Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Why I read this book?

Ever since the book came out I wanted to read it even though it got so many bad reviews from a lot of people. Having it available as an audio book gave me the option to give it a try, without getting the physical book. 

What's the book about?

This book tells us how the lives of several inhabitants of Pagford after Barry Fairbrother, a member of the parish council dies. 

What about the main characters?

This book has several main characters in my opinion; this "main lines" will tell the story of all at the same time. I found both Crystal and Suckhvinder as different as they are, they were very well written, and I could feel for them more than empathy. I had a bit more of a problem sympathising with any of the adults in the book, since they all seemed whiny and funny enough, behave as teenagers as much as the teens themselves. I found Samantha very entertaining, but even then, it didn't fully click.

Final thoughts

I believe that most of the people who were "disappointed" at this book it was because they were expecting something like Harry Potter...and this is so not that type of book.
Now that we have established this, I will tell you that I actually quite enjoyed the book. For a book with so many characters it was easy to follow what was happening to whom. There is a lot of social critic without being a "soap box" book.

Funny enough this book reminded me of Under the Dome, simply because of how a single event modifies so drastically everyone else in a tiny town. In a way the people of Pagford are also under a bubble, except that in this case is of their own construction. 

There were some very crude moments but this brought deeper "humanity" to the characters and by the end the felt quite tangible for me. The end was unexcpeted enough to surprise me, but not out of the blue in a way that would've ruined the whole dynamic of the book for me.

I really enjoyed Tom Hollander as a narrator, his tone is very pleasant and although, as non native speaker, I'm more used to an American accent I had no trouble whatsoever following him.

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