I finally finished J.K. Rowling’s grown-up novel, “The Casual Vacancy”. The … thing I can say about it is that you can’t look away from a car crash. I’m talking about the story, not the writing style.
So I suppose kudos to JK Rowling for writing a very believable car crash. And yes, she did prove that she can depress the hell out of people, not just write magical stories that make you happy. Yes, her characters were not all good or all evil. Hurray.
Other than that though, it actually wasn’t that great. It started out okay, it kept me turning the pages (see car crash comparison above), but the entire last third of the book felt both rushed and forced. It’s like she was succumbing to her Harry Potter-style urge to tie everything up in a neat little bow but struggling against it because of her desire to be an adult author. So the end looks like a ragged piece of fabric cut off with dull manicure scissors.
On the other hand, at its best moments, her style sometimes reminded me of Zadie Smith, who is my favorite ever. And it had some good quotable moments.
Be my friend on Goodreads.