Extracts from J K Rowling's new novel show pages filled with tweets

Critics brand J.K. Rowling’s novel The Ink Black Heart – about an illustrator who is hounded for their views on trans rights – ‘unreadable’ due to entire PAGES being dedicated to fictional tweets by trolls

  • Author, 57, released novel The Ink Black Heart under penname Robert Galbraith
  • Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, wrote about illustrator trolled over transphobia
  • Readers mocked her latest opus for using pages and pages of means tweets 

J.K. Rowling’s new novel has been ridiculed online after a journalist revealed some pages are filled with fictional tweets.  

The author, 57, released The Ink Black Heart, on Tuesday, under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

The novel tells the story of an illustrator being hounded online for their views on transgender individuals, a subject matter very similar to the negative attention the Harry Potter author has received for her own views on the matter in recent years. 

Taking inspiration from her Twitter woes, Rowling filled some of her 1,200-page thriller with tweets, but critics branded them ‘unimaginative’ and ‘unreadable.’

The move was mocked by US-based editor Nathan J. Robinson who shared several extracts on Twitter and wrote: ‘I realize JK Rowling’s new novel might seem a little long at 1,200 pages but a good portion of the space is taken up by fictitious mean tweets.’

J. K. Rowling’s 57, released her latest novel, The Ink Black Heart, on Tuesday, under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and has been mocked online after Current Affairs editor Nathan J. Robinson shared several extracts on Twitter

Taking inspiration from her Twitter woes, Rowling filled much of her 1,200-page long new thriller with tweets, but critics branded them ‘unimaginative’ and ‘unreadable’

He then went on to share several screenshots of the novel, revealing pages filled with tweets in their entirety and other which had only a small section of texts, with six to seven tweets running down to the bottom of the page. 

The novel tells the story of an illustrator being hounded online for their views on transgender individuals, a subject matter very similar to the negative attention the Harry Potter author has received for her own views on the matter in recent years

Samples of the tweets from the novel read: ‘If god meant us to feel sympathetic, why’d he make crying people look so fkn ugly,’ and ”Can somebody tell that vile, mercenary b**** to take a dirt nap. #stopfeedingFedwell #IstandwithJosh’

Readers were not impressed with the extracts so far, with some saying they were unoriginal and that Rowling’s writing career had taken a sad turn.  

‘It’s not the main thing here, but that all of these tweets feel like they were written by the same person is a damning indictment of her writing ability,’ one said. 

‘Also, I know it should be obvious given that she’s written a book whinging about the trolls, but she really doesn’t view people who disagree with her as having any real beliefs or convictions, does she? They’re just mean because that’s what they are,’ they added. 

‘”The tweet appeared while Strike was eating his chips”, truly the greatest writer of our age,’ one quipped, referencing a line in the extracts shared online. 

‘Dang. She was clearly one of the most imaginative authors of all times. The Harry Potter world is creative genius, almost unparalleled in written history. This is a sad turn,’ another wrote. 

‘I’m all for writing your experiences, and what you know, even if this is just the same pandering ‘they’re so mean’ junk she always does when she tries to play the victim for her bigotry. But even just in terms of raw formatting and legibility, this is… so painful. Unreadable,’ one said. 

Robinson shared the pages he had come across on the novel’s digital edition, poking fun at the fact several tweets took up pages and pages of the seemingly hefty book

Extracts from the book reveal Rowling recreated realistic exchanges one might come across on Twitter as part of the intrigue in her new novel 

Some came to the defense of the Harry Potter author, saying The Black Ink Heart is like any other epistolary novel.  

‘Looks like a contemporary epistolary novel to me. I’m sure that some 1897 readers were unhappy about ‘Dracula’ consisting of so many letters and diary entries,’ they said. 

Rowling has been repeatedly targeted by trolls after making critical comments about transgender people in recent years. 

It comes just days after Rowling received online death threats from an extremist as she warned social media is ‘a gift for people who want to behave in a malign way’.

Speaking to Graham Norton on his Virgin Radio show earlier this week, she said: ‘Social media can be a lot of fun and I do like the pub argument aspect of it.

‘That can be a fun thing to do. But there’s no doubt that social media is a gift for people who want to behave in a malign way.’

And on whether anything can be done to prevent online trolls, she added: ‘I think on one level I’m not sure I can.

‘I’m not sure any individual can. I try to behave online as I would like others to behave. I wouldn’t ever want to… I’ve never threatened anyone, obviously, and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to their houses or anything like that.’

Readers have not been impressed with the extracts so far, with some branding them ‘unreadable’ 

She added that she reported the apparent threat from an Islamic extremist over her support for novelist Salman Rushdie to Twitter, before posting a screenshot of the response, commenting: ‘These are your guidelines, right? “Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence… “Terrorism/violent extremism: You may not threaten or promote terrorism”…’

In an apparent bid to get Aziz booted off Twitter, Rowling later posted: ‘@TwitterSupport any chance of some support?’.

Rowling has also historically spoken out about cancel culture amid claims she has been ‘cancelled’ by younger generations, but in a rare interview she said she ‘didn’t want to be a part’ of The Return To Hogwarts reunion.

The author has often tweeted critically about the use of inclusive language and spaces, most memorably retweeting a post which referred to ‘people who menstruate’ and adding: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’

Transgender activists say Ms Rowling’s stances are discriminatory and fail to recognise the difficulties that transgender and non-binary people face, but some feminists argue it is vital to retain single-sex spaces to protect vulnerable women.

Ms Rowling has also received backlash from claims she made in a bid to defend herself in 2020, including the claim that only people who are ‘privileged or lucky enough never to have come up against male violence’ support inclusive spaces.

She said: ‘I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces.

‘Polls show those women are in the vast majority, and exclude only those privileged or lucky enough never to have come up against male violence or sexual assault, and who’ve never troubled to educate themselves on how prevalent it is.’

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