Today I bring you a 'first impressions' post on J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' (2012), which I am currently reading:
If I told you that last year a British female author published a book centred around a parish council election, and that it is 503 pages long, then I'd forgive you for thinking that it might be a bit of a yawner. However, if I also told you that this author is the awarding winning creator of Harry Potter and famously richer than the Queen then I'm sure you'd be more interested. And you probably were. If you were swept up in the frenzy that was the release of J.K. Rowling's 'post-Harry Potter' work then you may have read it. Yes, I'm talking about The Casual Vacancy, which I am finally working my way through.
The book is set in the fictional West Country town of Pagford and deals sensitively with the gigantuan issues of class, politics and social deprivation. The parish is set into a frenzy when Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly. As the story unfolds so does the drama of the lives of the residents of Pagford, whose personalities and daily struggles are eked out through the chapters. Whilst Rowling's liberal leanings shine throughout I am impressed with this novel, which was possibly met with more anticipation than any book ever. I'm don't think it could stand up to Harry Potter's success, but some how I don't think that is the point. The Casual Vacancy is also set for TV adaptation in 2014.
Carpe Diem xx