Archive for October, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

There has been so much hype over The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling that it’s almost impossible to give it a fair assessment if you’ve paid attention to any of the critics. But I never read a review of a book I intend to read before reading it. So, with open eyes, I sat down with this massive book (503 pages) and immersed myself in the lives and turmoil of the good folk (and the bad!) of Pagford, the idilic English community with a beautiful market square and an ancient abbey, where the rich are at war with the poor, the wives with their husbands, the teenagers with their parents and the teachers with their students. Don’t be discouraged by the number of characters you’ve got to keep straight at the beginning of the book. Just plow through, you will be rewarded. When Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly of an aneurysm, a “casual vacancy” is left in Pagford’s Parish Council and rivalries are formed as to who should fill his seat. You won’t believe the bickering and shenanigans that go on. Rowlings is a really great writer, we already know that, and I can’t for the life of me think how anyone could NOT say that this is a wonderful book. So critics be damned! Her character development is supurb, her use of the English language is magical – well duh… she wrote Harry Potter! – and… I LOVE THIS BOOK!! I came across a review of the book on the Indigo website just after I read it and the reviewer said “it was Coronation Street on steriods – or smack”. Oh I laughed!, but he’s bang on. Rowlings is a master storyteller (what an ending!), she’s a brilliant writer, and this book certainly is a wonderful debut for her adult readers. Don’t pay any attention to the naysayers!    ***** + !

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