Finished The Casual Vacancy.
ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT.
Please don't shoot me.
The Casual Vacancy is definitely the complete opposite of J.K. Rowling's previous works (The Harry Potter series, for everyone who has been living under a rock since the past twenty years). There is no fantasy, no clear Good vs Bad, no magic, and absolutely NOTHING that would be of any appeal to children.
Which is how it should be. Because you know, it's a book written for ADULTS.
It irks me when all the teens around me who have read The Casual Vacancy are whining about how bad it is. It's as if they have never read a book targeted towards an adult audience in their entire lives. Please don't tell me I'm the only person who started reading Stephen King and Jeffrey Archer at the age of 13 and 14? Maybe that's why I'm so accustomed to such grown-up story lines.
I can understand why most people I know were disappointed, though. Yes, J.K. Rowling is known for creating the most magical and adored book series known to mankind. The Harry Potter books have been revered by people of all ages. This may be the reason why all the fans of the HP book series went absolutely mad with joy when they were enlightened of the fact that J.K. Rowling was writing another book. I'm sure more than half of the population ignored the constant stress on 'a book for adults', because they were just so happy that their favourite childhood author would be publishing another book.
I won't divulge the plot here, as this is not really a book review (I'll leave that awesome stuff to ChickLitGirl haha) - but I will tell you guys what I did like:
- The small town setting. Rowling created a community with Pagford, such as Stephen King did in his books that featured the town of Castle Rock. It's a big feat to create a fictional community.
- The large amount of characters. I love books with many characters, many points-of-view, and sub-plots which accumulate to form the book in whole. I love knowing what's going on in everyone's minds, what they're thinking of.
- The realism. Cuss words, sex, drugs, politics, dark humour, racism, deaths - this book has it all. This could have easily been a REAL, non-fictional story. This kind of stuff happens everyday, to actual people - and that's what I truly admired.
- The writing style. I can't read books by Danielle Steele because I effing hate the way she writes. The same way, I will gobble up anything J.K. Rowling writes because she is a true master of storytelling (after Stephen King).
Admittedly, I would have wanted the story to carry on a bit more, so that it would answer some questions that I had whilst reading it.
So, in conclusion, if you're used to books written for an adult audience, or are an adult yourself, and if you can forget for a little while that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter, and if you're not afraid to read loads of dirty stuff and have some sort of political knowledge, The Casual Vacancy is the book for you.