Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling

Book: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J K Rowling

No. of Pages: 503

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Little Brown Book Group

I am sure you have read this before but for the benefit of those who haven't, let me reiterate. Do not pick up 'The Casual Vacancy' looking at the name of the author. TCV has nothing to do with the hugely successful Harry potter series, it is not in the same / similar / comparable league and it is NOT meant for children anyway so do not expect the innocent exuberance which the earlier episodes of HP novels had.

This is a young-adult novel, meant for the matured audience. It has a host of characters with complex relationships and random secrets and fears.

JK Rowling spends quite some time in establishing the large number of characters of the story and their setting – a small county / village with another neighboring one and the marginalized society in between. A lot of complex relationships are discovered as the story moves forward and since these places are pretty small, everybody knows everybody and has something to hide as well as knows something about the other which they want to hide.

There were times in the novel when I felt certain aspects were not required; they were either gross or something that you would want to blink out of existence. There are times when the novel becomes quite sleazy. But then I realized that this is reality. Fictionalized yes, but still inspired by reality. It made for interesting reading.

The story is a tragic one. Begins with a death and ends with another death, in fact, ends with 2 deaths which are extremely tragic. The complex relationships amongst the many characters give color to the narrations.

Frankly, I did not like the novel and would not recommend it to anyone. It is a very sad novel and it is not even emotional. The only interesting thing for me in there was the 'Ghost' of the deceased that becomes an integral and critical part of the storyline.

FYI – Review copy was my own and not received from any Book Review club/blog/website.

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