Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling

Not often is a novel published with such fanfare and because of that I was determined to keep away from it until the rumpus had died down but it was lent to me and I felt the need to see what all the hoopla was about. I admit having a slight preconception about J.K Rowling as I attempted reading the first Harry Potter book and abandoned it after only a few pages as I found the writing style not to my taste but I was keen to give The Casual Vacancy a go. I found this to be a real page turner and had to keep the book out of the bedroom as I tended to stay awake all night reading, I'm not sure why I felt like that as there are a lot of things I don't like about this book.

I don't want to be negative but I'm afraid I have to be if I am going to give an honest appraisal. What I don't like about The Casual Vacancy - stereotypical characters (I think this was on purpose but it feels indolent to me), overuse of clever and pretty language (story always comes first and this one could be have been told in half the time) and the ending (rushed, unconvincing and loose ends all wrapped up quickly in direct contrast to the bulk of the book which felt - I don't know really - odd, strange, jarring?

What I do like about The Casual Vacancy - I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened to the characters, in short it sucked me in. Would I recommend it? On balance no - this is a long book and I don't feel the satisfaction gained was enough to warrant the time spent on it.