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The Casual Vacancy – J.K.Rowling

Sharing thoughts on a novel by J.K.Rowling is invariably
hard if you’re not going to bring up a certain wizard. After producing such a
prestigious collection of children (and adult’s) novels, it becomes impossible
not to draw comparisons.

I will, however, resist. The Casual Vacancy is so far removed
from Hogwarts that it’d be foolish to compare whether one is better than the
other.
Pagford is the setting of this novel, and you initially get
faced with a large event that has a ripple effect on all who live in the town.
If you’re going to read The Casual Vacancy, it’s important not to expect a huge
plot with lots of twists and turns. It’s still strangely addicitive thought,
following the lives and thoughts, secrets and lies of the individual
inhabitants of the town.
I can’t tell too much about the plot without giving the
novel away, but essentially something happens to a character in the novel in
the first chapter. The novel then tracks the responses of a few individuals in
the town – the daily struggles they face, the people they deal with, the emotions
they feel going through the day-to-day slog of life. Although the subject
matter is largely realistic, it really pulls on the nosy instinct most of us
have. Humans are really fascinating, and I think everyone wonders at some point
if others are like them, what it really is that we all think and do when we
think nobody else is watching. Whilst it’s a book about life it covers all
aspects of it – the rich, the poor, sex, drugs, death, new life, scroungers,
snobs, family ties and more.
It is by no means a dull novel, and I particularly enjoyed
how if one character was thinking of another character, the next chapter would
then shift to the perspective of that character. You quickly find yourself
warming to certain characters, and despising others – reading faster to find
out what happens.

Originally I was worried it’d be a novel largely about
politics, but it’s rather a wider look a society – what makes individuals tick.
If you’re looking to read something new that’s unlike most novels then I’d
recommend this. Rowling has a fantastic way of narrating, and her writing style
is as addictive as it is detailed. The Casual Vacancy – I really would
recommend.

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