When I found out JK Rowling had written another book, I was ecstatic. Then, I read the synopsis for The Casual Vacancy and thought to myself, “Only for JK Rowling,” meaning the story didn’t sound like my usual cup of tea, but I’d give it a go because it was written by JK Rowling.
I started reading The Casual Vacancy about two week ago. I wasn’t too optimistic about liking it because of the synopsis and some reviews I had read, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t hate it. Still, after reading 118 of the 503 pages, I’ve decided to move on and stop reading The Casual Vacancy … at least for now.
Before I started, I had read several reviews, some praising JK Rowling for her gritty tale about human nature and some declaring it to be utter trash. I knew there’d be a lot of language and sexual references going into it, but I still wanted to experience The Casual Vacancy for myself.
As I read it, I realized that while I didn’t care for the language, the sexual references didn’t bother me as much as I thought they might because I didn’t think they were very graphic. They just seemed like typical thoughts and conversations people have about sex. Some people may disagree with me, especially those who live in my state and/or are members of my religion, but maybe I’ve just been around more people who talk openly about sex. Or, maybe, I’m just more willing to admit that people talk about sex. Sometimes it’s crude, sometimes it’s not. No big deal. If the sexual references had become more graphic, then it would’ve bothered me because, personally, I feel like erotica or genres like it are literary porn and I’m not one to engage in porn of any kind.
So why did I stop reading the book then? Honestly, it was because it was too slow. I actually loved the huge cast of characters because it made for a very interesting look at human nature and gave many different insights into this little town of Pagford. And, I enjoyed the characters themselves, even though most of them had selfish, condescending, holier-than-thou, negative attitudes. I thought it was kind of refreshing to see that side of human nature.
I wish this book was a faster read. And, I wish something more significant, other than Barry Fairbrother’s death, had happened in these first 118 pages. Basically, I wish there was a reason for me to keep going because I really wanted to know the point of JK Rowling’s new novel. Is it just a story about human nature? Or, is there more to it? At this point, I don’t know. And, because there wasn’t enough for me to go on by the 118th page and because I’m just coming out of a reading slump that I don’t want to throw myself back into, I’m putting The Casual Vacancy aside, perhaps for now, perhaps for always.
If you’ve read The Casual Vacancy, or attempted it, what did you think or why did you stop reading it? If you haven’t read it, but want to, let me give you one piece of advice: Forget that JK Rowling wrote this and only read it because it sounds like it’s something you’d enjoy. If you only want to read it because it’s JK Rowling, then you may be disappointed.