If there’s one thing you’ll hear people say about this book, it’s that it’s far from what they expected. It’s written by J.K. Rowling, the author of the beloved Harry Potter series, and to think that it will have a touch of magic in it is normal. But to approach this book as a Harry Potter fan is probably a wrong idea.
In fact, to read this book, there’s a few things that you need to tell yourself. First, it’s an adult book, meaning, there really are some things that aren’t suitable for children. Second, it’s pointless to compare it to Harry Potter since it falls in a completely different genre and deals with completely different things. And third, if you’re expecting for any kind of fantastical element, then you’ll surely be disappointed.
Now, why am I talking about all this instead of merely talking about the book? Because I’ve read reviews and most of them are bad. And I perfectly understand why. You have to be in the mood to start reading, and to read it completely aware that you’re reading Casual Vacancy and not Harry Potter. In this aspect, Rowling tries hard to show early on that it’s an adult novel and you should expect nothing more. And when I’ve accepted that, I enjoyed the book more.
I won’t even lie. It was extremely difficult for me to immerse myself in the story. I found myself falling asleep after every two pages. I’m not proud of it, but I tried okay. 50 pages in and I was starting to find it difficult to continue. But I’m glad I did. I’m glad I wasn’t fooled by the first 100 pages, or I would have missed out on a lot.
The Casual Vacancy starts with the death of Barry Fairbrother. And with his death, his position at the Parish Council becomes vacant. And with this death, the story explores the lives of individuals and how their lives are affected by Barry’s death. From close friends, to family, to political rivals and even to random citizens of the little town called Pagford. [Read more…]