JK Rowlings displayed such an amazing ability as a storyteller, that it amazes me that she would do such a poor job in her post Harry Potter debut. My biggest issue with The Casual Vacancy is that there isn’t so much as a thin plot, but more like no plot. The novel starts off with Barry Fairbrother dying in his small town in England, and the rest of the novel is people reacting to it. It is full of people with petty concerns and unimportant things that they dwell on, but there is no actual story here. Furthermore, there is not a single likeable character. I have no idea who is supposed to be the protagonist or antagonist, but I didn’t care in the least for any of them. This novel was so painful to read that I had to stop midway through. Normally, I stick with a novel to the end even if I’m not enjoying it, but this was so dull and uninteresting that the thought of reading another 300 pages worth of it depressed me. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, avoid this one or you will be sorely disappointed.
Carl Alves – author of Reconquest: Mother Earth