The Casual Vacancy
by J. K. Rowling
Published: September 27, 2012
Genres: Adult Fiction
Format: Hardcover (503 pages)
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.
Before I start my review of The Casual Vacancy, I want to make it clear that I only read 25 pages of this book (and it took me 5 days to even get that far because it wasn’t keeping my interest). I also want to make it clear that in my life I have not finished about 6 books and this is one of them.
The book starts off with a death at the beginning. Then we get to see a lot of the characters reacting to this death in very different ways which could be interesting, I guess. It does take a long time for the news to even spread. Quite frankly the characters are boring, vanilla and not all that original. There is no plot to speak of. If there is no interesting plot or unique characters, what is supposed to keep me reading this book? I know – it says J.K. Rowling on the cover. I think that does this book a huge disservice. J.K. Rowling is not even her real name. Mrs. Rowling does not have a middle name in real life. I feel like the only reason the publisher put the same pen name that graces the Harry Potter books on this book is so people like me who LOVE Harry Potter will buy it. They are different genres – they NEED different pen names. But that’s just my small opinion. I’m having a hard time reconciling the person who wrote the fun, quirky, complex and immensely entertaining children’s book with the person who wrote this very adult book. They don’t even seem like the same person to me. I wrote as an update while reading this that this book is kind of ruining Harry Potter for me. If I finished this book, I might not look at Harry Potter the same again.
I tried to plow through the zero plot and boring characters, but I found myself not enjoying the writing, either. The writing wasn’t bad, but I didn’t find it immensely interesting either. I heard this was supposed to be funny. I guess I didn’t get far enough to see the funny parts. But there are characters who are married named Barry and Mary. Maybe that was supposed to be funny? Overall, this book was just not for me. J.K. Rowling rocks and I will love her forever. Whatever else she writes, I will read. Sadly, I just had to skip this one. The massive amounts of vulgarity and constant talk of sex was a huge turn-off for me.
Content Rating: High, there was a lot of f-words and frequent talk of sex even in just the first 25 pages.
If you’ve read this book, I really want to hear what you thought. Does it get better as it goes along? Did you like it? Is it just me that didn’t like this book??