Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent use of her fame and sizeable audience...and a great bit of literature too., 4 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Casual Vacancy (Kindle Edition)
The poor reviews are to be expected as it is more than likely that many people who bought Harry Potter for their children have probably gone on to buy it and not liked the undeniable ribbing Middle England get in this book (disclaimer - I don't believe only people in 'Middle England' bought Harry Potter books or this book). Although I have to say that I laughed loudly when I read the review which said that Rowling had used 'The Casual Vacancy' to talk about all the sordid things she couldn't in Harry Potter. That so could have come from the mouth of Shirley Mollison in this book. Hilarious...

The characters are incredibly acutely observed and I am sure if you read it you will recognise people you know in each of them. Yes, even the poor, heaven forbid! Which is, I think, the greatest strength of this novel; it is about class but it, like Barry Fairbrother himself, transcends class; showing that there is reasoning behind all our actions and humanity in most of us. Krystal Weedon is angry and a bully because she is having to juggle a drug-taking mother and toddler brother at home (trying to save him from going into care) and because she is aware she is looked down on (the only kid not invited to the party). Yet she is the only kid that saves Andrew when he has a nut allergy...and is so loyal to those that show her love. Even the prudish Shirley has her reasons for the front she puts on - she is trying to escape from any similarity to her mother whose promiscuity embarrassed her.

So for all that Rowling ridicules in this book in the end she really does treat each character sympathetically. But we are left in no doubt as to who the 'real' victims are; seeing what Krystal and her brother go through really does show that the 'squeezed middle' of the book are in all honesty not too badly off even when we do understand (not excuse) their motivations.

And apart from her deft touch with character and a political hot potato she also handles a complex plot structure (I lost count on the number of narrative perspectives) so well that you hardly notice it after a few chapters.

I absolutely applaud J K Rowling for the risk she has taken with this book and for what she has tried to achieve through it and through her fame and ready-made audience. Not to mention that the monies from the ebook version have been donated to the charity she founded which tries to keep children out of institutions and with families - Lumos. So actions as well as words. Honestly I am so impressed with what she has done and also what the book achieves as both a social commentary and as a piece of literature. Hope you do too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.5 out of 5 stars (3,077 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (1,050)
4 star:
 (671)
3 star:
 (479)
2 star:
 (426)
1 star:
 (451)
 
 
 
2.99
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Newcastle

Top Reviewer Ranking: 790,668