The Casual Vacancy Book Club discussion

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Recommendations like The Casual Vacancy?

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message 1: by MissSusie (last edited Oct 09, 2012 11:19AM) (new)

MissSusie Jonathan Franzen..I myself am not a fan but many people are and as I was reading Casual Vacancy I kept thinking it reminded me of Franzens book Freedom


message 2: by Burke (new)

Burke Hodgson | 150 comments A number of critics have compared The Casual Vacancy to Elliot's Middlemarch, which I had not previously read. I'm now reading it. The first 6 or 8 chapters are kind of boring . . .


message 3: by Burke (new)

Burke Hodgson | 150 comments Wando wrote: "Burke wrote: "A number of critics have compared The Casual Vacancy to Elliot's Middlemarch, which I had not previously read. I'm now reading it. The first 6 or 8 chapters are kind of boring . . ...."

The similarity was mentioned in a New Yorker article about The Casual Vacancy. Middlemarch has a large cast of characters and is in part about a local election. I'm still reading it, slowly. Like much of Victorian fiction Eliot is fond of multi-page sentences infested with semicolons. At my age, by the time I get to the predicate I've forgotten what the subject was. :)


message 4: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Kumanchik Lovwe the characters--all have their flaws and desires. Not sure where it is going--I'm still reading to find out how it ends!


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 8 comments It has been compared to literature of the 1970's here in the UK. How about Fay Weldon's Praxis?


message 6: by Kyle (last edited Oct 13, 2012 06:32PM) (new)

Kyle (bibliokyle) This book certainly reminded me of "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen, especially in its portrayal of modern, anglo-saxon family values.

It also reminded me of John Irving, more in the storytelling than in the themes. See "Hotel New Hampshire" and "World According to Garp".

I would also compare this book to John Updike (The Rabbit Books), George Elliot (Middlemarch), and E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime, Welcome to Hard Times).

And if you enjoy books that use a whole town to tell the story, try Dianne Warren's "Cool Water". Exquisite!


message 7: by Daria (new)

Daria | 30 comments Burke wrote: "A number of critics have compared The Casual Vacancy to Elliot's Middlemarch, which I had not previously read. I'm now reading it. The first 6 or 8 chapters are kind of boring . . ."

Burke,

How is Middlemarch going? I've been interested in reading this book.

Daria


message 8: by Burke (new)

Burke Hodgson | 150 comments Daria wrote: "Burke wrote: "A number of critics have compared The Casual Vacancy to Elliot's Middlemarch, which I had not previously read. I'm now reading it. The first 6 or 8 chapters are kind of boring . . ...."

Hi Daria,

George Elliot takes a bit of adjusting to. I had previously only read Silas Marner in highschool nearly 60 years ago.

My Kindle copy doesn't have pages, but the first 30% of the book was quite slow going ( a not unfamiliar occurrence :):):):) ) and took a bit of perseverance. But now its really interesting and fun (greedy relatives at a will reading). I quite like it in spite of the archaic writing style. Elliot is GOOD, and her characters (a motley crew) definitely capture my imagination and are many things but NOT boring.

I'm still appalled at my responses (or the lack thereof) to the cast of CV. I must be missing something. Of course none of them are of my generation except Nana Kath so perhaps my taste in people has become archaic.

One of the reviews I read suggested that 'casual vacancy' referred to aspects of the characters of the characters in the book. An intriguing idea, indeed! Perhaps my inability to connect with any of the people was the point of the entire novel and I missed it.

Burke


message 9: by Daria (new)

Daria | 30 comments Burke wrote: "Daria wrote: "Burke wrote: "A number of critics have compared The Casual Vacancy to Elliot's Middlemarch, which I had not previously read. I'm now reading it. The first 6 or 8 chapters are kind o..."

Burke,

Thank you for the update on Middlemarch, I will keep it on my "to read" list. I'm glad the characters are proving themselves interesting.

Are you talking about responses in the "finished reading" portion of our discussions here? Personally I haven't gotten that far. I just finished writing my review of the book, so now I feel like I can proceed into that section. I'll look for your posts there.

I don't think your taste in people has become archaic, I just think that many of the characters in CV were of the nature people would rather not discuss. Maybe?

I'll look for you in the next section...

Daria


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