If Harry Potter was the Boy Who Lived, then Barry Fairbrother was certainly the Man Who Died.
His death, and the bitterness that follows, was definitely the hand that pushes the door in the story, making all hell break loose.
We are talking about blackmailing, disowned family members and drug addiction. All those real-life problems that you have probably encountered in your own life. Despite having seen glimpses of such issues in Harry Potter, this time, we can finally drop the book and say, Oh wow, shit just got real. What is this feeling. Why do I feel like being stabbed in the stomach.
Rowling, why do I have to go through that phase again when you successfully induced your readers’ tears with that heart-wrenching Always.
The book is a mirror image of Harry Potter; it takes on the extreme end of the pole in which Harry was standing. If Harry Potter was an utopia, the safe place where your imagination runs wild with unicorns and dragons, then Casual Vacancy is the ultimate dystopia. The darkness that is of the real world; government who cut budgets for health clinics, wives who have not had sex for years. The moment you finished Harry Potter, you would began to sigh in pleasure for the mental image of Hogwarts, which you would lovingly call home. You finished Casual Vacancy, then began to sigh in fatigue, thinking of the sight of poverty you see everyday on the street.
Does that mean it is a bad read?
If you would only enjoy reading something with Chocolate Frogs in it, then you have the reading taste of a five year old, and I do not mean that as a compliment. For even in the darkness of life, beauty can be found. Even in a seedy place like Fields, there came a hero named Mr. Fairbrother, who was able to see through the problem that is Krystal Weedon. The way some of us would see through Severus Snape.
Bear with the slow pace and the seemingly endless appearance of new characters. Pay attention to small details; you know how good Rowling is with Chekov guns, and she still got it. See how the tension builds up into a tsunami of angst, of issues that were wrongfully thought to be swept under the rug.
Reading Casual Vacancy was very much like pondering into your own life; dark with bits you would rather erase, but deep inside you know that you would not let go of it. You would still love it.
Once again Rowling proved her deep understanding of human emotions and the complicated relation it brings.
And yeah, she knows Facebook and Rihanna.
— J. K. Rowling, on expanding her genre beyond fantasy, which found to be restricting at some points.
Who sold you this bill of goods, that your situation exempted you from being thoughtful or diligent or kind, or that morality had a color?
That awesome moment when a verse in a book that you are currently reading speaks in the same language of a valuable life lesson you learned in your adolescent.
I was 13, and I thought I had the very reason to be angry and gloomy and negative just because my father was a drug addict who was serving a time in jail. Luckily I mature up and learned that no matter how dark your situation is, you are the one who is in charge of what you think of it. And in the end, how you feel about it and what you are going to do about it.
I chose to survive and not to be a victim. I chose to build my own impenetrable castle inside of me; in which, no matter how painful life has became, I could remain happy. I chose to live an active life, pursue my passions and befriend with all sort of people.
Preach it, Mr. Obama, preach it!
Someone had deliberately re-arranged my bookshelves, which I have arranged in correct order based on the books’ language and genre.
The worst part? Some books actually went missing.
The worst of the worst?
IT IS MY FUCKING HARRY POTTER AND ROALD DAHL COLLECTION.
WHOEVER IS DOING THIS MAY AS WELL CUT MY LIMBS.
Apparently Flea had read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and dedicated this album to Helen Burns.
No wonder the name does ring a bell.
This is amazing, Flea, thank you.
"Why do these old people and boring teachers keep on insisting that we should read? What makes it so important? I mean, if I want knowledge I can just turn on Discovery Channel, and if I want stories I can just go to the cinema."
"Well, to make it easier, let’s take an example of the Harry Potter series, both the books and the movies. When you are reading the books, you basically read an explanation given by the author on how the lead character looks like —and then you started to imagine it in your head. You began to make a mental visualisation of a young British boy, with jet-black hair, green eyes, rounded spectacles. And if I challenge you to put the boy you just imagine into a piece of paper, I am 100% certain that both you and I are going to come up with a very different picture.
"In the other hands, we have the Harry Potter movies, which —forgive me for saying this- does not leave much to the imagination. In the movies, Harry Potter is Daniel Radcliffe. How does he look like? Well, like that. You can just point up to the screen to show how Harry Potter looks like. You just accept the fact that Harry Potter looks like that, without any chances to use your own imagination and create your own version of Harry Potter. There is no individualism; everyone is encouraged to accept that THAT is how Harry Potter looks like. And there are not much working and imagining going on inside your brain; which why your boring teachers insist that reading books are triumphant.”