The Casual Vacancy

I did not like Harry Potter. I only read about twenty pages as I did not like that poor Harry had to live under the staircase. Chris wanted me to try J.K. Rowling’s new adult fiction piece after Jon Stewart interviewed the acclaimed author and gave the book high praise. Since one of my colleagues let me borrow it, I was keen on giving it a go.

Rowling may be a good children’s writer, but fails miserably in creating a compelling adult read.  The book is far too long. The story, which is pretty dull, could have been wrapped up in under two hundred pages.  There are too many characters. Instead of exploring sub-stories that may have been more gribbing, Rowling skims over plot lines. For example, I would have enjoyed learning more of the mental illness that plagues Cubby. There was a grammatical mistake ten pages into the book. I found this inexcusable of Rowling and Little, Brown publishing. The social worker breaks confidentiality and it’s glossed over. My work friend and colleague did not finish the book. She disliked the language immensely. The language of the uneducated, poor villagers did not bother me as much as the lack of story and the hollowness of her characters.  I have to ask, if this had been Rowling’s first novel, would there have been more? I sincerely doubt it. 

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