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JK Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy"

Posted on 2012.10.07 at 16:41
So, just finished "The Casual Vacancy," JK Rowling's first Post-"Harry Potter" novel.

Reviewers have called it "satirical," but if you go into it thinking you'll be enjoying GK Chesterton-esque chuckles, you're in for some cognitive dissonance.

It's a very dark novel of dislikable, self-absorbed characters whose callousness and casual cruelty becomes ever more repellent -- in truth, this makes it something of a slog.

It climaxes, though, in an awful tragedy and its aftermath, and I, at least, wept real tears for characters I had no affection for, both in enormous tragedy, and in one or two tiny glimmerings of hope.

If you're easily depressed by a work of fiction, you should probably avoid it -- it's a major bummer! -- but it's an ambitious and insightful and savagely, unsentimentally honest novel, a vicious indictment of a society, no more British than American, that views its least fortunate members as refuse, disposable and unclean.

If you can take it, I recommend it, but don't blame me if you end up crying your eyes out.


sarahenany at 2012-10-08 18:43 (UTC) (Link)

Thank you...

...both for the review and for the actual gift, but I think I shall hold off for a while. I think you and I can agree that next to the dictionary definition of "easily depressed by a work of fiction", they put my picture. Or ought to.

In other news, what's the computer outlook?

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2012-10-08 22:12 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you...

First, you're very welcome, and that's probably a wise choice.

Second, it's a good-news/bad-news joke:

The good news is that I have a new 1 TB hard drive that should, once installed, make it all better.

The bad news is that it's going to require at least temporary use of cables and a caddy and definitely skills I do not possess. It's going to run me $100.00 - $150.00 to pay someone for that, and I don't possess that, either.

It'll take more time.
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