The Casual Vacancy

I am a Harry Potter fan.

That’s an understatement, and I’ll get into just what an understatement that is on another day. 

The point is, I got J.K. Rowling’s new book in the mail yesterday.  I avoided all press about The Casual Vacancy, wanting to go in completely without expectations.  Still, I had two expectations I could not shake, based on my experience as a reader of Harry Potter.

1)  I expected the characters to be real people who could make me feel real emotions.

2)  I expected humor.

The book has delivered real people, but the sense of humor is very different than Harry Potter trained me to predict.  There’s nothing “ha ha” here.  Just uncomfortable, internal recognition as the characters are exposed in the most horribly frank and human ways.

However different it may be, I’m glad to have new Rowling to read.  I’ll savor it to the last word.


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