[Ren] The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. RowlingTitle: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: September 27th, 2012
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorybooklikesgoodreads

After the untimely demise of local councillor Barry Fairbrother, the sleepy town of Pagford is shaken when all the citizens start fighting over the empty council seat, squabbling like the whiny assholes that they are. It’s not really a bad book but I doubt I’ll ever want to read it again. It’s a character-driven book, but all of the characters are unlikeable and have only negative personality traits. All of them. I don’t mind flawed characters, but there’s got to be at least one sympathetic character for me to side with. In this book, at one point I wouldn’t have minded if a meteor crashed down and obliterated all of Pagford.

I found it especially hard to start, it took me two tries to finally get through the first chapter, though it got better after getting used to the sudden POV switches and the fact that I hated all characters. The last two chapters kept me up late because I had to know how it ended, and the conclusion can only be described as cathartic (in the original Greek tragedy sense). I only wish someone had warned me that the book contained mentions of child abuse, that part turned my stomach, so I advise caution if this is a sensitive subject for you.

Oh, and the mandatory bottom line, the comparison with Harry Potter: nope, they’re as different as day and night in style, themes, characters, everything. Which doesn’t automatically make this a bad book, but if you’re going to pick it up just on the strength of J.K. Rowling’s name, don’t bother.

Ren

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8 thoughts on “[Ren] The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

  1. Hi Beagle,

    you should also do The Cuckoo’s Calling by pseudonym!JKR because I’ve actually just read that and have opinions. :D

    • Hi stranger. Are they positive opinions, though?? Because I didn’t think it looked like much, I mean the main character is called ~Cormoran Strike~ and that sounds like a silly name.

      • I liked it, but criminal mysteries (or whatever the hell the official name is) is pretty much my favourite genre, so idk how much that says about the actual quality of the book. XD

  2. I didn’t much care for this either though I thought it was very smart and well written . But it was a little too harsh for me, and as you say there aren’t any likable characters so that made it hard to become invested in the story. Because of this book I wasn’t motivated to pick up The Cuckoo’s Calling either, but I’m glad that it was better received than this one!

    • Same! I might end up reading The Cuckoo’s Calling now that the second book in the series is coming out, if my friends liked it. At least I can be sure that JKR is a good writer.

    • Oh no, in that case I’d probably advise not to read this book, there was a scene in particular that was very soul-crushing and I would have stopped reading altogether if it wasn’t very close to end.

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