Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

the casual vacancy

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh….that is the sound of me, sighing, because I FINALLY finished this book and I can move on to something else.

And you know, as much as I complained and complained some more about this book, it wasn’t that bad. It was just slow.

Barry Fairbrother, a resident of Pagford, drops dead one night and leaves a vacancy on the Pagford council. Of course there are two groups on council who want to fill the vacant seat with someone sympathetic to their own interests. And there are multiple families in Pagford somehow tied to Barry Fairbrother. The stories of these families unwind and intersect and eventually culminate in unhappiness for many of them.

I had a hard time at the beginning keeping the various people straight – who belonged to which family, which family had ties (good or bad) to which other families – and I probably would have been smart to make a map of the families, but about 200 pages or so in, I got them figured out.

I don’t know what my problem with the book was – I found it slow reading…I don’t think the book was paced particularly slowly, I just felt like it took forever to read. I tried to forget about who wrote the book and that helped somewhat. When I was a teenager, I read A Long And Fatal Love Chase, written by Louisa May Alcott under the pen name A. M. Barnard. I knew that and I had a hard time reading the book until I ignored who wrote it…It was very different from Little Women. I knew this book was not going to be a grown up Harry Potter, but something about it stumped me.

So, I’m kind of torn by this book – the stories were interesting and the way they intertwined was believable because Pagford is a small town, but it was such a sluggish read…I am intrigued by the BBC series that was announced this week though.

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