The Casual Vacancy


#1

That is a new book by the Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling. My presbyterian friend is reading it, but I really don’t think he should read it. I haven’t, and don’t plan on, reading it, but I have read about it in reviews on various sites. It has many inappropriate themes such as rape, non-marital sex, etc. I want to convince him that he should not read the book, but I can’t find a way that isn’t “Catholic”. Any ideas? Anyone else read the book?


#2

I haven’t read it yet. I have it. Though I think I may try to get through a Stephrn King novel first.

As a Harry Pottrr fan I’m very interested in seeing how her first book for adults goes. She’s a good writer, so I’m excited.


#3

But is it ok for someone to read it if there is negative content? I don’t know her intent with the book, but I personally don’t see the point of writing a book “for adults”. I remember reading a post here about movies and someone said something like “if my kids can’t watch it, then I shouldn’t either”.


#4

What do you mean by “negative content”?

If you mean anything dealing with violence, sex, etc. then we should not read the Bible, which is full of discussions of warfare, murder, rape, adultery, you name it.

The real issue is how the subject matter is depicted. Does the book maintain clear moral norms? What kind of sympathies and feelings does it evoke in the reader? If sensitive subjects (violence, sex etc.) appear in the book, are they treated with discretion? And so forth.

There is something to be said for that. But, there is a significant difference between reading a book and watching a movie. You can read a book by yourself; but if you watch a movie in your home, anyone else can watch it too, unless your TV is in a locked room - and even then, others can hear the dialogue/sounds.


#5

Headphones.

What do you mean by “negative content”?

If you mean anything dealing with violence, sex, etc. then we should not read the Bible, which is full of discussions of warfare, murder, rape, adultery, you name it.

The real issue is how the subject matter is depicted. Does the book maintain clear moral norms? What kind of sympathies and feelings does it evoke in the reader? If sensitive subjects (violence, sex etc.) appear in the book, are they treated with discretion? And so forth.

I agree with all this though.

Personally, I don’t know if I plan on reading it. Not because of the content or anything like that, but because the entire time I would be thinking that she could have used this time to build on the amazing universe she created in the Harry Potter series.


#6

Maybe she wanted to try something new.

And FWIW, there is nothing wrong a priori with a genre specifically for adults. It does not imply that the content will be sinful. Rather, there are myriad themes in human life that juveniles will not be ready for or simply would not enjoy reading about; therefore the adult genre is there to include these plot elements.

ICXC NIKA


#7

I know, but I’m still sad to see the Potter series end. I do hope that in the future she expands on it though, kind of like Tolkien did.

Also, what is FWIW?


#8

FWIW = “For What It’s Worth”


#9

[quote="louisak, post:8, topic:300499"]
FWIW = "For What It's Worth"

[/quote]

Ah, thank you.


#10

The poster appears to be about 13 – so perhaps the themes are not appropriate for him. However, I believe adults are free to read whatever they choose.


#11

I just finished reading it, and I have to say that it is DEFINATELY not for children or even many adults. If it were a movie, the USCCB would have probably given it an ‘L’ rating at least.

It contains: obscenities (sometimes a dozen in one page), graphic sexual descriptions, a graphic rape scene, domestic violence, adultery, a drug addict, teenage drug use and sexual activity, suicide, multiple deaths, child abuse, teenage behavioral problems, and other family problems.

If you can stomach it, though, it also has a good message about redemption and caring for other people.

I would strongly recommend that people read several critics and reader reviews before reading the novel. However, I will say that it is a very good novel, and you really care about all the flawed characters by the end. But, it definately has a lot of distrubing elements.

Just my two cents…


#12

Thank you all. I appreciate that you all could pitch in on this. BTW, I am 15.
But, if the book really has a message at the end, then maybe I will let him read it and decide for himself. Hopefully, it will help him, somehow. Still, I feel strongly that an author doesn’t need to explicitly describe such things to get a message to the reader.
Thanks again.


#13

You don’t have the authority to tell your friend what to read. If you’ve said that you think it’s a good idea to avoid books that have questionable content in general, then you’ve said your piece and that’s all you can do. Obviously you can’t discuss how the situations in this specific book are portrayed since you haven’t read it.


#14

Say I did read it: How would I go about recommending not reading it?


#15

For example, ask your friend what he thought about it through a Christian lens. I think instead of “recommending not reading it” you engage others in a conversation about it. For example, I would talk about how, as a Christian, you discern what is appropriate to read, watch, etc.

Just my two cents. :slight_smile:


#16

That would depend on what was in the book. You could say, “I found _______. ____________, and _____________ to be very offensive because it portrayed sin and evil in a positive way.” But in order to say that honestly, you would have had to read the book and determined that evil was indeed promoted in a positive way. If you haven’t read the book, you can certainly say, “I don’t want to read the book because I’ve HEARD that it promotes evil.” But it would be wrong to make comments about whether or not others should without that information.


#17

Ok. Thank you all. Now… How do I close a thread…?


#18

It will be done for you once everybody lets go.

Shalom, ICXC NIKA


#19

Lets go? You mean unsubscribe?


#20

You can’t close a thread. Only a moderator can do it.


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