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The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling Well, this was okay. I wasn't as disappointed as I had geared myself up to be. I agree with most of the reviews I've read, a kind of "well, that certainly could have been worse!" attitude.Some of the writing felt as though it has been constructed with excrutiating care, and there were swathes of boring detail that felt unnecessary: every little interaction and movement and action of a half-hour of someone's life. In a way, this was really what the book was about: how the humdrum details of village life can add up to ignorance and cruelty and broken marriages.I actually found it an enjoyable and interesting read for maybe the first third, it was just a little too long with not enough substance. After that many pages the one-dimensionality of many, if not all, her characters really began to show. They felt all very similar, particularly the men (who mostly just seemed like slight variations on Vernon Dursley) and the boys, and I had difficulty distinguishing one from the other. I think Krystal was supposed to be the most dynamic character, and I suppose she was, but that's only because the others fell flat after 150-200 pages.Also, I am beginning to feel that Rowling has enormous disdain for fat people, which is a bit disturbing. (EDIT: I wrote a whole blog post on fatness in this book and Harry Potter. Take a look! http://thisiscoolbeans.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/does-jk-rowling-hate-fat-people-fat-bodies-in-harry-potter-and-the-casual-vacancy/#more-1829)But, not awful by any stretch.