Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling


The Casual Vacancy

It was okay. Not the greatest. Not bad. It took me a long time to sit down and read it. I always put it off for some reason.  Picking it up, reading a few pages and then abandoning it for a few days. I think I did this because as much as I love JK Rowling and Harry Potter, I knew it wouldn't be the same. And that’s horrible expectations to go into it with.  This book has sex, has swear words, bad parenting, bad relationships, drugs. It is not supposed to be read as a Harry Potter book.

It starts off with Barry Fairbrother dying suddenly in a parking lot. This leaves, what I assume is a small town in shock. The whole underlying plot of the book is that Barry held an important position in the town council, and with his sudden passing it becomes open. The main debate over the new parish counselor is down to the rehabilitation clinic. The town’s  members are up in arms, all debating on who should run and who should ultimately win.  Enter all the characters- from the wounding widow, to the East Indian doctor, to the druggie mother and another abusive father. JK Rowling covered it all. Some you sympathized with, some you wanted to smack in the face.  

The actual story line was good. Slow at times. And a bit confusing the way she went from one character to the next, so I found it hard to keep up with that at first until I understood who was who.  I didn't feel a deep connection with any of the characters. I always felt that I wanted more from some characters, and others I felt she could have dropped off completely.   My favorite character was probably Krystal. And the whole poor side of Pagford.

I am interested in reading another non-Harry Potter book from JK Rowling, as she is a very gift writer. Her descriptions of things draw you in and you feel like you know exactly what she was thinking of. Although if I am wishing things, more HP would be lovely!


“He never seemed to grasp the immense mutability of human nature, nor to appreciate that behind every nondescript face lay a wild and unique hinterland like his own.”

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