Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling


**Big Disappointment Ahead...** :(

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, to write that it wasn't what I was expecting would be an understatement. I spend a long time waiting with high hopes for this book. I was thinking it would be on the level of "To Kill A Mockingbird" or a John Steinbeck novel.

But to sum it up best as I can, what I got was a tragic story riddled with profanity, sexual references, and rape. Now, I guess a lot of people would claim that I'm just being a prude. But, having read "Push" by Sapphire and a few of Ellen Hopkins' novels, I feel that I've handled stories with some serious graphic matter. I guess, what I'm trying to say is, I can bare it if it's essential to the plot. However, in J.K. Rowling's case, all of it just seems so needless. I feel like she purposely wanted to shock people. Almost like a child star or singer who wants to create a scandal to prove they're not sweet and innocent. As to say, "I can be dirty and bad, too! Just watch!"

It makes me more curious about who J.K. Rowling really is...can it be the same person that wrote Harry Potter? Should I compare her to George Carlin on Thomas the Tank Engine or Bob Saget on Full House...someone who's been holding all of this in, in front of the kids, and finally is able to let it all out?

I'm left thinking a quote that a character in the book mentions could be a statement from Rowling herself:
"I do not want believers, I think I am too malicious to believe in myself...I have a terrible fear I shall one day be pronounced holy...I do not want to be a saint, rather even a buffoon...perhaps I am a buffoon..."

After this book, I doubt she'll ever be thought of as a saint. But what's really sad is, her master work, the Harry Potter series, is now tainted as well. I can just see EVEN MORE PEOPLE not allowing their kids to read the series because they know how needlessly vulgar and dirty she was in this book. I've read that she's planning a new children's series, and I have a bad feeling that they'll be a lot of parents against that one as well.

So, yeah, I'm disappointed. If this book hadn't been by J.K. Rowling, based on the synopsis, I'd probably have never bought it cause it didn't sound like something I'd be interested in. And even if I had picked it up, if it hadn't been J.K. Rowling, I would have quit by page 50. I stuck with it, hoping it would get better. In some ways it did...the vulgarness died down some and I was rooting for the underprivileged characters in this book. I was seriously hoping that this had a point or meaning or would all tie together somehow in J.K. Rowling-Harry-Potter-plot-mystery-fashion. But it didn't. It ends sadly. No one is happier, no one is redeemed. It's a grim slice of real life. Read this if you want to be depressed.


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