The Casual Vacancy Reading circle part II


If you checked The Casual Vacancy, you’ll see that the book is rated 2.9 stars.  This is rather depressing, considering that Book one of Fifty Shades of Grey has 3.2 stars.  And the trilogy is rated 4.1 stars. Ack! the Gods must be crazy.

The following are my quick impressions of the next few chapters. See previous installment  here.

Here be spoilers.

Chapter 4

The chapter begins with a portrait of Andrew Price who seems to have a bit teenage angst.  He seems like the typical teenager who ‘indulges in little fantasy”  in which his father drops dead. Don’t forget the raging teenage libido. Andrew gets an erection just from the  “warm vibrations” in the bus. The chapter ends with him having “an ache in the heart and in the balls.”     This isn’t to say the chapter is crass. I just find the observations yawn-worthy. They feel artificial.  Anyway moving on. Andrew Price feels like one of the sympathetic guys here.  I’ll cut him some slack.

Chapter 5

New character Gavin Hughes. Well, well, he has bad sex and doesn’t have the balls to break off the relationship for some vague literary reason.  This chapter perked up, when Gavin, in trying to running from “congealed mass” eggs that Kay made, get a call informing him of Barry’s death.  there’s an interplay of his geniune shock at the death and his less than flattering feelings for Kay that made for an interesting read. The last line though is a little cheesy.

Chapter 6

More teenage malaise from Andrew in class. Teenage disregard for authority from the class slut Krystal Wheedon. Moving on.

Chapter 7

Now we have a new player Howard Mollison who owns a delicatessen. There’s a vulgar opening on his fat belly and state of his penis. He seemed like the sort of guy who was all things to all people. A little greasy but charming. But we get a glimpse of Councillor Jawander Parminder. Moving on.

Chapter 8

The chapter  focuses on Jawanda Parminder.  Finally someone who seems to genuine care that Barry died, without the echoes of malice or schadenfreude.  This chapter is a little refreshing for its touch of human sympathy.  Finally I fingered on why Rowling’s prose bugs me too much.  It’s much too blunt. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

Chapter 9

Meet Tessa Wall having to do a little couseling on Krystal Wheedon for her bad manners.  this chapter was nice. It moved right along. THe contrast between Tessa’s ordinary, polite and collected manner with vulgar, and still vulnerable Krystal worked here. We get more definite clues that Barry  had been nice guy before he died. He coached the girl’s rowing team and his students, not the least Krystal liked him.  Again, the chapter did not advance a plot though.  Barry is dead. and everyone feeling something. but no one is doing anything yet.

Chapter 10

We get a little portrait of Andrew’s father, Simon Price.  From his interactions, we learn Barry was little shady, which surprise the rough Simon Price a little. Simon is horrid though. He kicked his son “halfway down the stairs for getting in his way” just because he was mad at his failed investments.  But in the end, he fancies the casual vacancy as a ticket to easy riches.

First section of the book. Whew ten percent done.  Honestly, I find the novel a little tedious to plow through.  It isn’t hard to read, but it’s rather dull.  But I hear it picks up when the different elements scramble for the seat.  And this book could have really used a Dramatis Personae. I know, I know, a list of characters are for pussies, but really.  Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.


We’ll see.


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