Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (yes THAT J.K. Rowling)

The novel covers the death of a local Councillor, Barry Fairbrother, who croaks in the parking lot of a local golf course. As news spreads throughout town, chaos ensues. The problem arises in deciding whether the estate "The Fields" (which includes a methadone clinic, Bellchapel) should remain as part of Town.
After the election date is announced, the children of those who are standing for election decide to make damaging posts on the Councils online forum. Andrew, is the first person to do so, operating under the name "The_Ghost_Of_Barry_Fairbrother" and informing everyone on the forum that his father had bought a stolen computer. Sukhvinder follows, posting that her mother, Dr. Parminder Jawanda, was in love with Barry. Thirdly, Fats Wall posts, claiming his dad Cubby, diddled a kid.
This book also follows Krystal Weedon. Krystal lives in The Fields with her mother Terri who is a hooker and dope fiend, and brother Robbie. Kay, ( the obligitory Social worker) is determined for Terri to stop her druggie ways and take responsibility for the care of Robbie, however, Terri relapses (of course) and her drug-dealer ends up raping Krystal. Obviously fucked up from yet another traumatic experience in her life. Krystal has hooks up with Fats in an attempt to become preggers. It is during one of these hook-ups that Robbie runs away from the pair in a park, eventually falling and drowning in a river, despite Sukhvinder's attempt to save him. Krystal is so distraught she kills herself via heroin overdose, the novel culminating with her funeral.

The novels major themes were Politics, Class, and Social Issues (such as drugs).
All of which Ms. Rowling, should be able to write about properly, as she was living in the lowest caste of society without being homeless prior to her HP being published.

I feel this book is more CRASS than CLASS. I don't think I went two pages without being assaulted by more "fucks" and "arse" than was even close to necessary for the point of the narrative. I really hope J.K. doesn't stop writing, but I do hope this book comes off the top sellers charts. I feel this book has stayed up there due to her previous achievements.

This is J.K.'s first attempt at an adult book, and it kinda shows. Now please don't get me wrong. I loved her HP series. So much in fact, that when I was last in Orlando I spent a large part of my time at Universal Studios IN the new Hogwarts section.

I was hoping to make my first "official" book review to be something awesome. I guess I was disappointed twice.

I will now leave you with some photos of Hogwarts in Universal Studios.


Kate said...

I feel so much better about not loving this book! I didn't even finish it, which seemed like sacrilege. It never grabbed me like the HP books did. The only characters I connected with were the kids, and I felt like the book spent too much time on the adults. I also didn't feel uplifted at any point. With HP, even when the books were darkest, I always felt happy & excited about reading them. The Casual Vacancy left me feeling blah.

Tim K said...

right!? Part of me feels like she didn't even try to make this novel work. I hope she doesn't just try to keep gliding off of past successes.

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