Casual Vacancy

So this is the ‘other’ book written by JK Rowling. I wasn’t really interested in ever reading it. It wasn’t Harry Potter and it didn’t sound like a fantasy, so why bother? Then I heard from Morgan that it was apparently a really good book. She said that all of the characters are unlikable, and yet you want to keep reading anyway. That caught my interest, because if the characters are unlikable, then the story must be something amazing. So I downloaded it on my Kindle, and gave it a shot.

I saw immediately why it’s such a popular book. The woman is a wordsmith like I have rarely seen. I don’t remember this level of craft in the Harry Potter books, but perhaps she just stuck with a particular style throughout those and tried something new in this one. Reading her words was like sailing down a smooth, crystal blue river that is lined with the most luscious garden. Now the plot might be good too, I didn’t get far enough into it to really form an opinion.

That being said, I will not be finishing the book. I think I got about 30% into it (says my Kindle) and the unlikable characters are just too much for me. I don’t read to stare into the blackness of the human soul. Probably why I hated so much reading books for school; all they care about is blackness of souls. I read (and write) fantasy. I want my characters to be heroic on top of their humanity. I don’t want to be wishing I could punch every character in the nose through the pages of the book. I want to read to enjoy myself and root for the main characters. Heck, I even like my villains to be affable. But I certainly will be going back to it on occasion to review the art she made out of those words.

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