Half way through the book, the start of Part Three—the actual fourth section of the book, yes, it is bugging me endlessly—and I needed a break. Seriously. There is only so much depressing drama that I can take. That said, I’m actually curious as to how the depressing lives of this depressing town can get more depressing (because you know that it will). After all, being that I am also in a lonesome, sad mood, it is only fitting that I revel in the similar moods of fictional characters. Our chariot awaits. Warning, there will be spoilers and snark. Take heed.
The Casual Vacancy, part four, “Part Three.”
A few weeks after Barry’s death, a lot of shit is going down. Simon, Colin and Miles are all campaigning for Barry’s former position in the town council. Barry, for those of you who are curious, is a fan of the ghetto and the gentrification of it. He believes in the potential of the disturbed kids and in the recovery of the addicts at the methadone clinics, drug clinics, etc. The rest of the upper echelons of Pagford? tbh they want to see the whole thing burn. Simon is an abusive prick, Colin is a high-strung school official who has a lot of issues, but they both are on the pro-ghetto side. Miles is a politically leaning prick with a stereotypically broken family, complete with alcoholic, lusty and unsatisfied wife. There are other characters, too. Like the bitchy social worker, the broken socially worked family who is trying to keep the youngest (Robbie) in their family, the punk-ass teens going through puberty, the sympathetic mothers, etc. Don’t know if you caught all that between the Lifetime original movie drama, but, let’s go!
Pg260: Howard is so fat that his fat literally CHAFES against his OTHER FAT. I repeat: this dude is fatter than all yo’ mama jokes combined. Parminder has to deal with this shit just like she has to deal with everyone thinking she killed Nana Cath, oh, she’s dead btw, which means Krystal is going to go loco.
Pg262: Oh, Terri was clean for three weeks and now Nana Cath is dead. G’bye sobriety!
Pg266: “She had to have some. She had to.” Callin’ it like I see it, folks. Maybe it is because I’ve seen enough Intervention episodes to know that the slightest stressor means bad news. Maybe it is because that was damn predictable. I am gonna bet money that Kay shows up when Terri isn’t straight and then Robbie will be taken away. Yeeeep.
Pg268: I was initially sympathetic to Gavin until he turned out to be a giant dickwad misogynist who wants his woman to suppress and/or alter her opinions for the sake of his happiness. Supporting role my ass! I don’t blame him for resenting Kay for essentially stalking him to his bumfuck town, but doesn’t mean that his dislike of people having and expressing their opinions for the sake of his apparently fragile sensibility doesn’t annoy me any less.
Pg272: Mary and Barry’s life together, despite being rhymatic and awesome, was not perfect. Imagine that. I never would have guessed that his fascination with Krystal—I don’t think it transcended into anything sexual or anything, but I wouldn’t put it past anyone in this freakin’ book—would have lead to any problems. SO SHOCKED. Time for Gavin to swoop in and reveal that he totally has a boner for the widow. w/e
Pg275: Samantha’s hate of everyone who isn’t a hunk of manflesh is delicious. I want to distill it and drink it like a fine, fine liquor.
Pg279: Samantha needs a cold shower. Every 20 minutes.
Pg287: Even though I knew it was coming, Simon’s beatdown of his whole family is still super sad. Sadder? Ruth’s defense of his actions.
Pg292: So, Vikram is definitely descended from Apollo or some god of freakish beauty. Just putting that out there. All we know about him is that he’s a surgeon and he’s panty-dropping beautiful. Cool. Wishing this were a picture book.
Pg294: This Colin/Tessa secret could land Colin in jail? Well, safe to say it wasn’t adopting Fats that was the crime, even if he’s a burgeoning psycho
Pg296: Shit hit the fan with Sukhvinder getting a job with Howard. Parminder is 7 shades of pissed the fuck off and Vikram? Well, our Adonis thinks it’s good because he is pretty sure she won’t make it in school. Not really a good sign coming from a family that places a lot of emphasis on power and money. Again, poor Sukhvinder.
Pg300: So Gaia’s a brat. Anyone surprised? Me neither.
Pg:302: Gaia: “I’M NOT RACIST OR A BITCH I HAVE THE ONLY COLORED FRIENDS IN PAGFORD.”
Pg305: I didn’t even realize the effect of Fats and Krystal getting it on would have on Sukhvinder, and now she’s an easy target and please oh please let the death I wished for not be Sukhvinder’s. I would be so sad. I would cry. No, nooo, noooo.
Pg307: Ohhhh shit, Sukhvinder told Tessa about Fats and Krystal shacking up. Ooohhh shiiiiiiiiiit.
Pg321: Sukhvinder got in a shit load of trouble for being bullied. Revenge? Tell the world (read: Pagford) about your mother’s undying love of Barry, the Patron Saint of Rowing. Never would have thought you had it in you, girl. Never thought.
Pg325: Rape rape rape rape. This book really knows how to drag you down and then gut you.
Pg328: Krystal’s plan to get impregnated by Fats (what did I tell you about getting pregnant!?) to get child support so she can take care of Robbie and her baby even though she has no interest in Fats while she runs to her friend’s house is the note to leave off of and I’m exhausted. BABIES DO NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS.
Summary of my feels: HOLY HELL I NEED A GLASS OF WINE AND A ROMANTIC MOVIE. I can’t even take this right now. I get that this is a tragicomedy, or whatever makes J.K. Rowling sleep better at night. I get that this is probably funnier in a British way that I’m having a lot of trouble laughing at, minus the making fun of people like Miles and Howard and Samantha’s horrible lives, but the rest of it is really slashing at my already sorry mood. I feel like I was just put through a cheese grater, spread over Taco Bell meat, and fed to a dog who had a protein allergy. Done, done, done. Break time.