Author: J.K Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Indonesia: Mizan)
Publication: 27 September 2012 (Indonesia: 1 December 2012)
Finally, another book from my favourite author. This is a story about a small town from a big writer. First of all, let me say that this book is amazing. Epic. I think it wouldn't be surprising if follows Harry Potter success. But let me tell you, this is nothing like Harry Potter. No magic stuff in this book. The only magic is the way Rowling writes. Her style, all the details, strong characters, smooth plot. So Rowling. Simply genius.
Even though I am a Potterhead, I also enjoy realistic fiction as well. And well-written realistic fiction is always the best kind of novels. Not like the famous Harry Potter series, this book is pretty serious and I need to focus. But yeah, there's a reason why Rowling is my favourite author. She makes me feel like I live in Pagford, she makes everything so real it really gets into you. She plays with your emotions. I read the indonesian translation version of this book, which is, translated so well. So thank you so much, Mizan, for not losing Rowling's taste.
There's no central character in this book. Okay, there's one, Barry Fairbrother. But Rowling killed him on the first chapter. And actually, that's when the where it all started. Pagford lost its hero. The only light of the city, died on the first chapter. That's when the casual vacancy happened. When Barry left his position at the council. And when you read this, you'll realise that when someone in your life left, it really left an emptiness that no one can fill.
At first, It's kinda hard remembering who's who since there's so many characters. They're all connected since it's a really small country. But all the characters are built so strong. They had their own portion. My personal favourite is Krystal Weedon. She's seems slutty, doesn't care, and tough but she's actually live a hard life. She suffers from things (go read, don't wanna spoil) and I actually think she has a pure heart that can love and brighten people with her light. And one thing I love about the characters: they're all so... human. Nobody's perfect. There's no antagonist or protagonist. No black or white. They're all grey. Hey, isn't it the world in real life? People are grey. Not kind or evil. We are all have both sides. Rowling shows us that a respected adults are not always right or perfect, teenagers do things because reasons, and every single thing that we do, has an effect to other people. Your existence, no matter how unimportant you think you are, is actually important.
The main conflict of this book is politic thingy, but what really touched my heart, is all those small things behind them. Social issues. Family, self-harm, child-abuse, suicide, drugs use, prostitution, rape, pride, money, gay relationship, code of ethics, and all things that actually happened in life. They're happens around us all the time. Life knitted all of those issues and wrapped us in it, doesn't it? Rowling combined them so neatly in one amazing book.
Just like Harry Potter series that taught us about friendship, struggle, love, believe, and other things, The Casual Vacancy taught us something to. It taught us that life is not really that simple. That we live in this world with many kind of people so we have to be open-minded. We can't judge someone/something from one side, because people have limitation. Being open-minded make us learn everyday to be wiser, to be a better person. For me, this book is like a mirror which that made us realise that there's so much things happen under our noses, but we didn't realise it. This book taught us to be sensitive about things around us.
So yeah, for me 9,3/10? You did it again, Rowling. You did it again. ;)