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604 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2012
(*) I confess - I'm a Potter fan, too. Just look at my t-shirt in my profile picture. I would also redo medical school in a heartbeat if only Hogwarts offered a med school curriculum.Okay, having got the Potter references and tasteless humor out of my system, I can start my actual review.
(**) Abusive family, closed-mindedness, thinly veiled prejudice, bullying and constant threats - all that is just the beginning of the first Potter book. Later we have iron-pumping Dudley hang out at deserted playgrounds, taking pride in physically abusing small children.
(***) A tasteless joke to follow - well, drugs may be one plausible explanation for all that followed for the Potter kid, including Harry's fantastic magicland TRIP. Hehe.
"Life, for Colin, was one long brace against pain and disappointment, and everybody apart from his wife was an enemy until they had proven otherwise."We get to see the life in Pagford from the point of view of quite a few of its inhabitants. Normally I'd find that distracting, but here it's served its purpose - making every character grey, nobody black-and-white. Those who seemed destined to be 'the bad guys' in the first few chapters are not; they are very regular everyday people with regular flaws and charms, whose views are presented such that you see both flaws and reason in them. Those who seemed destined to be 'good guys', similarly, are not (see above). Everyone is just an ordinary person, both likable and unlikable at the same time, and instantly recognizable as a 'real' person.
"He tried to give his wife pleasure in little ways, because he had come to realize, after nearly two decades together, how often he disappointed her in the big things. It was never intentional. They simply had very different notions of what ought to take up most space in life."Actually - and it must be my old age speaking - the person who I found to be the most antagonistic was a confused teenager searching for 'authenticity' with the utmost boneheadedness, I must add. Get off my lawn, I scream, get off my lawn! Everyone else, whether antagonistic or repulsive, felt firmly set on their unremarkable chosen road; Fats, on the other hand, was caught in a spiral of finding himself while quite deliberately hurting people around him, and I found it to be one of the most painful parts of the book.
"‘Stone dead,’ said Howard, as though there were degrees of deadness, and the kind that Barry Fairbrother had contracted was particularly sordid."All in all, I thought it was a very well-executed and interesting book which will undoubtedly appeal to a much smaller audience than the Potter series, but among the ones that love it, this love will be well-deserved. I will be gladly waiting for anything else that Rowling chooses to write - and not only because I love Harry the wizard but because I'm sure now that she is a damn fine writer. 4.5 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
The Written Review:Small town gossip, big town problems
Big bois. Long bois. Extra extra page bois.
Everyone's heard of them. The Libraries are full of them. But are they worth it?
Click the link for my video review of the big bois in my life.