A story of how individual lives overlap and intertwine to create something incredibly complex. Like a row of dominoes; one slight movement and they ea...moreA story of how individual lives overlap and intertwine to create something incredibly complex. Like a row of dominoes; one slight movement and they each tumble, one into another into another. Rowling has created a world as real as any other, populated by a unique, and yet still ordinary, set of individuals, to form the collective whole of the town of Pagford.
Do not read this book looking for Hogwarts. The lives of the people of Pagford are not touched by magic. Do not read this book expecting to hear Rowling's recognizable storyteller's tone. The voice used to tell this story is hard, gritty, unapologetic, and honest.
Many reviews I read before opening the book lamented the differences between HP and The Casual Vacancy. Just as actors can play many different types of characters, I believe that authors can write in more than one voice. After all, not every story can be told the same way. I stopped even thinking of the identity of the author after the first chapter and was often surprised, after an extended reading session, to close the book and see her name on the spine.
This is not Harry Potter, but like Rowling's previous work, The Casual Vacancy is a story of life and death, love and hate, the haves and have-nots, truth and lies, and how the decisions of one individual can affect the lives of many.
I definitely recommend this read. I found it to be well worth the wait and I personally look forward to what Rowling comes up with next.(less)
I was hooked until the last 100 pages. At that point I kind if felt like it would never end. Still a great book that I'm glad I read. I will be pickin...moreI was hooked until the last 100 pages. At that point I kind if felt like it would never end. Still a great book that I'm glad I read. I will be picking up some of the non fiction the author used as research material.(less)
So Cracker Barrel had a brilliant idea: an audiobook lending library. I was driving 10 hours home from Georgia last week all by my lonesome. I stopped...moreSo Cracker Barrel had a brilliant idea: an audiobook lending library. I was driving 10 hours home from Georgia last week all by my lonesome. I stopped in CB to have breakfast before hitting the highway and decided to borrow The Next Best Thing to keep me occupied on my drive.
I have read a few of Weiner's other books and I am a fan of her writing style. TNBT was funny and emotional and the perfect length to get me back to Virginia. I liked the characters; I cared about what happened to them. As a matter of fact, I'd like to have a second book to let me know how their lives turn out after TNBT ended.
Excellent vacation read, or do like I did, listen to it in the car on a long drive.(less)
A well written fictionalized memoir of a Mormon pioneer, mixed in with a modern day murder mystery. Regardless of your flavor of religion, regardless...moreA well written fictionalized memoir of a Mormon pioneer, mixed in with a modern day murder mystery. Regardless of your flavor of religion, regardless of your version of God, it all boils down to one question. Do you have faith?
I've long been interested in the history of the Mormon church. Ebershoff weaves several different stories together in such a way that it makes perfect sense and in the end, you see that the stories weren't that different to begin with.
Once I started the book it was with great difficulty that I closed it to do such mundane things such as shower, eat, and go to work. I finished reading last night (this morning?), shortly after 3am. I'm tired today and have a bit of a headache, but it was well worth it to finish. I am definitely interested in reading Ebershoff's other works.(less)