"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Casual Vacancy Leaves Me...Well...Vacant

I never thought I'd say this, but I just couldn't get into this new novel by J.K. Rowling.  I've tried repeatedly, even renewed my loan but to no avail.  It is due back this Thursday and I just can't do it.  

I went into reading The Casual Vacancy with high expectations....too high apparently.  I was by no means comparing this book to her previous hits.  If anything, I was comparing it to other books of its genre, general fiction for adults.  I know J.K. Rowling is a gifted writer.  I know she can put a story together that captivates the reader.  I have the greatest respect for her ability as a writer.  But... I just don't like the story. 

J.K. Rowling infuses the story with a plethora of characters right from the beginning, making it a confusing task of having to go back to confirm who is whom and what their role is.  Full of adult situations that include drug abuse, social services, rape, profanity.... need I go on.  I tried to move beyond that and recognize that some reviewers loved this novel.  Perhaps underneath it all, the adult situations and prevalent profanity, perhaps there is a story worth reading there.  I couldn't find it.   I am sorry to say that The Casual Vacancy is one of the rare books that I've given up on.  

Perhaps you will be one of the ones who finds the proverbial silver lining in what is certainly a gloomy and stormy read.  If you are, I'm happy for you.  This just isn't one of those for me.

On a positive note, I recently watched an interview wherein it was announced that J.K. Rowling's next book will be written for children. Some authors do a terrific job of straddling the genres, like John Grisham or James Patterson, while some are best with one.  I'm thinking J.K. Rowling's imagination can inspire more youth and children to read.  That is her strength, in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing what she is up to next.

If you've read the entire novel of The Casual Vacancy, join in a discussion here and share your opinion.  Even if, like me, you couldn't make it through it, join in anyway.  I'm sure there's more than just one reader out there who didn't care for it.  Who are you?


  1. Oh that's sad it didn't reach up to your expectations. I got it soon, pre-ordered it in fact, solely on the basis of it being written by JKR. I don't usually read these kind of books as of yet and I still haven't been able to convince myself to pick it up. I don't know, I just don't feel very comfortable with those themes. I guess I'll just put it off for later. Reading at the right time is also important, don't you think? :)

  2. Ashna, I believe it definitely helps to be in the mood or the right frame of mind for particular books. Unfortunately I had this book for almost a month and each time I picked it up I had a terrible time getting into the story. I returned it only partially read.

    I have read a couple of positive reviews, amongst the not so good ones, so perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones who forges past the themes and gets to the story. I hope you do enjoy it once you decide to give it a try.


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