Anita's Haven

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THE CASUAL VACANCY by J.K.Rowling – my review no.27

on 17/07/2015



It took me a while to get into the story, I give you that. Not because I expected it to be like H. Potter at all. I never did. I did expect the level of writing to be on that level, which is what I got, because an author either has a unique style or perishes, and J.K. Rowling definitely has a unique style, and I love it (even when Robert Galbraith takes over). There are lines in her books that stay with us forever.

It took me a while to get into the story because it is exactly what it is – a tapestry of small-town politicians weaving their petty power struggles at the expense of the rest of us. I could see it all from the very beginning,  the delicate descriptions of mannerisms and appearances, the way her characters talk, how they interpret facts. What I had been hoping for was that it would be a satire, more humour and cynicism, and far less reality. But great books don’t always give us what we want and hope for. They give us what we need.

There is nothing casual about Casual Vacancy. Strange marriages of interest, social differences, slum suburbs, measly narrow-minded souls scheming, teenagers struggling to get out of the grim pattern of drug and sexual abuse they were born into, sad and tragic attempts at true love… all muggles, no magic, just the grim side of life, if we do nothing about it. And it makes you want to do something about it – makes you want to smack the living daylights out of some people, hug some people and tell them it will be all right… People, you see? Not characters, because they are.

You may find yourself setting the book aside to let some moments sink in and to settle your mind. There are scenes you will see too clearly and close your eyes to them. But the book will call you back. Once you cross the first third of the book, you will devour it. Once you finish reading, it will be one of those books that will leave you staring into blank space, breathing deeply. Every single detail in the book finds its place, every single person has a role, every single event sinks into place. J.K. Rowling is a master in this – things always fall into place. No spoilers here, but beware of the role of the lost computer as you flip the final pages! I still choke up and it’s been quite a while since I read the book.

Bowing to the mastery. Truly am. It takes gutts to write a book people may not like or appreciate. True authors do that. They write stories out of them, for better or worse. She did.

Book on amazon


3 responses to “THE CASUAL VACANCY by J.K.Rowling – my review no.27

  1. LAnthony says:

    Can you compare and contrast this book in any fashion with those under Robert Galbraith’s titles?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In my opinion, completely different genres. Those are crime mysteries, where she has fun with the genre (although she does sneak it the odd social critique or two;), whereas this one is more of a social drama, dealing with heavy social issues of corruption, lack of education and the horrible state of family life. There is an ongoing trait and that is her use of language – from time to time, there are those ‘meaty’ expressions that just stay with you, where she gives you the whole picture in a line or two. What do YOU think?


  3. Sneak IN, not sneak it. Sorry. Proofreading after hitting reply;)


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