The Casual Vacancy: Magical Rowling’s tale for the grown-ups

Rowling’s new take on the adult world

Just on the eve of her official launching of The Casual Vacancy, J K Rowling has been getting mixed reviews about her closely guarded novel. Unlike her Harry Potter characters and the magical world wherein these characters were portrayed, her new novel is based on the real world of adults. This novel has everything from teen sexuality, heroin addiction, class warfare and prostitution and is far removed from Hogwarts where wizards and enchantments were the order of the day. The Guardian?s Weekend magazine describes her new novel as a satire of politics towards the poor who are mashed like porridge. This depiction is clearly drawn from her early years of living on the margins of society before she became a billionaire.

The storyline

The actual gist of the novel was revealed by an American journalist who got the chance to read it in the publishers? office. The characters of Rowling?s are caught in a vicious campaign against each other upon the death of Barry, a parish councilor who was fairly progressive minded. There is a movement within Pagford, the imaginary town and its inability to divorce itself from the present realities. Pagford had to content with a housing estate for the poor called the Fields where its children have the legal rights to attend the village school. With the dead of Barry Fairbrother in the parking lot there is a stampede among the citizens to be the first to break the news. Now, Fairbrother along with other progressive citizens believed that it was their duty to help the poor residents of the Fields. The citizens were therefore excited as they could now field somebody else for the council who could be made to vote in their favor against the Fields. Rowling?s has peppered her novel with characters like Krystal who is a willing sexual partner for Fats, the cruel son of the headmaster. Rowling?s main protagonist is the 16 year old Krystal Weedon, a resident of the Fields who has a 4 year old brother and a heroin addicted mother. It is she who is drawn into a most titillating action with Fats. The interesting part of the story is revealed when Krystal becomes a prot?g? of Fairbrother?s who arranges for a local reporter to interview her. By this act, Fairbrother hoped for the parish council to foist the Fields back to the neighboring city where it originally belonged. The characters are all deluded and have their own stories to tell within the little town of Pagford.

Rowling?s take on the novel

The writer insists that she is free to write what she pleases rather than just stick to magical tales. She has made it very clear that she was ready to move on to other genre of writing which deals with the real world. She candidly reveals that she drew upon her own experiences and years living in Tutshill, a small village within Gloucestershire which was very snobbish towards lesser beings. She got the idea to write this novel on an aeroplane when elections were just round the corner. This idea then became her fuel for the Casual Vacancy with local politics and the class division that ensues even in the quite English countryside.

Despite the book being poised to be officially launched and for readers to form their own opinion there has been mixed reviews from several quarters. Some critics are saying that she should have stuck to writing children?s books, while others believe that her name alone can sell the book. With just a few hours to go, the latest novel by Rowling seems all set to create quite a buzz.

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