“For the Straightforward Path Was Lost”: A Few Starting Notes on The Christmas Pig

To get discussion started on The Christmas Pig, I thought I would post some thoughts, aligned with a few of our keys to interpretation, that I was left with after my first read through. Or, rather, first listen through. The audiobook proved really quite wonderful, with excellent cast and sound design. On any of these points below, consequently, much more can be said. These points are also not in any particular order as they are something of a collection of first impressions. The discussion below will not be spoiler free.
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The Christmas Pig and Old Rabbit

A few weeks ago, I saw a feature film called A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers and Matthew Rhys as the journalist Lloyd Vogel [Tom Hood]. The film follows Vogel as he interviews Rogers for what was to become a very famous article in Esquire Magazine. I found the film extremely moving, largely for its exploration of what it is to be a child, from a remarkable man who never lost that ability. As an aside, Fred Rogers and the character of Mr Rogers was entirely unknown to me prior to this film (as I believe he is to most people in the UK).

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Beatrice Groves: Unlocking Clues to The Christmas Pig

Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: What can link The Christmas Pig, Harry Potter, Nigel Molesworth and French butchers? As we wait for the publication day of The Christmas Pig, follow the trail of breadcrumbs Dr Groves has found after the jump



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The Christmas Pig – The First Reviews

It is still more than a week away until The Christmas Pig is released into bookshops worldwide on the 12th October. The very first early bird reviews are in from friend of this blog Patricio Tarantino of The Rowling Library and Marianne Levy of iNews. The two reviews are very different and both contain some spoilers – so be careful what you click.

The review by Patricio has scored 4.5/5 and only has a minor (name of character) spoiler – The Christmas Pi review: J. K. Rowling at her best.

The review by Marianne is very negative at 2/5 and has the unimaginative title of – The magic is missing from J. K. Rowling’s overhyped festive quest.

If you can bear the spoilers prior to release, the iNews piece actually has me looking forward to the book even more. From her description (even though she didn’t like it) there seems to be much that will interest serious readers. Combine this with the clearly impressed Patricio, and I will certainly be first in the queue on publication day.

**Update 05/10/21** A review is now in from the Evening Standard (with lots of spoilers!) by Amanda Craig: The Christmas Pig by JK Rowling review: her best book since Azkaban.

**Update 08/10/21** Another glowing review from the Daily Express’ Charlotte Heathcote: JK Rowling’s first children’s novel since Harry Potter

**Update 09/10/21** Yet another positive review from Janet Ellis of the Daily Mail: JK Rowling writes a voyage to our lost childhoods

J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 3

This is the third and final part of my survey of the new J. K. Rowling’s Stories website and today we will be looking at the subpages beyond the main desktop. There are five navigation tabs at the top of the homepage: Book News; My Story; Harry Potter; The Ickabog and The Christmas Pig. Join me after the break to take a look at all these areas.

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