Login  
 
 
Go Back   Chamber of Secrets > The Writing on the Wall > Fiction

JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #181  
Old February 15th, 2013, 4:19 pm
Omri645  Undisclosed.gif Omri645 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4704 days
Posts: 41
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Is the Bellchapel Clinc is in the RUINED ABBEY?


Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #182  
Old February 15th, 2013, 10:36 pm
Wab's Avatar
Wab  Undisclosed.gif Wab is offline
The Next Great Adventurer
 
Joined: 5374 days
Location: Mornington Crescent
Posts: 15,280
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoldemortInATuT View Post
I don't. The length is what's so charming about JK Rowling's books. You can instantly tell something is a JK Rowling book by size alone and it makes her books feel more unique and different.
There's nothing unique or charming about an author who over-writes. It's become a hallmark of modern publishing where length seems to be favoured over good writing.

The ObserverTo take a random sample from the current autumn [2010] season, Keith Jeffery's history of the secret service, MI6, is more than 800 pages. Tony Blair's A Journey tops 700 pages. Alan Sugar – Alan Sugar! – has an autobiography, What You See Is What You Get, that weighs in at 612 pages, while Orlando Figes's history of the Crimean war is almost terse at 575 pages.

This trend is not confined to non-fiction. Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap is almost 500 pages and Ken Follett's doorstopper Fall of Giants, if anyone's counting, is about 850 pages, probably to appeal to his American readers. Is anyone editing these books? The truth is that they all bear the imprint of marketing, not editorial, values.


Why modern books are all too long


__________________
A patriot is someone who wants the best for his country, including the best laws and the best ideals. It's something other people should call you -- you shouldn't call yourself that. People who call themselves patriots are usually liars. -- Donald Woods

You got what anybody gets . . . You got a lifetime. -- Death of the Endless
Reply With Quote
  #183  
Old February 16th, 2013, 2:17 am
MerryLore's Avatar
MerryLore  Female.gif MerryLore is offline
Seventh Year
 
Joined: 2603 days
Location: catagorizing Sev's books
Posts: 1,627
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
There's nothing unique or charming about an author who over-writes. It's become a hallmark of modern publishing where length seems to be favoured over good writing.
..........................................
Why modern books are all too long[/fieldset]
Thank you for the link - I've been wondering what on earth happened during the last few years. I thought 500 or under was the norm, but the current trend seems to make the books bloated and in many cases weakens the story. If it can be said in 500 pages or less, I'd rather it be done that way. It holds my interest better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beth83 View Post
It took me a week to finish it (unlike the Harrys which were a couple of days at most). I'm not really sure what to make of it to be perfectly honest. At one point I was seriously hoping that there would be a massive gas explosion at the meeting as I found none of the characters partially likable.
I agree with this. In HP, I thought all of the characters had their unlikeable sides, but most had a strong likeable side to balance it out, and you grew to care about them and route for them. Few of the characters in CV appealed to me. I cared about what happened to Robbie and Sukvinder, but no one else.


__________________
avatar by me and WB, banner by Dark_Disciple

When I'm 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I'll be reading Harry Potter.
My family will say to me, “After all this time?
And I will say, “Always.
- source unknown
Reply With Quote
  #184  
Old March 27th, 2013, 12:29 am
Andromeda_T  Female.gif Andromeda_T is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4653 days
Location: Right now, Glasgow
Age: 32
Posts: 19
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I was given this book for Christmas - I hadn't bought it as I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it or not - and I finished it a week ago. The moment I finished it I went back to the beginning to re-read certain parts again, just like I would have done with the HP books! And a lot of the early chapters make a lot more sense once you've read the whole thing - also very like the HP books!

I did actually get into it after the first few chapters, and was eagerly awaiting my lunch break at work so I could read more! I found the characters to be very convincing, and by half-way through I had no trouble working out who was who, as I felt like they were actual people I knew - again like HP.

I enjoyed all the characters' story arcs (even Samantha's, which I thought actually did make sense) and I was not surprised that there were not definite conclusions to every storyline - if they had all been wrapped up I think it would have seemed too neat and unrealistic.

I thought all the characters seemd very true to themselves - and while I didn't want certain characters' stories to end the way they did, they were absolutely true to personality characteristics we knew they had.

It is not really about politics per se - the 'political' aspect of it is only in regard to the disputes within Pagford Parish Council and with Yarvil District Council re the Bellchapel Addiction Clinic and the side of the border The Fields is on. I thought she has captured the 'small town' mindset brilliantly - I live in a small town in Northern Ireland and I recognise a lot of the issues!

I was worried initially about the swearing and the sex, but when it came, it seemed appropriate to the characters. Yes, some characters swear a lot, but such a person in real life would talk like that - it was not gratuitous. As for the sex - it was pretty tame compared to what you read in many books written these days, and, if I may so, a tad more realistic. However, I am glad this has only come out now, as I think the swearing and sex would have affected me much more when younger (I am now 27). Some teenagers would get a lot out of this book, but I think I would have been too innocent for it if I had read it as a teenager.

So all in all, I would recommend reading this book, as long as you are over 18 (or have the maturity of an adult)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omri645 View Post
Is the Bellchapel Clinc is in the RUINED ABBEY?
I don't think so, but I don't know. There are numerous old church buildings dotted throughout England where the congregation has dwindled to nothing. These I suppose would be owned by the local parish council, along with churches that are still used as churches. These old churches get remade as all sorts of things, from apartments to bathroom showrooms. I just assumed that the Bellchapel clinic was in a building like this. Feel free to say where you got this theory from, however - I could be wrong!


__________________
"JORDAN! YOU ARE NOT BEING PAID TO ADVERTISE FIREBOLTS!" (Professor McGonagall, during the first Quidditch match when Harry rides his Firebolt, PoA)
(the funniest line of the series, in my opinion)

"Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" Harry said, thunderstruck.
"It certainly seems so." said Dumbledore calmly, "Not something he intended to do, I'm sure..." (CoS, in McGonagall's office in the last chapter) hmmmm...
Reply With Quote
  #185  
Old March 30th, 2013, 12:00 am
tomriddlemethis  Female.gif tomriddlemethis is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 2235 days
Location: Co. Durham
Age: 24
Posts: 28
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I absolutely loved The Casual Vacancy and it's become one of my favourite books. It doesn't feel fair to compare it to HP purely because it's JK's work... they're too different to compare. I did love it though and even shed a few tears!


Reply With Quote
  #186  
Old April 4th, 2013, 9:39 am
Yoana's Avatar
Yoana  Female.gif Yoana is offline
Assistant to Minister Granger
 
Joined: 4556 days
Location: Bulgaria
Age: 35
Posts: 6,431
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSleepyHead View Post
It is definitely JKR's style, which was refreshing after 5 years of silence. Some will probably criticize the "irrelevant" detail and forays into secondary characters' personal lives/thoughts, but that is what made HP so successful and enjoyable, and it is what I enjoy about this book, too.
SPOILERS BELOW.





More than that, I think the whole point of all those other characters and their actions and thoughts is to paint, in detail, the exact type of environment that made Krystal and her life. Krystal is socially powerless and completely dependent on the community she lives in for any sort of happiness she might hope for in her life. The insight of every secondary character's inner world is, in my opinion, meant to convey how social exclusion works. It's more than just dysfunctional legal arrangements (which is not neglected in the novel either - as the reason why Terri started using again and thus got the ball of events rolling was that they replaced Kay, who cared and managed to win her trust, with their old social worker, who didn't) - it's also a matter of mindset. What led to Krystal's death was, in addition to a badly set social system, the actions and inaction of the people in her community, and I think that was very well summarised in the scene right before Robbie's death, when they all see the wandering child but nobody bothers to check why he's alone or what's going on because they're all preoccupied with lingering bitterness from their own dissatisfaction with their lives. I think the novel is a sort of an indictment of the cult of individualism and bootstraps culture, which I appreciated very much.

Here's my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/412020780



Last edited by Yoana; April 4th, 2013 at 9:43 am.
Reply With Quote
  #187  
Old April 4th, 2013, 10:12 pm
hermy_weasley2's Avatar
hermy_weasley2  Female.gif hermy_weasley2 is offline
Unspeakable
 
Joined: 5483 days
Age: 30
Posts: 2,133
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSleepyHead View Post
It is definitely JKR's style, which was refreshing after 5 years of silence. Some will probably criticize the "irrelevant" detail and forays into secondary characters' personal lives/thoughts, but that is what made HP so successful and enjoyable, and it is what I enjoy about this book, too. The lack of intriguing characters (and excess of characters in general) and plot, though, is what makes this book only "good." It seems as if JKR just let the story go wherever it took her, which was from a political satire to an investigation of adolescence. She just didn't seem to know where to go with the story, and as a reader I felt underwhelmed by her seeming indecisiveness and the book's discontinuity as a cohesive narrative.


Spoiler: show

I think the downside of having all the characters was that the pace of the book dragged too much for my liking. Some of the characters were interesting, but other bored me, personally. I found myself rushing through some story lines to get back to the interesting ones.

That being said, though, I think having all of the story lines touch Krystal's was where Rowling was going with the book. Krystal represents the Fields and the people who live in places like the Fields. She makes Krystal a sympathetic character but also one who can still be saved. Every single character's story touches Krystal's, and every character has a chance to save her. Some try, but in the end, none of them do; their own problems interfere.

Then after Krystal dies--significantly at the same time the Parish Council shuts down the idea of keeping the Fields annexed--, some characters change, some don't, but they all start to disperse again. Emotionally or physically, they begin to move on, because there's no "Krystal Weedon" to pull them towards a common center anymore. At the same time, the ending seems kind of inevitable given how unbending so many of the characters were in their attitudes.

I think she might have used the book to show that the kind of generational poverty Krystal comes from is a central problem that everyone encounters, even if they don't see it or don't care. I don't know if she answers the question of whether or not it can be fixed, though, because she doesn't seem to vilify or glorify any characters in particular--there aren't clear-cut "good guys" or "bad guys," just different responses to a situation.


I don't think she used each character to comment on a different issue. The characters' back-stories seemed to be meant to make them more believable, and if I'm right about her main point, it could be that she was trying to make it possible for any reader to identify with at least one character.

I think the problem she had holding my interest was that she had one book in which to create this world where she had seven to create the Harry Potter universe. I don't know if she did it as well in this one book, but then again, I don't know if her entire purpose was to entertain. I mean, I'm sure she wanted the book to sell, but being JK Rowling, she can afford not to entertain.


__________________
Avatar created by Vita
Reply With Quote
  #188  
Old April 5th, 2013, 2:06 pm
HMN's Avatar
HMN  Female.gif HMN is offline
Assistant to Minister Longbottom
 
Joined: 4750 days
Location: in denial
Posts: 2,163
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I finally finished this book. It took me so long to get through the first 1/3 but then I couldn't put it down. It made me realize that JKR is brilliant with a large cast of characters. But unlike HP where she had 7 books to introduce them, she did it all in the first few chapters of The Casual Vacancy. I wished there was a labeled map of the town so I could have kept track of everyone more quickly initially.

Otherwise, I liked it, I didn't see the end coming until it was too late, and I found it impressive how her dead characters breath so much life into the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Few of the characters in CV appealed to me. I cared about what happened to Robbie and Sukvinder, but no one else.
And Andrew Price. I really wanted to see him break out of his home situation.


__________________
is totally awesome!
Reply With Quote
  #189  
Old April 8th, 2013, 1:32 am
rich_505's Avatar
rich_505  Male.gif rich_505 is offline
Seventh Year
 
Joined: 4932 days
Location: Hull, England
Age: 28
Posts: 1,671
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I really enjoyed the book, it did have a few patches that reminded me heavily of the latter Potter books in the sense that I found bits and pieces tedious and hard to work through, but overall I was glad I kept going and finished it. The teenage characters came across the best, which says a lot about JK - she does teen very well - but at the same time the way she was able to be more open about how teenagers are in this book compared to the Potter books did have me wondering what a slightly more racy Potter series would come out like. It proves she was holding back a lot of the time and she can pull off what REALLY would have been happening at Hogwarts at times.

The ending was a bit swift but on the other hand I don't know how she could have done any different, it did turn into something of a bloodbath if nothing else I guess!

I'm looking forward to seeing how the BBC adapt this for TV, it's a gritty novel and the BBC don't really do gritty or controversial so it could go one way or the other. I'm inclined to think it could go the other and not do the book any justice at all.


__________________

Tiiiiiime tooo, saaay gooooooodbyeee!
Reply With Quote
  #190  
Old April 9th, 2013, 3:52 am
teo's Avatar
teo  Undisclosed.gif teo is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 5174 days
Age: 38
Posts: 1,368
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich_505 View Post
The teenage characters came across the best, which says a lot about JK - she does teen very well - but at the same time the way she was able to be more open about how teenagers are in this book compared to the Potter books did have me wondering what a slightly more racy Potter series would come out like. It proves she was holding back a lot of the time and she can pull off what REALLY would have been happening at Hogwarts at times.
I would certainly agree with you there - I thought that the teenage characters were generally far more interesting than the adult ones. I think it shows that JKR is in her element when writing about teenagers, whether it be in the form of a 'children's' book or one with more adult material.

One aspect in which I thought Casual Vacancy fell off a bit for me was with the shifts to a new character's point of view every chapter. It's not that I had trouble keeping track of the characters, but it creates a lack of continuity that can be a bit frustrating. I call this Game of Thrones syndrome - did you really love that last Tyrion chapter? Only 150 pages of other characters until you get to read more about him!


Reply With Quote
  #191  
Old April 29th, 2013, 12:24 pm
TashaB  Female.gif TashaB is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 2547 days
Location: Snaith
Posts: 39
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Well she demonized Shirley Mollison quite a lot to be honest! Yes, there were not "good" or "bad" but she was clearly demonized. Her traits were not presented with absolute objectivity, or that's the impression I had. I was just wondering when did JK Rowling met my ex mother in law? :P On the other hand there was Tessa Wall, someone that doesn't gossip, n totally opposite to Shirley and yadda yadda.

I liked the book. Gave it four stars in Goodreads. And I think the part that liked me the most was Kay/Gaia.


__________________
Pottermore name: StarPhoenixXX
Reply With Quote
  #192  
Old August 8th, 2013, 12:44 pm
Melaszka's Avatar
Melaszka  Female.gif Melaszka is offline
HighFunctioning Sociopath
 
Joined: 4442 days
Location: England
Age: 50
Posts: 3,294
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

SPOILERS BELOW

I've only just got round to reading The Casual Vacancy. I wasn't expecting much, as I'd heard lots of negative things, including from a lot of HP fans, but I was pleasantly surprised. I literally couldn't put it down.

I do have some criticisms - yes, the style is sometimes clunky (but no worse than a lot of published authors who get less flak and it's still a lot better than the style of the average person in the street), yes, she overdoes the swearing, especially at the beginning (I know in RL many of these characters would swear, but when everybody swears so much, it's not being used to support characterisation and, in particular, I thought some of Simon's swearwords sounded like nothing any real person would actually say), and, yes, some of the characters are more caricatures, especially the Mollisons (at times it felt like Vernon and Petunia had been given their own spin-off novel).

Generally, I think it would have been an even better novel if JKR hadn't let her own prejudices take over so much - she does begin to explore the reasons why Howard and Shirley are like they are, but doesn't take it far enough and, IMO, it would have strengthened the novel immeasurably if she'd tried to approach them as more rounded human beings. The world truly isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters!

In addition, I felt JKR's impatience with, and lack of sympathy for, weaker characters, such as Cubby (yes, I know that the ending made it clear he wasn't to be despised, but it didn't feel like that the whole way through the novel), Ruth and the slightly glimpsed struggling teacher, Miss Harvey was almost on a par with Fats's.

My biggest criticism is that, despite the fact that the novel sharply critiqued the hypocritical, patronising and shallow nature of many middle-class do-gooders' "benevolent" attitudes to the underclass, JKR seems guilty herself of marginalising and exploiting her working-class characters (despite the sensitive portrayal of Krystal throughout and JKR's clear exposition of how circumstances beyond her control have led to her poverty and social exclusion, the ending seems to reduce her and Robbie to mere agents to affect growth and change in her middle-class characters' lives.) I sometimes felt that the narrative was guilty of what the paranoid Simon suspected of Barry Fairbrother - despising people who haven't gone to university. (I suppose I felt that even more in the portrayal of Shirley and Howard - despite their awful snobbery, lechery and malice, it seemed hypocritical and snobbish that they were so frequently sneered at by the narrative for their vulgarity and for having the temerity to aspire to the kind of affluent lifestyle that the Walls and the Jawandas take for granted)

But I still absolutely loved the book - it was ambitious and deftly juggled numerous narrative threads and a broad cast of characters. I disagree that the characters were mostly unlikable - I really liked and sympathised with Krystal, Andrew, Sukhinder, Tess, Samantha, Kay, Gaia, amongst others, and felt genuinely moved by the ending, despite my reservations about it. Although some were too broadly drawn I did believe in most of her characters (OK, you can pick big holes in some of the details, like the fact that Tessa could have hidden Cubby's OCD from the authorities or that parish councils have that much influence or command that much interest, but the characters rang emotionally true to me) And JKR's supreme gift as a compelling storyteller was much in evidence.



Last edited by Melaszka; August 8th, 2013 at 12:56 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #193  
Old August 8th, 2013, 1:20 pm
Moriath's Avatar
Moriath  Female.gif Moriath is offline
MODLY CREW
 
Joined: 4791 days
Location: Neverwhere
Posts: 7,036
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
SPOILERS BELOW

I've only just got round to reading The Casual Vacancy. I wasn't expecting much, as I'd heard lots of negative things, including from a lot of HP fans, but I was pleasantly surprised. I literally couldn't put it down.

I do have some criticisms - yes, the style is sometimes clunky (but no worse than a lot of published authors who get less flak and it's still a lot better than the style of the average person in the street), yes, she overdoes the swearing, especially at the beginning (I know in RL many of these characters would swear, but when everybody swears so much, it's not being used to support characterisation and, in particular, I thought some of Simon's swearwords sounded like nothing any real person would actually say), and, yes, some of the characters are more caricatures, especially the Mollisons (at times it felt like Vernon and Petunia had been given their own spin-off novel).

Generally, I think it would have been an even better novel if JKR hadn't let her own prejudices take over so much - she does begin to explore the reasons why Howard and Shirley are like they are, but doesn't take it far enough and, IMO, it would have strengthened the novel immeasurably if she'd tried to approach them as more rounded human beings. The world truly isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters!

In addition, I felt JKR's impatience with, and lack of sympathy for, weaker characters, such as Cubby (yes, I know that the ending made it clear he wasn't to be despised, but it didn't feel like that the whole way through the novel), Ruth and the slightly glimpsed struggling teacher, Miss Harvey was almost on a par with Fats's.

My biggest criticism is that, despite the fact that the novel sharply critiqued the hypocritical, patronising and shallow nature of many middle-class do-gooders' "benevolent" attitudes to the underclass, JKR seems guilty herself of marginalising and exploiting her working-class characters (despite the sensitive portrayal of Krystal throughout and JKR's clear exposition of how circumstances beyond her control have led to her poverty and social exclusion, the ending seems to reduce her and Robbie to mere agents to affect growth and change in her middle-class characters' lives.) I sometimes felt that the narrative was guilty of what the paranoid Simon suspected of Barry Fairbrother - despising people who haven't gone to university. (I suppose I felt that even more in the portrayal of Shirley and Howard - despite their awful snobbery, lechery and malice, it seemed hypocritical and snobbish that they were so frequently sneered at by the narrative for their vulgarity and for having the temerity to aspire to the kind of affluent lifestyle that the Walls and the Jawandas take for granted)

But I still absolutely loved the book - it was ambitious and deftly juggled numerous narrative threads and a broad cast of characters. I disagree that the characters were mostly unlikable - I really liked and sympathised with Krystal, Andrew, Sukhinder, Tess, Samantha, Kay, Gaia, amongst others, and felt genuinely moved by the ending, despite my reservations about it. Although some were too broadly drawn I did believe in most of her characters (OK, you can pick big holes in some of the details, like the fact that Tessa could have hidden Cubby's OCD from the authorities or that parish councils have that much influence or command that much interest, but the characters rang emotionally true to me) And JKR's supreme gift as a compelling storyteller was much in evidence.
This review rekindled my curiosity and desire to read this book! So far I've been put off my the many negative reactions.


Reply With Quote
  #194  
Old September 30th, 2013, 11:28 pm
FurryDice's Avatar
FurryDice  Female.gif FurryDice is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 3857 days
Location: Ireland
Age: 33
Posts: 2,591
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I've just got around to reading The Casual Vacancy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It did take a while to get going, but it was worth the slow start, because once I got into it, I couldn't put it down.

I liked getting to know the characters. Some I loved, some I loathed. I think that nearly all of them were given some flaws and some redeeming features. Apart from Si-Pie and Obbo.

Quote:
And Andrew Price. I really wanted to see him break out of his home situation.
Oh Andrew! When he thought at the beginning that he had made a promise to himself about his father, I was wondering if he meant that he was going to kill him, or at least fight him next time he hit Ruth. I was disappointed that their family situation remained unchanged, and that Ruth continued to live in a delusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TashaB View Post
Well she demonized Shirley Mollison quite a lot to be honest! Yes, there were not "good" or "bad" but she was clearly demonized. Her traits were not presented with absolute objectivity, or that's the impression I had. I was just wondering when did JK Rowling met my ex mother in law? :P On the other hand there was Tessa Wall, someone that doesn't gossip, n totally opposite to Shirley and yadda yadda.
I agree, but then I don't think any of the characters were presented with absolute objectivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
and, yes, some of the characters are more caricatures, especially the Mollisons (at times it felt like Vernon and Petunia had been given their own spin-off novel).
I thought the same thing. But there really are people like that, people caught up in their own self-importance and sense of
I think, though, that they were more fleshed out - Shirley is so obsessed with propriety because her mother is implied to have been a prostitute, or at least the subject of much local gossip. Howard, it seems, just wants to preserve an imaginary idyll of his youth.

Quote:
Generally, I think it would have been an even better novel if JKR hadn't let her own prejudices take over so much - she does begin to explore the reasons why Howard and Shirley are like they are, but doesn't take it far enough and, IMO, it would have strengthened the novel immeasurably if she'd tried to approach them as more rounded human beings. The world truly isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters!
I think that more information on Howard and Shirley would have been interesting. However, no matter what JKR focused on, there would have been criticism about what she focused on. Some wanted more of a focus on Krystal as a main character, others want more information on more characters. And others consider it too long -if it was shorter, there would have been even less of every character. This is not a criticism of readers, just pointing out that no matter what the focus or length, it won't be the "right" decision for every reader.

Quote:
despite the sensitive portrayal of Krystal throughout and JKR's clear exposition of how circumstances beyond her control have led to her poverty and social exclusion, the ending seems to reduce her and Robbie to mere agents to affect growth and change in her middle-class characters' lives.)
I think it also went to show how the middle-class residents who were so convinced of their own moral superiority succeeded in letting down other people who were in need of their help. (In this, I liked the essence of Parminder's outburst at the parish council meeting; even though it was ill-judged and unprofessional to name Howard directly, she did have a point.)

I think that everyone is, to an extent, an agent with the power to affect other peoples' lives. The whole story explores how something that happens to one person, or a decision one person makes affects others. Barry Fairbrother's death is an agent for change in many lives in the parish - his bereaved family, it is the catalyst for the election, it deprives Krystal of one of the few sources of joy and stability in her life. Andrew's decision to sabotage Simon and Fat's choice of username is the catalyst for a lot of trouble.

I think the tragedy of Krystal and Robbie is that they have never really had a chance. Any chance they do have is pulled from under them - Barry's death, the return of the disinterested social worker, the threat of the closure of the methadone clinic. I think that it is a valid point that people do sometimes need support, and

Quote:
(I suppose I felt that even more in the portrayal of Shirley and Howard - despite their awful snobbery, lechery and malice, it seemed hypocritical and snobbish that they were so frequently sneered at by the narrative for their vulgarity and for having the temerity to aspire to the kind of affluent lifestyle that the Walls and the Jawandas take for granted)
I don't think they were sneered at for aspiring to prosperity. I think they were criticised for their hypocrisy and for their selfishness. And I don't think that the Walls are role-models for success and prosperity compared to the Mollisons - Howard runs a successful business, and is expanding it to a café, the Walls work in the local comprehensive.

Quote:
But I still absolutely loved the book - it was ambitious and deftly juggled numerous narrative threads and a broad cast of characters. I disagree that the characters were mostly unlikable - I really liked and sympathised with Krystal, Andrew, Sukhinder, Tess, Samantha, Kay, Gaia, amongst others, and felt genuinely moved by the ending, despite my reservations about it.
I agree. I think JKR again wrote characters with shades of grey. Nearly all of them had likeable and unlikeable characteristics. I can think of only two characters who were completely unlikeable.


__________________

Pic by julvett at deviantart http://julvett.deviantart.com/gallery/2984632
"Relationships are like glass; sometimes it's better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself trying to put them back together." Anonymous
"Like this one time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatising event of my life and she’s trying to make it about her leg. Like my pain meant nothing." - Cordelia; Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1Ep11.
Reply With Quote
  #195  
Old October 1st, 2013, 5:21 am
Alastor's Avatar
Alastor  Male.gif Alastor is offline
Keeper of the Mignon Eggs
 
Joined: 5634 days
Posts: 6,468
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

Maybe I should read it some day.

In HP I enjoyed some of the dialogues much. Are there good ones of those in this book?


__________________



Reply With Quote
  #196  
Old October 1st, 2013, 4:34 pm
gertiekeddle's Avatar
gertiekeddle  Female.gif gertiekeddle is offline
Eldest Gruff
 
Joined: 4744 days
Location: Öelda, et sinust ma hoolin
Age: 41
Posts: 5,233
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I think they are good, but no as light-hearded as in HP. That's mostly due to the tougher topic aka more realistic approach. It's kind of a book about many Petunia-characters, what's not always easily to read. But it's written very, very well me thinks. An interesting project, which she probably couldn't have published that way if it hadn't been for the HP success beforehand.


__________________
(Avatar by Alfonzo)


I don't want to live in a world
where the strong rules and the weak cower.
Harry Dresden.
Reply With Quote
  #197  
Old November 6th, 2013, 10:02 pm
Andromeda_T  Female.gif Andromeda_T is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4653 days
Location: Right now, Glasgow
Age: 32
Posts: 19
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

You want a book with lots of good conversations? Try The Cuckoo's Calling. I would say most of it is conversations!


__________________
"JORDAN! YOU ARE NOT BEING PAID TO ADVERTISE FIREBOLTS!" (Professor McGonagall, during the first Quidditch match when Harry rides his Firebolt, PoA)
(the funniest line of the series, in my opinion)

"Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" Harry said, thunderstruck.
"It certainly seems so." said Dumbledore calmly, "Not something he intended to do, I'm sure..." (CoS, in McGonagall's office in the last chapter) hmmmm...
Reply With Quote
  #198  
Old November 7th, 2013, 2:52 am
Fawkesfan1's Avatar
Fawkesfan1  Female.gif Fawkesfan1 is offline
Clumsy Interrupting Cheese Toupeé & Scrambled Eggs
 
Joined: 4725 days
Location: May spontaneously combust!
Posts: 7,596
Re: JK Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy

I didn't mind the Casual Vacancy. Was it perfect? No. But it was still a good book, got drawn into it. By both it's honesty and it's sharp look into the lives of both the well off and the poor. It was a tragedy. Brought by everyone involved.


__________________

RIP Uncle Bob . 1933-2016 Thanks for everything and thanks for the memories. We love you and miss you.


RIP my older cat. I'll miss you, my wonderful furry friend. RIP Anthony Bourdain.

RIP Harry Anderson, aka: Judge Stone (Night Court). Thanks for the memories.

Sad about the upcoming closing of the forums, but I won't forget you guys, thanks for the memories!

Proud fan of the TV show, The X Files and proud shipper of Mulder and Scully!!

RIP Toys R' Us. Once a Toys R' Us Kid, always one.
Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back  Chamber of Secrets > The Writing on the Wall > Fiction

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 3:58 pm.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Original content is Copyright © MMII - MMVIII, CoSForums.com. All Rights Reserved.
Other content (posts, images, etc) is Copyright © its respective owners.