Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

Well, well, well. It's been awhile since I finished a book, eh? I've been slogging through an 800 pager and read this one in the middle of it. Because I am a fan of J. K. Rowling's work through Harry Potter, I thought it only fair to give her a chance on her new adult fiction, The Casual Vacancy.


Good Reads' Synopsis: "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 fa├žade 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?"

What I Thought: I'm not even really sure where to start here. I wanted to like this very badly but I read a couple not-so-glowing reviews before borrowing it from the library. Instead, I cracked it open with lowered expectations. One of Rowling's strong points, character development, is certainly at work here and I appreciated that. The pace of the story was extremely slow. I only stuck with it because I did want to see what happened. The story picked up in the last 100 pages or so, thankfully. But, since it's 700+ pages anyway, that's a lot of trudging. Written by anyone else, this would not receive much attention. I hate doing this but I advise you skip it. I've heard they're making a miniseries on BBC of it. It might come off better on screen than on the page.

Rating: * * 1/2

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