bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: the casual vacancy /
Subscribe via RSS 
The casual vacancy
J. K. Rowling
Adult Fiction ROWLING

Comments  Summary  Reviews  Author Notes

From Publishers' Weekly:

On the face of it, Rowling's first adult book is very different from the Harry Potter books that made her rich and famous. It's resolutely unmagical: the closest thing to wizardry is the ability to hack into the amateurish Pagford Parish Council Web site. Instead of a battle for worldwide domination, there's a fight over a suddenly empty seat on that Council, the vacancy of the title. Yet despite the lack of invisibility cloaks and pensieves, Pagford isn't so different from Harry's world. There's a massive divide between the haves and those pesky have-nots-the residents of the Fields, the council flat that some want to push off onto Yarvil, the county council nearby. In tiny Pagford, and at its school, which caters to have and have-nots alike, everyone is connected: teenager Krystal Weedon, the sole functioning member of her working-class family, hooks up with the middle-class son of her guidance counselor; the social worker watching over Krystal's troubled mother dates the law partner of the son of the dead Councilor's fiercest Council rival, who also happens to be the best friend of Councilor Barry Fairbrother; Krystal's great-grandmother's doctor was Fairbrother's closest ally; the daughters of the doctor and the social worker work together, along with the best friend of Krystal's hookup; and so on. When Fairbrother-born in Fields but now a middle-class Pagforder and one of the few people who can deal with the obstreperous Krystal-dies suddenly, the fight gets uglier. Rowling is relentlessly competent: all these people and their hatreds and hopes are established and mixed together. Secrets are revealed, relationships twist and break, and the book rolls toward its awful, logical climax with aplomb. As in the Harry Potter books, children make mistakes and join together with a common cause, accompanied here by adults, some malicious, some trying yet failing. Minus the magic, though, good and evil are depressingly human, and while the characters are all well drawn and believable, they aren't much fun. Agent: The Blair Partnership. (Sept. 27) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Overlong and bereft of the rich brocade of invention that made "Harry Potter," well, magical, Rowling's latest novel might seem to have the critical deck stacked against it, but this, her first "book for adults," is made of stronger stuff. It tells the story of a small English town, Pagford, which loses, in the novel's first pages, one of its lynchpins: father, friend, rowing instructor, and council member Barry Fairbrother. Across the wide scope of Rowling's story, Fairbrother is the common thread, as some characters cope with his absence and others use his name to enact personal vendettas. The cast is, unsurprisingly, large, and Rowling excels with her teenage characters-who are vivid and mercurial in her hands-where the adults are often thick and one-note. She doesn't shy away from the material noticeably absent in her YA series-i.e., sex, drugs, and religion-and overall her frankness is refreshing, though there are several moments that clunk, thud, and bewilder (many of which will prompt laughter). Verdict Still, Rowling is a storyteller, and this book is no exception to her powers. Though slow to start, it has the momentum to carry readers through to the end, and they will be glad they stayed with it. A rewarding read; recommended. [See Rowling Goes Adult.-Ed.]-Molly McArdle, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog


more titles about

recent comments
hcl mobile app
hclib
mobile
app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Depository
Library
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
County
Government
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS