The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

The reception to this book was mixed and not that positive to be honest. I tried going into it unbiased. There are a lot of things about this book that I didn’t like, but strangely, I think it grew on me a little bit by the end.

There were too many characters and I didn’t really feel sympathetic for most of them. It took about a hundred pages before I could tell the characters apart. They all sort of blurred together for me. It took until half way through the book (around 250 pages) that I started feeling a twinge of pathos about one of them.

I enjoy Rowling as a writer. I think she does have weaknesses as a writer exhibited in the Harry Potter books too. She has decent characterization skills, but it wasn’t shown in this novel. Somehow though, I became less indifferent towards the end of the novel. It veered towards being a bit cliche though, but I think she hit some emotional notes correctly.

On the way, I do not regret reading this novel and it was not as bad for me as some readers. I don’t recommend it though. If this was not JKR, I probably wouldn’t be eager to read another novel.

Read November 11-17th, 2014.

2 thoughts on “The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

  • Geoff W

    I think this is one of those novels when I go back to re-read it in a few years I’ll be like WHOA it was even better than expected. So much of its subtlety was lost on so many of the readers because they wanted more Harry Potter. Plus she wanted to exercise her writing muscles and she did.

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Geoff! I think there are many well written moments in the book. It was strange because even when bored, I knew she was doing a good job as a writer in some ways. As I said, it really grew on me towards the end. I didn’t go in expecting HP, but I did get bogged down with a lot of the unlikable characters. I’m looking to the Robert Galbraith novels though. Thanks for the comment!


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