The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling I abandoned this book 47% of the way through.Pagford, by contrast, shone with a kind of moral radiance in Howard's mind, as though the collective soul of hte community was made manifest in its cobbled streets, its hills, its picturesque houses. To Howard, his birthplace was much more than a collection of old buildings, and a fast-flowing, tree-fringed river, the majestic silhouette of the abbey above or the hanging baskets in the Square. For him, the town was an idea, a way of being; a micro-civilization that stood firmly against a national decline.This adult novel focuses on the little town of Pagford, its residents, and the events occurring after the death of one of their respected citizens, Barry Fairbrother. Told in third-person, the narrator follows the people of the town in their daily struggles as they work to achieve their personal goals.To get this out of the way right away -- I wanted to like this novel because, even without magic spells and fantastical creatures and battle against the Dark Lord, I loved how Rowling always pulled me into the world of her novels, making me feel like I was really there. I loved her clever, endearing characters and their heartwarming friendships. The plots never failed to hold my attention and keep me wanting to keep reading. Until now.Rowling does really know how to string words together. Some of her descriptions are picturesque and quite lovely, and much of Pagford and its inhabitants I could see very clearly in my mind. The characters are painfully realistic, though I can't imagine how anyone could handle living in a town with so many narcissistic, ignorant, self-centered, frustratingly narrow-minded people as neighbors.There truly was not a single character in the book to which I felt I could relate or sympathize with. I found myself irritated, frustrated, or disgusted at each and every one of them, until I found myself putting the book down and not wanting to pick it back up and immerse myself in that depressing mire again. There seems to be no distinguishable central plot, or if there is, it's too far buried in everyone's day-to-day occurrences to make an impact. The author delves into the town's sexual lives, describing in depth their dirty fantasies and their adulterous thoughts and actions, all the way from the teenage boy to the elderly creeper. None of the marriages were happy, and everyone seemed to hate each other or look down on one another for some reason (or no reason) or another. Add onto that the constant stream of "R-rating" worthy language (an alphabet of A-words, B-words, C-words, F-words, P-words, S-words, and even some that must be British because I had never heard before), and it made me feel like I was sifting through an entire town's dirty laundry. Perhaps that was the point of this novel, but it makes it one which I have no desire to read.Heads up: As stated above, there is a lot of graphic sexuality, drug use, and a plethora of curse words and other objectionable languageOverall: Apparently, this one is too "adult" for my tastes. I'm going to go back to reading YA fantasy novels and leave the grim, depressing characters, tortoise-like plot, and rampant vulgarity to the "grown-ups" (whomever that might be)