Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On reading 'The Casual Vacancy'

from w
Our book club selection for February is The Casual Vacancy' a gritty social realism kind of novel, so different from the Harry Pottery fantasies.I'm only halfway through it but here are some of my observations.

Rowland, the writer certainly disappoints with this book as there are very few characters the reader can really like. It's about a small town filled with of stupid, immoral, lazy, angry, manipulative, corrupt people. At about page 30 I thought it was a satire or at least meant to be funny, but later on, no, the writer is seriously trying to portray the fibre of a small town with a housing estate next door. She writes best about the teenagers and should have stuck with just that angle I think

The Age reviewer says: The Casual Vacancy is, in one way, a very conventional book, playing on the prototypes of popular fiction. In another way, it is a cry against the horrors of conventional life. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a work of art and it is a very odd book to come from the pen of a great and fabled entertainer. But, despite stretches of cliche and failures of compassion (and dollops of sentimentality by way of a corollary), it does have a propulsion and an ability to hook the reader in the face of an attempted novelistic vision of life that's pretty rough and tough.

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