This is a well written book but very depressing. But that is not why I only gave it 2 stars. I found even in the Harry Potter series the grown ups not behaving as good parents and often causing pain unnecessarily. This is true in this book also. JK Rowling seems to have a good grasp on the adolescent brain and rational but I feel she diminishes adults and their ability to respond appropriately.
Also, I appreciate learning about other countries and culture and love to learn through literature. I felt she was weak bringing me into the social structure. As an American reader, it took a bit to understand how the politics influenced the story.
JK Rowling is obviously a talented writer but her observations skew towards the dark side of adults and the low side of children. It is for this reason that I would not recommend her book. I will not read another.
I might not have written a review, but the ratings for Overall and Story happened through a glitch in my computer while downloading and I don't want to leave the wrong impression. While the performance by Tom Hollander deserves five stars, this is a two star story for me.
I approached this book with nothing but good will for Rowling and an expectation that this would be unlike Harry Potter. What the lame publisher's summary and the pre-publicity didn't say was that it contained significant sexual content and explicit language. It also didn't indicate just how depressing and bleak the story would be.
The problem is that this is the kind of story I usually avoid at all costs. I find no enjoyment in vicariously suffering with others. There isn't a single individual in the story for whom I found a true sympathy--sympathy in the sense of making a connection and pulling for them rather than feeling sorry for them. I read books for enjoyment, entertainment, to learn, to be uplifted, or even to escape. My life contains enough stressors of its own not to need to find more of them in my reading material. I am not entertained by the misery of others . Perhaps as a school psychologist I am more aware on an everyday basis of the various conditions of life described in this book, and need no primer on poverty, drugs, violence, sexual assault, child abuse, bullying, poverty, neglect, weakness, and self-absorbtion of others. I certainly don't desire to fill my off hours wallowing in such miseries.
The two stars I would have given the story are for its being well-written--for what it is, rather than what I wished it to be--and the clear-cut characterizations. I don't think I would want to actually meet any of these people, but I did feel I had a clear view of who they were.
I wish the publicity had been a little less coy about revealing the true tone of this work so that I might have been more prepared. This sort of story simply isn't my cup of tea and I will be far less likely to buy a book by J. K. Rowling in the future. I had hoped to like this book and had been willing to accept something completely different from the author of Harry Potter, but this is outside my ability to enjoy. If this is what Rowling feels the need to write, she's perfectly entitled to do so. I'll exercise my right and not read it. Perhaps her future books will be less grim, but it will take a lot of convincing before I try another one.
The narrator was the only "good" thing about this book. It was boring from the start. I got to Chapter 10 and gave up. If it wasn't written by JK Rowling, I don't think it would have been published.
I listened to the first half, but could not finish the rest. The story, and the characters were uninteresting. My advice is to save your credit!
No one I can think of. Very depressing. Glad I don't know any of these characters.
Providing well developed characters, a plot that moves a lot faster and language that actually helps develop character and plot.
Did't really have one.
Just using f--- does not make an adult novel. I understand that Ms. Rowling is trying to shake off the Harry Potter image but this book practically thumbs its nose at Harry. The characters were not well developed. They were horrible people with horrible lives. I know there are horrible people with horrible lives but not everyone in an entire town. When interviewed about the book, Rowling asked the interviewer if she cried. The only emotion I felt was disgust. Being a school librarian, I personally saw how Rowling's good writing, multi-demential characters, and a well developed plot can change people. I certainly hope these characters don't have too much influence on anyone. Ms. Rowling, you can write better than this. Please don't try so hard to be adult!
I can't say it was a bad book. It was in fact very well written. The characters were exceptionally vivid and memorable. However-- I hated it.
Maybe if it had been written under a pseudonym and assigned to me in literature class... yes, I knew it wasn't a Harry Potter book, but it was still a huge disappointment. Pitiful small-minded small-town English Muggles spending 18 dreadfully dull hours showing how pitiful, small-minded, and small-town they all are, with a terribly depressing ending to top it all off... it was NOT what I wanted. I found myself wishing that Voldemort would come along and eat the lot of them.
This book is very sad. It put me in a bad mood all week. I would not recommend it to anyone.
I was extremely disappointed in J.D.Rowling. As a Harry Potter fan I expected more from her. Very hard book to finish.
I'm not sure who would enjoy this book; I expected so much more than what I got.
The story line rambled on and on and on.. way to much over use of the F word-- Quiet ridiculous in fact.
The narration was fine.. but the story was never ending.
Disappointment.. a total waste of a credit.
Don't waste your time on this one.
J. K. Rowling is an excellent writer. What's missing here is a driving plot line. It's as if Harry never left the Dursleys. The whole Potter series is his miserable life in the closet under the stairs. Instead of a closet, make it a dank little English town wallowing in child abuse, drug addiction, racism and all-around, mean-spirited thick-headedness. There are a few decent adults, but they tend to be ineffectual. Rowling let Harry off in the end, but don't expect that bounty for "The Casual Vacancy" kid who needed it and earned it here. I kept listening, but I feel as if I need a bath. Good reader.