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ACasual Vacancy is NOT Middle march!

(9 Posts)
carlajean Sun 01-Dec-13 09:22:50

I've just struggled to the end of CV and really dislike the way that so many people compare it to Middlemarch, in fact I think it can only be because they haven't read Middlemarch. The only connection seems to be a large number of characters and being set in a rural town.
Instead of Eliot's subtle characterization and rounded characters we get a load of stereotypes dealt out like a pack of cards. Plus in Middle march there's light and shade, even humour. CV is so unrealistic in the way that it's all dark. I don't mind that, but I just can't believe in a world where there's no humour or pleasure, just JK banging on about how shit life is for everybody.
I know i'm late to the party to discuss this, but, after wading through 500 pages of it, had to vent somewhere.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sun 01-Dec-13 15:41:07

I haven't read A Casual Vacancy, so I can't compare, but Middlemarch is a fantastic novel, one worth reading several times.

I can't imagine a modern novel being quite the same.

DameEdnasBridesmaid Sun 08-Dec-13 16:29:34

I loved it

Dilidali Sun 08-Dec-13 16:33:16

I simply could not finish it (CV). Sorry. I had to give up.

Welshwabbit Mon 09-Dec-13 22:26:40

I thought it was really good, although I agree it isn't like Middlemarch and also that it's seriously depressing. I can't remember the last time I cried so much at a book. I also thought the characterisation was pretty realistic - yes, some were fairly extreme, but not, I thought,caricatures. I even liked some of them. Have you read The Cuckoo (or is it Cuckoo's) Calling? I liked that too, but it's very different.

Yardarm Mon 09-Dec-13 22:37:19

I found the lengthy character development in CV tedious and the bleak characters and relationships both depressing and unrealistic. (I mean, some people have difficult lives or a lot of hate and cynicism, but in this case everyone seems to). I did persevere with it and found the ending very sad but also unsettling. However, I haven't read Middlemarch so can't compare.

bibliomania Tue 10-Dec-13 15:57:35

I agree that The Casual Vacancy isn't nearly as sophisticated as Middlmarch. What I took from Middlemarch was how self-deceiving people are when they fall in love - how we see people in terms of what we're looking for rather than who they really are. Perhaps this is quite a simplistic reading, but it touched me.

The Casual Vacancy doesn't have the same sense of people as being multi-layered and sometimes unknown even to themselves.

That said, while I didn't completely warm to CV, I did admire its compassion.

ButThereAgain Tue 10-Dec-13 16:08:37

Poor woman, it's bad enough having to publish a novel in all the glare of attention that the Potterhype left her with, without some nitwit marketer or reviewer comparing it to Middlemarch, arguably the best blimming novel in the English language. The potter books were loads of fun but I completely turned against them thanks to the excessive praise and attention they generated. I'm sure she'd be anxious to avoid that trap again.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 10-Dec-13 21:36:07

I LOVED Casual Vacancy. The characters were believable and the plot was compelling.

Looking forward to reading the Cuckoos Calling.

Haven't read Middlemarch, it's on a very very long to-read list.

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