For the past week and an half, I’ve taken up JK Rowling’s newest release, The Casual Vacancy. I had seen it in book stores across the UK and Europe. I had not read reviews or knew anyone who had read the book, but I knew I wanted to read it (I very much love the Harry Potter series). So, upon my return to the States, I procured a copy. The jacket description wrote that after the unexpected death of a parish councillor in the small and fictitious town of Pagford, the residents have a nasty battle for the now-vacant seat. What at first seems a cozy and idyllic location, turns out to be a secret-hiding, peculiar loyalty-lying town with a few skeletons in its closet. Perfect. This sounded wonderful to me and I had images of Hot Fuzz come to mind.
In reality, the novel carries on with a ton of characters. I had such a hard time keeping track of everyone. When I was finally calm and collected in one character’s section, the novel would move on to something that happened about 100 pages earlier. It took too long for my brain to bounce back and start following the plot. Secondly, I found what I had read uneventful. Where were all of the dastardly deeds, the underhandedness, the hidden secrets?!
So, the aforementioned conundrum became, “Should I finish this book? It is JK Rowling. Maybe something will happen.”
I had long ago forsaken my 50 Page Rule and full steamed ahead to page 259 out of a possible 503! But, finally, after a day or two of thought, I closed The Casual Vacancy and put it away. I looked over at my stack of unread books and plucked a new one from the stack. I have so many to read and there is no reason for me to waste my time with a slog. Anyways, I heard the BBC will be putting together the novel as a series. Maybe this format is better suited for Rowling’s project.