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Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Franny and Zooey
J.D. Salinger
Drummer Boy
Scott Nicholson
The Gun Seller
Hugh Laurie
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain, Elijah Wood

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling Having been a fan of HP I knew that I enjoyed JK's writing style. I find her easy to read and frequently her turn of phrase makes me smile.

The same is true in the CV but the beginning of this is story is so implacably gritty and real it is almost a slap in the face, as if JK wanted to immediately disavow her readers of any illusions that this might be similar to HP.

Once my head had stop reeling I began to appreciate this warts and all depiction of English village life. No pictures postcards in this book. No picturesque church spires or colouful hanging-baskets round a cobbled market place. Instead there is the reality of gossip and politics, bigotry and in-fighting.

The narrative follows more in the French tradition with the crisis occurring almost at the beginning while the rest of the story examines the consequences. There is no action-packed adventure rather the progress of the plot is secondary to an examination of the thoughts and motivations of the characters involved.
However it avoids the naval-gazing, identity-seeking musings of modern literature instead we have characters providing jaundiced critiques of their neighbours' or pondering nefarious or desperate schemes to achieve their own ends, frequently to the detriment of political or social enemies.

Ultimately it is quite a depressing book but JK is true to form provides a satisfying ending.
I am still a JK fan and will continue to read her books.