Sadistic Teenagers, Adulterous Grownups, a Crack Whore, and… I Lied


                          …to you
                                             …to me
                                                               …and that’s about it, but I like things in sets of 3, so I added this line.

Well, perhaps saying that I lied is a little extreme and a lot inaccurate. I didn’t fib; I just deluded myself into believing that I could defeat the godlike bullheadedness of the most stubborn witchy Aries ever born during a glorious (and stormy rainy) Caribbean spring night: me.

You see, I really meant to stop playing favorites with my blogs, and post three days a week here and two days at my fiction blog, but… I cant. Fine, I don’t want to *throws herself on the floor in a tantrum that would make any five-year-old brat proud* and I shan’t. So there. I will update my fiction blog every now and then, and continue to run my mouth here whenever I have something to say, which is quite often ;-)

Now, to the (alleged) Sadistic Teenagers, Adulterous Grownups, and Crack Whore...

I never paid much attention to JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Okay, that’s a lie (can see a pattern here?); I stopped paying attention to the book after I saw its cover—I thought it was ugly. Somewhat unreasonable, I know, but I couldn’t help it if the cover put me off. Then a friend told me that she put it down after a couple of chapters… and then another friend said that the book made him “sob aloud, and forced [him] to admire JK Rowling’s insight.”

So I went on a review quest. The first find was… well, ruthless; titled “A hot mess worth zero stars,” it suggested that The Casual Vacancy read “as if Rowling said, ‘I want to write an adult novel with adult themes, so how’s about I throw in some pedophilia? AND some mental illness? AND a rapist? AND a sadistic, revolting teenager or two? AND some adultery? AND a crack whore? AND a self-mutilator? AND an abusive husband/father? AND wives who are hatefully contemptuous of their husbands? AND some husbands who act more like children than men? AND about a thousand f-bombs? AND some ugly sex? AND...”

I moved forward, and read analyses that described the novel as “Brilliant, Disturbing, Not for Everyone,” a “Searing Social Commentary,” and an invitation to “Imagine Harry Potter as a Real Boy.” I started thinking of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. I’ve heard people refer to the first two as worthless—I’ve looked aside to hide the glare of my disbelief. The third novel has been called dirty and unlikely. I think that’s nonsense, too.

While skipping through memory land, I remembered belonging to a books-made-into-movies club. When it was my turn to select a film, I chose A Clockwork Orange. I was called disgusting, morbid, woman-hater, and immoral, among other adjectives I’m opting to forget. I still think the movie and the book are disturbing but accurate treatments of many nasty bits of society and some ever nastier facets of the human condition.

So… I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy yet, but I plan to do it soon, and very carefully. I need to see for myself. After digesting all the bits that seem to bother most people, I’m left with the feeling that I might appreciate most of the book’s motifs. Let’s see (read?) how it goes.

Have you read JK Rowling’s first adult novel, my Luvs? If so, how did you like it (or not)?
 This image has nothing to do with this post (that I know of), but… it made me cackle.
I might be reading too much lately. No wonder I keep looking in the mirror and finding myself so hot.

One last (seemingly unrelated) thing, the winner of my Upcycling Negative Energy bookmark is…
Gina   the Daydream Believer goddess!
A rather suspicious bit if you ask me, for I won her giveaway. She probably has Randomizer under a spell. 

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22 comments:

  1. I have nothing to say on these books since I haven't read any of them(though I would probably have had something to say about your movie choice too, had I been in that group... ;)).
    I'm just writing because for some mysterious reason I dreamt about you and Jacob last night. Weird huh? I don't really remember what, but you had a little clothing store that was going out of business, and he was very very tall :)

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    1. I'm tempted to say, "What were we wearing?" Hm, guess I said lol. Well, change the clothing store for a book/tea/coffee/craft shops and maybe you'll be seeing our future (hopefully without the going out of business bit). And yes, Jacob is very very tall ;-)

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  2. Hi, Magaly! First, I'm so so happy when I find a bit of something related to the Russian literature in the foreign (to me) blogs.I had read Lolita even before it was introduced in the course of modern Russian literature in my university.We had a male teacher for this course, and he is a fan of Nabokov. So you can imagine with how much interest and passion he was telling us about this novel's hidden meanings, its language and a plot. I find such novels revealing our "skeletons in the closet", and it's just we are too scared sometimes to read find the truth about ourselves in them.
    I haven't read Rowling's novel, but I'd like to as to built my own opinion. I doubt I'm far from the image of Harry Potter in my mind yet, but everyone has the right to be different, so she does as well, so we take it or leave it.
    Reading is awesome :)

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    1. I understand your excitement because I feel the same way when I read about other people enjoying the works of Junot Diaz and Julia Alvarez (Dominican Authors). They have offer a good picture of different facets of Dominican life and I love that others can see, too.

      I've always enjoyed Nobokov's work. He gets into the dark places (just like Márquez, Borges, Poe and Faulkner). There are too many out there exploring the fluff, so when someone sticks their hand in the figurative gore, I rejoice ;-)

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  3. Has to admit...as Hubby IS my randomiser..he is definitely under my spell :D *snatches prize and runs away with it cackling* :D
    As to JK's adult novel..haven't got t on my list to read, but heard an early interview where she said the Potter story was originally written as an adult novel, but the publishers thought it would sell better aimed at children, so she had to dumb it down. Don't think it was a dream. :D XXX

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    1. I KNEW it! lol

      I didn't know Harry Potter was written as an adult novel. My goodness how I would love to read that manuscript. You know, looking back at all the changes Rowling had to make to her story in order to publish it makes me tip my hat to the woman. What a writer.

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  4. I can't wait to read your review of Rowling's book!

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    1. I want to see how the book is structured (I don't have it, yet), and depending on that, I might do a chapter by chapter analyses. I have a feeling the book is great, but I'm ready for it not to be, if that's the case.

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  5. I have not read JK's newest book...guess I will have too. Just to see!! Ha!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. And when you do, please share your findings. Hm, maybe we can talk about it as we read it, if we pick it up around the same time!

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  6. I read, & gave an opinion on same, JKRs' latest. It most certainly smashes the idea of 'quaint English village', even if it only focuses on a small group of villagers. I found Rubyfruit Jungle rather sad.

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    1. Is it published at your blog!?! I guess I can go check, huh? If not, I shall pester you for it.

      I, too, found Rubyfruit Jungle sad, and telling.

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  7. Haven't read it yet. Now I must so that when you review I can be semi knowledgeable about it. Congrats to Gina...the fix was in...just saying. It seems that we all go through what's mine is yours alot around here. And we're all the better for it.
    And BTW, happy day after Twelfth night. Oma Linda

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    1. The more we speak about The Casual Vacancy the more tempted I am to invite a few brave soul to read the book in a cyber-book-club... it sounds like a good story to discuss (argue about ;-)

      I'm quite suspicious myself. I mean, seriously, I was looking into Gina's cleavage... um, eyes when I click Randomizer. I'm pretty sure it clouded my judgement ;-)

      Happy Thirteenth night right back at you!

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  8. Haven't read it. Presently reading a book about an Amazon journalist. Just finished "The Help" Not like to read her book but look forward, as ever, to your review.

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    1. "Amazon journalist" that sounds wicked. I hope you tell us a bit more about it. I still haven't read The Help. There is something about the description that has always kept me away...

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  9. Gina, won your giveaway!! No way! I wrote on Gina's blog, you did something to win her's and now she wins your's!!! There is something going on! LOL! Congrats Gina ;o)

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    1. I understand completely. I have plenty of evidence against foul-play, but I am suspicious lol

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  10. Hmmmm, I wonder who it was that told you she put it down after a few chapters...hmmmm...oh yeah, me! LOL I'm happy to hear you plan to check it out for yourself. Books really are written works of art, and no one can tell you if YOU will like it or not.

    Honestly, I can deal with dark, adult themes...I read your writing, don't I? ;) But what I couldn't stand was her inability to get to the point. She dragged it on, and on, and on until I screamed for mercy and put it down. If she had written Harry Potter that way, she wouldn't be the rich woman we all know and love today.

    I'm currently reading the series to my 7 yr old. You know, I never realized how messy those books could be until reading them to my little boys. lol It's a whole new perspective!

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    1. You wicked, wicked, wicked woman lol. I know exactly what you mean, it was how I felt when I began to read Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I wanted to pull my hair out--the man would spend sooo long to say what he meant... but my cat-like curiosity (which will probably kill me one day) forced me to keep at it. I can't start a book and not finish it, you know that, and every once in a while that pisses me off. After what you told me, I plan to read The Casual Vacancy v...e...r...y... slowly, maybe a chapter per day. I promise to write about all the good parts, and to rant about the ones that make want to choke myself ;-)

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    2. Good, I look forward to reading it. :D

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