Friday, April 15, 2016

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

Title: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J. K. Rowling

Published: Back Bay Books, 2013

Summary: When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations? (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I've been putting off reading this book for a long time after hearing that it was nowhere near as good as Harry Potter. Initially I just figured that I'd pick it up sooner but I think as time went on I began to convince myself that this book was the worst book in the world and that when I finally did get around to reading it I would absolutely hate it.

I finally managed to pick it up and told myself to at least try the first page. I read the first page, then the second, then the third and from there I continued to read. No, The Casual Vacancy isn't anything like Harry Potter but I never expected it to be.

I found all of the characters to be really unique and interesting. I enjoyed seeing how one man's death affected a large number of people and in various ways.

The Casual Vacancy reminds me a little of George Elliot's Middlemarch which follows different characters lives from different socio-economic backgrounds. In a way, The Casual Vacancy was like a modern version of Middlemarch.

I usually struggle to read character driven novels as I find the characters tend to have quite boring lives and annoying personalities but I felt with these characters there was never a dull moment. There was always something interesting happening.

I wasn't sure how the book would end but I was pretty shocked by how it did end but I was pretty shocked by how it did end as it wasn't at all what I was even somewhat expecting. It was definitely like a slap in the face.

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