I know, I know. I’m becoming predictable. I swear, next week I won’t mention anything related to J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter. Also, this post isn’t quite what it seems. I’m not writing a book review, praising the book, or trashing it. After all, that would imply that I had actually read the book.
No, this entry is about my somewhat irrational fear. I can’t read The Casual Vacancy. I can’t even buy it. This isn’t because I spent entirely too much money on concert tickets, greatly diminishing my bank account. (However, that did happen.) I can’t buy my reserved copy of the book that is just sitting there on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, waiting for a home, because I don’t want to be disappointed.
It sounds silly. I’ve been anticipating the release of The Casual Vacancy since before it was even announced. Now that I could actually read it, I simply can’t. I’m actually starting to freak myself out over this.
I’m pretty obsessive over things like this, so one part of me is saying, “Go buy the book right now! Read it! Finish it tonight!”
Another part of me, which is somehow the more dominant part of my brain is saying, “Don’t read it! The book won’t live up to your incredibly high expectations! It will destroy the way you view your favorite writer!”
I’m trying to hold back the obsessive part of my brain, and it’s giving me a headache. I normally have no choice but to give in, but I guess fear is a stronger emotion. I am terrified of this novel.
I should mention that I know The Casual Vacancy will be nothing like Harry Potter, and I am glad she went in a completely different direction with this book. I am simply afraid that I have imagined Rowling’s talents. What if she isn’t really as great as everyone thought?
I know that I will have to read the book eventually. Maybe I can somehow make myself read it without having unobtainable standards. Maybe it will somehow be better than I hope. I mean, she has had five years to grow as a writer since Deathly Hallows was released.
Or maybe my fears are justifiable.
If you’ve read the book, please take a moment to comment. Did The Casual Vacancy live up to your expectations?