Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

  As you all may know, I happen to be a HUGE Harry Potter fan (or "Potterhead"... That's what we call ourselves). So when I heard that J.K. Rowling was coming out with a new book (after all this time), nothing was going to keep me from reading it.
  I was not expecting another "boy wizard" chronicle, or another children's book, but I was expecting nothing less than amazing. Because she is J.K. Rowling after all. When I heard that fans were expecting this new book to at least be related to Harry Potter, I found it unfair for J.K. Rowling. I don't think it's fair for fans to automatically assume that since she's come out with a "new book" it's associated with the multi-million dollar, bestselling saga.
  The Casual Vacancy was entirely its own entity, and I was fully prepared to dive into it.
  What I got- even with being prepared- was not what I expected whatsoever.
  When Pagford Parish Councillor, Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly of a brain aneurysm (take "suddenly" VERY literally when starting this book), he leaves an empty spot open on the Parish Council. This then wreaks havoc for those who are left to decide who will take over in his place.
  This book follows the important members of the town (council members, potential council members, etc.) and their children, who are going through their own horribly stressful problems as well.
  This book was emotionally exhausting in a less obvious way (i.e., Rowling's track record for horribly tragic deaths) and its depth was immeasurable.
  J.K. Rowling took the politics of a small town and gave us an insight into the ferocity of the political environment.
  This book is absolutely huge! Not only in its page count, but in its detail and shocking revelations as well. J.K. Rowling proves to us in this book that everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) has their own personal demons and skeletons rattling noisily in their closets.
  I applaud J.K. Rowling for breaking out of the wizarding mold, and having incredibly versatile writing abilities. 

Book                                ebook

1 comment:

  1. After reading about 70 pages, I abandoned "The Casual Vacancy." And then after a year, I recently took it up again and managed to go the whole hog. If you could wade through the first 100-odd pages, you might find the proceedings interesting. Sure Rowling has an eye for details and is a good chronicler of human foibles. But then there are many authors who could write this kind of stuff. It is obvious that Rowling doesn't want to be remembered only as the Harry Potter-author, and "The Casual Vacancy" appears to be her fervent attempt to break free from that image trap. And it shows. The beginning is slow paced and one requires immense patience to read through it all, as Rowling rolls out one character after another, piling details upon details. The middle part is engrossing as the plot thickens, so to speak. But again, the ending is rushed and insipid. The sudden change of Fats is unconvincing and appears forced. The long and short of it is, you should forget that "The Casual Vacancy" is by the same author who wrote the 7-volume Harry Potter series. But then, you wouldn't have in the first place bought this book if it had not been by the Harry Potter-author.