It has been a good last week, I could get a lot of work done on the office front as well as I could complete the book this week. At the onset let me wish you and your family and friends a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2013. May this year rock and you can catch up on your reading (and I can do that too).
This year I am very much looking forward to finish my target (52 weeks 52 books) and start another season. Wish me the best and be with me during this journey.
The book this week was “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling.
When I started the book I saw that this has been awarded the best book (fiction) of 2012 by goodreads and so my expectations increased in addition to my existing admiration of Rowling’s work in HP series.
Whosoever has read Rowling before would agree that she is a great story-teller and the ease with which she creates her characters and embed them with natural skills and fallacies takes a master to do it.
The Casual Vacancy is another such good story by Rowling. It revolves round a small English town named Pagford and its complicated politics and human stories. Barry Fairbrother the Councillor of Pagford dies, the town has a history of fight with its neighbouring town of Yarvill which also has Fields and Fairbrother was a big supporter of the Fields and people living in it. After his death the politics of the council starts which affects the people of Pagford individually as their real issues and secrets keep coming out in the bid to win Fairborther’s seat at the council.
The best thing I liked about the story is that it is pretty ordinary and yet so extraordinarily written. Small English town stories always have a charm of their own nevertheless it highly depends on the author, how well he/she can dish it out to the readers and Rowling does this excellently (if there is such a word) yet again in this first adult novel of hers.
The characters are so nicely portrayed that even though the main character Barry Fairbrother dies in the first few pages only but you can still make out the character, his appearances, his nature, his attitude etc. like any other character.
Then she handles the character from a different background Dr. Parminder Jawanda (an Indian character) and describes every tiny bit of information (even the manner of prayer, how the marriages happen, land issues back home in Punjab, etc) so clearly and detailed manner that you can only understand how well the author has done her homework.
Specially the characters of the teenagers Krystal, Sukhvinder, Andrew, Stuart, Gaia are so well written that unless you knew the author has earlier written the HP series you would marvel how can an author know children/teenagers so well.
As I mentioned earlier it is a pretty uncomplicated complicate story. It will go on to show human emotions, the every day boring life of married couples, teenagers trying to break the shackles, the frustrations of living in a small town, the charm of a small town, drug abuse, love. A mixed bag of emotions and mix bag of stories.
It’s a good read end to end. If you are looking for any adventure or thrill you will not find it. Though at first it seems like a big book (510 pages) but you kind of forget that thickness once you start moving with the characters. Although big, the book hardly has any dull moments.
Although at the end of the book I was feeling that something is amiss but I couldn’t make out what was it.
May be it was the death of Krystal Weedon and her brother in the end. May be it was Dr. Jawanda loosing in the council or Kay Bawden getting dumped.
But in a way I was happy that it was not a traditional happy ending because it never ends that way in real life.
You can find a few Barry FairBrother around you and also a few Howard, Miles, Samantha, Shirley, Fats, Arf, etc. The best thing with Rowling is she shows you the world as it is, yet she manages to weave a magical world of her own.
Great book. Must Read!