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Thursday, January 9, 2014

THE CASUAL VACANCY by J K ROWLING


I never know what book comes my way and there are always very pleasant surprises coming (all the time!). This was one of them.

With a book like this, we always seem to think to what the author has put up before and doesnt everyone have huge expectations when it is on the scale of Harry Potter.

A modern day setting with very eclectic characters we run the whole gamut of people. The no nonsense types, the interfering ones, the do gooders, the gruff bluff types and the hypocrites.  We have modern day trappings of Facebook and online web sites being very much part of the book.  We can identify with the entire story as it runs parallel to anyone's life in modern day times and this is what draws one in.
As usual Rowling knows how to enthrall and entice,  and also keep you at it till the story is done and dusted. It also is interesting that despite not happy endings you do end the book with a sense of well being that you've read a winner!

We have a small town of Pagford on the brink of having an election to fill in the vacancy (this is the casual part) as a result of the death of a councillor Barry Fairweather. The ones who are jostling for this position are varied and different - all with agendas of their own - some wanting to follow in the footsteps of Barry and others totally opposite to what he aimed for and thus hoping to turn the Council in another direction. The ramifications of the election are huge and will affect life in Pagford and Yarvill and it is this that drives the election forward.

We have malicious, smug, righteous, boring, abusive, mixed up and nice characters in the story. We also have the modern day elements of huge drug abuse, teenagers with angst, generation gaps at its height and so many other features that in another story would be most confusing but which in this one seems so natural to the story.

Needless to say I loved the book and am just glad that I got it to it sooner rather than later. I hope Ms. Rowling continues with the modern theme.

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I read this with my book club and struggled with it. One of our members is British and she loved it. It made me wonder if I really understood the book.

carol said...

I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, but have been a bit leery of picking up anything else by her.

Nise' said...

I have been on the fence about this book. Glad for your recommendation.

Jackie Bailey said...

I loved this one too! I wasn't sure she'd be able to make the move from children's fiction to this, but I was wrong. Now I need to see if she can do crime - I'm not convinced, but I hope I'll be pleasantly surprised by that too!

Jackie Bailey said...

I loved this one too! I wasn't sure she'd be able to make the move from children's fiction to this, but I was wrong. Now I need to see if she can do crime - I'm not convinced, but I hope I'll be pleasantly surprised by that too!

leeswammes said...

My too. I loved it! I lived in the UK for 15 years and I really think a British background of some kind helps appreciating this book. Although a Sri-Lankan-Australian background seems to be fine, too, apparently. :-)

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I've been a bit on the fence about getting this one, but your review tipped me over it!

Teddyree said...

I'm still undecided but I'm glad to read your positive review