Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

You probably all know that I'm a Harry Potter fan. There are two+ sets of the Harry Potter series in my house, one in hardcover and one in paperback. There's a sign that says "Hogwarts Express" by the guest bathroom. I know when a guest is a Harry Potter fan because they see the sign and say, "Platform 9 3/4!!!"

Years ago, I was at a social gathering and the topic of Harry Potter came up. I asked the guy next to me if he liked Harry Potter. He said, "I barely have any free time, so if I did have free time, why would I waste it reading Harry Potter?" Wow! I understand that not everyone likes Harry Potter, but you don't have to be a jerk about it! By the way, this guy later asked me out for coffee, and I declined. I think I already knew enough about him.

Now that I'm on the topic of dating and Harry Potter, when Boomer and I were dating, he once showed up at my house on a Saturday morning looking bleary-eyed and tired. To explain his tiredness, he said, "I stayed up late last night re-reading Harry Potter #7." Ah, that's more like it! Re-reading #7 in one night is quite the accomplishment.

Anyway, onto the subject of this post: Rowling's newest book written for an adult audience. It's set in the little town of Pagford right after the death of parish council member, Barry Fairbrother. This sends the town into a tizzy and we're introduced to a sprawling cast of characters and all of the gossip and wheeling and dealing behind-the-scenes as the town tries to figure out who will fill his council seat.

I was very excited about this book. I actually bought it (pre-order!) and eagerly awaited its arrival. What a let down! The first 200 pages were s...l...o...w. I found myself not wanting to read it. The characters were forgettable. I kept forgetting who belonged to which family. Maybe it was because everyone had normal names like "Stuart" and not "Dumbledore," but that shouldn't have mattered. The characters were not distinct or developed. At the end, I didn't care what happened to any of them.

Also, it seemed like Rowling made this book for an adult audience by writing detailed descriptions of body parts. Totally unnecessary.

So that's two thumbs down for you. I even recommended that Boomer not waste his time reading this book, so if you want to check out this book even after reading this post, you can have my copy for keeps! But you're gonna have to come by and pick it up (and please stay for a cup of tea and some cookies), because I'm not wasting any time, money, gas, or postage on it.

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