The Casual Vacancy: Revisited
Two weeks ago I wrote my review of The Casual Vacancy (CV) by J. K. Rowling. On the whole I wasn’t too keen on it and there I explain why. One thing that I didn’t want to do at the time was read other reviews of Rowling’s new book. I wanted to create my own thoughts first. So in the intervening time I’ve had a chance to read around a bit and here is some of the more interesting things I found.
In the first week that The Casual Vacancy appeared in stores, John Granger – the well-known writer and speaker on Harry Potter – wrote twelve review posts on his website. Here is the round-up of the twelve for your perusal. Granger actually took the time to count all of the swear words, check it out.
Here is a video interview of Rowling talking about the transition from Harry Potter to CV and she explains some of her own personal history and how her story and the story of CV intersect. One of John Granger’s reviews goes beyond this, noting all the possible connections between the characters in the story and people in Rowling’s life: read it here.
A review can be found at Christianity Today stating that The Casual Vacancy has a ‘profoundly biblical worldview.’
One historian remarks that Rowling’s writing style didn’t adapt to her adult audience, just her use of profanities. Read it here.
Here’s an interesting thought inspired by reading some of these articles and talking with folks around St Andrews: Perhaps the town of Pagford exists within the Harry Potter world? Perhaps the tale of Pagford is a tale about Muggles within the Harry Potter universe. There’s no reason why this couldn’t be the case. We’ll see if this is ever announced…
I should add by way of conclusion, that CV has not affected my appreciation of Harry Potter. Although I think it is pretty bad, I do not think that it is retroactively bad. Nor do I think that Rowling is irredeemably lost. She has announced that she intends to return to children’s literature in her upcoming project and I imagine that it’ll be more than delightful. I’m not worried about her in the long run, though I do believe that her reputation as a writer will be negatively affected by CV.