To say the least, The Casual Vacancy was one of the most anticipated books of 2012. J.K. Rowling, a brand in herself who has penned down three other books other than the epic Harry Potter series was bound to be judged as she was writing something for adults this time. Covered in a red and yellow cover, The Casual Vacancy without any doubts is the most beautiful looking book that I have in my little collection. The moment I received it for the review, I was so excited that I started reading it straight away. The book is long and heavy. Some 500 pages that I thought I would read in 5 days, 100 pages each but it didn't turn out to be that way. Finished reading it just now.
The book opens with a death, death of Barry Fairbrother who leaves a casual vacancy in the Pagford's (the town) governing body and this marks the beginning of the book. As the story progresses a whole of characters get involved leaving you confused in the beginning. Each character has been described thoroughly and intelligently by Rowling. At times, you might feel it gets tad too descriptive, many of you might find it boring too. The characters from the beginning start getting into the opposing camps to fill the vacancy created by Fairbrother's death.
There are too many stories that go in the past and would take you surprise in the end. There is domestic violence, sex, cuss words and what not which makes it a bit too adult for young Harry Potter fans. If you have read some of the initial reviews when the book was launched, critics have squandered the book quite royally. But in my honest opinion, one needs to be extremely patient to read this one. Its long, its heavy but its definitely not bad. To say the least, it worked for me.
There are a number of teenagers in the book trying the figure out what they have to do with their lives. If you have read the whole Harry Potter series, then you might find the shades of the characters of that epic saga in Rowling's latest. There is no wand waving, no enchantments, no magical spells in this one but the book turns into a magical work of fiction in a literal way.
The way this book has been structured is something fresh and makes you feel that its a well thought book. Rowling has made sure that each character of the book gets a strong introduction and leave a mark in the story. Also, the book tells us, life is not a fairy tale and is damn unpredictable. There is hope, there is bitching, there are anecdotes and many other things that would ensure you are hooked to this book, only if you are a patient reader.
Book Source : Hachette India
Genre : Fiction
ISBN : 978 1408 704202