Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

TITLE: The Casual Vacancy
AUTHOR: J. K. Rowling
GENRE: Realistic Fiction, Drama
PREMISE: A small community deals with their grief over the loss of their leader.
MY REVIEW: So it was sort of a happy coincidence that I read this book about a week or so before the news broke out last weekend about Rowling having written a book under another name. Because her doing that and that book being accepted before hand as it was pretty much proves my point about Casual Vacancy: it had no chance because people just weren't going to accept it because it wasn't Harry Potter. I'm sorry, but that is the frank truth of the matter. Literally every other review I read had the "it's not Harry Potter!" whine in it in some form. Even from the people who liked it. Maybe it was too soon after the franchise closed? I don't know, all I know is that Casual Vacancy pretty much got screwed because of what it wasn't and I think that's really unfair to both the book and the author.
Now when one actually looks at Casual Vacancy for what it is, and not what it isn't, I actually think it's perfectly all write. No it's not the best book in the world. It wanders a lot. Characters are difficult to like. The plot isn't the most complicated thing in the world and it honestly kind of wanders for a bit. But what it is, is a rather good character study and great social commentary.
Mostly, this book served a purpose for Rowling. It was her saying she wasn't going to be just writing Harry Potter. That was just one chapter in her career. We will be getting more books from her. Books that aren't Harry Potter. Hopefully, people will actually give those books a chance.
WHO SHOULD READ: people who are actually willing to read something by Rowling that isn't Harry Potter.
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five votes (I liked it well enough, but I can't rate it higher then just average because really the book isn't that groundbreaking/complicated and because of the wandering plot)

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