Published in: 2012
Genre: fiction (I’ve actually classified this as dull, bland, boring and crap, but let’s just say it’s fiction)
Book #: Standalone book
Book Description: (From Goodreads.com)
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
Oh dear god, this book…. this book was terrible.
I’m not saying this as a fan of the Harry Potter series who mistakenly thought this would be similar- I really hate the Harry Potter series, so I came into this book thinking that, given it was written for adults rather than children, it would be A) better written, B) more interesting, and C) actually good. Wrong on all three.
My problem with J.K. Rowling is that she thinks she’s great. It is evident in her writing style. She thinks she’s the shit, so her writing style reflects it. It annoys me so, so much. In this book, for example, she uses so many words I have never even heard of, that I had to stop reading the book numerous times to go to the dictionary on my e-reader to find out what the hell she was trying to say. Now I’m someone who has been reading her whole life, who has quite a big and varied vocabulary, who has been exposed to many a strange word or two. But this, clearly Rowlings dug out a thesaurus and used that baby every two sentences.
So, the actual story. The characters were irritating, the story is seriously petty and boring- who gives a flying fig about this bland little town and their town council? Seriously? and the language, the language was just… unecessary. There is a time and a place for swearing, but most of its placement in this story seemed out of place and harsh. I just felt that she was trying to hard to make a story out of nothing, and to make it more ‘grown up’ than her Harry Potter books.
It was a chore to finish this book.
The casual Vacancy rating: 3/10. Poorly written- if you have to keep reaching for a dictionary to decode what someone has written, then it’s not written for the general public. I shudder to think how others may struggle with this book- at least I can understand more of the language, given that the slang is similar to some of the slang terms used here (I’m sorry Americans, you guys are just plain screwed when it comes to this book. You’ll get stuck by the term “fags” when referring to cigarettes, and “Snog” when referring to kissing, not having time to even consider what Garrulous or Effervesce might mean. Yes, those were two words I picked out from the first 10 pages that had me stumped. One means chatty, the other means spark or fizz.) Plus, it was just SO DAMN BORING…
Would I re-read it? Not even if you paid me to.
Who would I recommend it to? Well, for starters, do not read this if you happen to be a super-fan of Harry Potter and expecting a similar story. I have read so many reviews where people got caught by this, this is the same author but not the same series guys! Honestly.
Secondly, do not read this expecting an interesting story. This is a little slice of boring life, painstakenly written down into a novel.
It’s aimed at adults. The amount of language in there reflects this- so please, do not give this to children. Strictly 18+, or you will find yourself having to explain what a…. well, I hate the word and refuse to use it, but it rhymes with “Runt”. Want to explain what that is to a 8 year old? No? Then don’t give this to youngsters.
Otherwise, I can’t pinpoint who I’d recommend this book to. Honestly, I cannot think of a single person or group that this book could have been written for.
Enjoy petty squabbling councils in tiny villages on in the English countryside? Then this might be your book. Otherwise, this is just not worth your time.
That’a all you get. I do not have the time nor energy to google more links for this trainwreck of a book. On Goodreads, it has a 3-star rating. That is seriously unheard of for such a well-known book. That alone should indicate how bad this is. It also apparently was the 2012 readers choice award book. I bet 90% of the people who voted for that had not read the book yet.
I still cannot get over just how bad this book was. It’s baffling.