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Raging Biblioholism

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling This is not Harry Potter. It's not even really relatable to Harry Potter, except in that Rowling still performs best when writing about young people - but even then, it's still almost apples to oranges. This is an epic tapestry of a book, weaving together so many threads and stories and characters that you can't imagine it'll ever pay off... but then Rowling manages to keep each story, each plot down to third-tier subplots, interesting and engaging. The characters, none of them are particularly likable, per se - but that's only because they're all human. There are drug addicts, bad kids, good kids, desperate housewives, small-town tyrants, hopeless romantics, self-harmers, heroes, gossips, victims, abusers, and so on - many of those categories overlapping, too - but they are all just like the people you know. Hell, one or two of them might even be just like you - and that's okay! That's what makes Rowling such an impressive writer, I now realize: she imagined a whole world for us... and then showed us that she can imagine our own just as well if not better. Try not to expect anything from this book but a big English novel about small-town English life. It isn't anything more than that, not really - and we haven't had a good one in such a long time that it'd be a shame to scare off the author of the best one in a while just because you're stuck wanting her to tell you one more tidbit about the boy wizard. You're better than that, and this book is your reward for realizing it.More about it, although I could go on even further, at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-Fj