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JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy: review roundup

[1]Highly readable; dull; funnier than expected – from the Telegraph to the New York Times, reviewers of JK Rowling’s first post-Potter literary outing, The Casual Vacancy, are far from reaching a consensus

“No doubt there will be reviewers who have already decided to pour vitriol upon [The Casual Vacancy] no matter its merits,” said Jonathan Ruppin, of Foyles, yesterday, and it appears he might have had a point. Reviews have been pouring in for JK Rowling’s first adult novel this morning, and they are nothing if not mixed.

“A solid, traditional and determinedly unadventurous English novel,” wrote Theo Tait for the Guardian, while the famously vituperative Michiko Kakutani, reviewing The Casual Vacancy for the New York Times, was unimpressed. “It’s as though writing about the real world inhibited Ms Rowling’s miraculously inventive imagination, and in depriving her of the tension between the mundane and the marvellous constrained her ability to create a two-, never mind three-dimensional tale,” she wrote.

“The real-life world she has limned in these pages is so wilfully banal, so depressingly cliched that The Casual Vacancy is not only disappointing – it’s dull. The novel … reads like an odd mashup of a dark soap opera like Peyton Place with one of those very British Barbara Pym novels, depicting small-town, circumscribed lives.”

Continue reading in theguardian [2]