I decided to make this post as a letter to the author, and hope you may enjoy listening in. Oh, and I do like to pretend that I know J.K. Rowling personally, and I have heard that her friends call her “Jo” so here goes…
I have just finished reading your new book A Casual Vacancy and I must say I’m a tad bit disappointed. I mean, I didn’t really expect it to be completely up to par with Harry Potter (nothing really is), but did you have to try SO hard to make it an “adult” novel? I honestly understand the use of vulgarity to mark the different socio-economic standings of the various characters, but honestly not all teens use the word “f**k” every other word.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I must say it was extremely well written and kept my attention very well. I enjoyed the fact that we always knew there were secrets but they weren’t revealed until the proper time and in a round-a-bout way. The book was a very interesting look at society in both its injustice and prejudices.
I do however wish there had been at least one admirable character in the book (besides Barry who really did seem like a decent guy, but being that he’s dead from the first chapter on it’s hard to get a true grasp of what his character really was). I know that we do all have flaws and perhaps you meant to show that aspect of life, but not even one of the characters is worth looking up to in any sense. I recognize the reality of flaws within each of us, but most people have at least a few redeeming qualities within them.
My last condemnation is this: I know you like to kill off people in your books (HP made that point very well) and, of course, death is a part of life; but did you have to kill off Krystal and Robbie? Krystal was one of the few characters I actually liked, despite her favorite word and Robbie was just a little boy. I guess you were just showing us once again that death makes no distinctions.
Overall, and despite all my previously mentioned criticisms, I would have to give this a thumbs-up. I feel as though I got to know your characters and cared about their lives so that makes it a good read in my opinion.
Thank you yet again for entertaining and enlightening me.