Friday, October 5, 2012

Random Review of an Unfinished Book...

I don't usually post on Fridays, but I wanted to share my thoughts on J.K. Rowling's newest title, The Casual Vacancy.

I was looking forward to this novel. I wanted to see how Rowling would handle the transition of writing for an older audience. I was intrigued by the idea that this book was all-Muggle - no magic or fantasy at play in any way, shape or form. I put this book on hold in anticipation - believing that I would enjoy it. I was so wrong.

Not only could I not finish the book. I couldn't get past fifty pages. The writing is good - probably better than Rowling's first couple of Potter books. It's obvious she's a more experienced author. And there's nothing inherently wrong with the plot or the pace of the book. My problems with the novel are more about what I enjoy reading and what I don't.

In the first fifty pages of this book Rowling introduces us to the townspeople of Pagford - seemingly every single one of them. Seriously. She's throwing in a new character every other paragraph or so. And not a one of them has a redeeming quality. They're full of hate and anger, abusive, petrified, self-satisfied, gossipy and, oh, lots of other blechy qualities that I really don't like in people. In fifty pages I didn't find any characters that elicited my sympathy, that I could cheer for, or that I wanted to follow through the remainder of the book. So I put the book down. Done. Not finishing it. I'll pick up her next one and try again, but this one is over for me.

Note: This is most definitely an adult book, with mature language and content. 

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