’t accurate. My apologies.

      • Ricky

        Thank you Andrew.
        Happy to see you do listen to us

      • jesse2020

        Thank you for coming back and explaining. That said Unique and different headlines still suck when they are very sensationalist bordering on ridiculous. A catching headline to an article is fine, but some of them lately have seemed to make a claim that is either controversial or something similar and then when you actually read the article the claim is much less… intense … than the headline made it out to be. Just my opinion but that has been my feeling with some of the articles here lately, but it is nice to know that you are not making off the wall titles for articles for page views…

      • http://twitter.com/eiVega eiVega

        Just saw this response. Thank you, Andrew. That’s much more than any other news agency reporting this story has reacted. We appreciate that.

  • Gryffinclaw

    So? Why have you never posted an article saying: “[publication] praises JK Rowling’s new book”? (you’d find there are many positive ones out there if you took off those negatively-tinted glasses for a while, Andrew)

    • Jesse

      Andrew seems to just be using his posts lately to get out his personal opinion on things, I used to look forward to his articles but they are all becoming very winey and focusing on his preference on things rather than just getting out the facts. Nobody cares if you like The Casual vacancy or Pottermore Andrew, we just want the news on things we like Andrew.

      • Alex

        A lot of us potterfans do like pottermore! dont lump us all with Andrew!!

        • Jesse

          Uhm, I did? For the record I live Pottermore! Does exactly what it says its going to do, give you a glimpse into the stories.

          • Jesse

            Love* stupid auto correct

  • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

    I must say, I have yet to finish The Casual Vacancy and right now I don’t plan to. Harry Potter is amazing, and my sun and stars, but The Casual Vacancy just…isn’t my cup of tea.

  • Betsy

    Misleading title is misleading. The Vatican didn’t “attack” the book. It’s NEWSPAPER said “meh.” Big difference.

    • Betsy

      He adjusted the title! YAY Andrew! :D

  • Jason

    A negative review isn’t an attack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    The Vatican Attacks ‘Casual Vacancy’. A title as misleading as the country’s top tabloid. Oh Hypable, you are learning so much about how to gain viewer-ship.

    • Jesse

      YES! The sensationalist headlines on hypable are becoming very annoying.

      • Alex


        If i want these kind of shamming type of rubbish I would just pick one of those flimsy rags like The mirror or the daily mail

        Shame on you Andrew- Specially considering that there ARE religious fans of Rowling AND Rowling is cristian

        We already have crap thrown at us because of hateful bigots like laura mallory or Richard Dawkins- Dont keep on fueling the fire!

        You should know better- this is not professional or respectful– it’s immature, pompous and umprofessional unprofessional

  • Brandon

    Great job Andrew, misinterpreting the information just to get attention and therefore misleading other people into thinking the Vatican is attacking Rowling’s book.

  • Zack

    Where did the Vatican “slam” or “attack” JK Rowling for her latest book? You should seriously, seriously consider changing that title, Andrew. Because right now, all of your credibility as a reporter and this site has just been lost.

  • http://twitter.com/eiVega eiVega

    Glad to see that the majority of the comments here are reacting to the ridiculousness of the hype around the story and not being emotionally mislead by it. This kind of headline really only leads to religious bashing. It is set-up to inflame, not inform. If you search other articles reporting this with same kind of scandal-treatment, you’ll find some harsh and cruel comments from people who jump at the headline without bothering to understand the true context of the situation. I am so grateful that Hypable readers are respectful and intelligent.

    • Ricky

      When I saw the horrible title I got nervous that people would jump the gun and start sputting hate. I’m So happy and Proud of hypable readers for being smart & remain respectful to a group unfairly slandered by the shameful title.

  • Julia

    Disappointed with you, Hypable. Many of your headlines are becoming more and more tabloid and this one takes the cake. Not only is it grossly misleading but it’s also deliberately set up to be inflammatory and to malign a specific group of people. I’m not sure how much longer I want to stick around here if this is just going to become another site in which sensationalism rules and the facts are manipulated.

    Is this really by fans FOR fans, anymore? I always thought Hypable strove to be different.

  • Andrew_ww

    If only the Vatican mattered. Ooohh no, the pope doesn’t like a book. Everyone cry.

    • Ricky

      then you clearly got dupped by the misleading “tabloid” like title- since if you read the linked article (outside of hypable) they didn’t really “attacked” the book- they just said it wasn’t their cup of tea- which is a perfectly legitimate opinion.

  • ricky


    what are you waiting for? everyone has already said what a horrible, misleading title it is

  • DFW Man

    Someone gave a negative review of a book. How is this news?

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