The Casual Vacancy Book Club Part 4: Rage Comics
"Wednesday" ended with the most uncomfortable scene so far: future Parish Council candidate Simon Price forcing his children to assemble a stolen computer while he stands around and calls them names and marinates in his own rage sauce.
For me this scene, and the air of impending violence that hung around it, was even harder to read than the description of Terri Weedon's grody meth den in the last chapter. At least we were introduced to Terri's world as part of social worker Kay's attempt to improve it—and as we see earlier in this chapter, Krystal has spruced up the place a bit and helped Robbie trade in his soggy baggy huggies for some real people pants. At least there's some small progress being made in the Weedon household; I'm worried that the only thing the scenes in the Price household are progressing toward is some really nasty domestic violence. I'm sure he'll make a fine politician… -_-
Simon is probably me least favorite character right now because J.K. hasn't shows us anything redeeming about him. I agree with Pistaciosaregreat that the whole Mollison family kind of sucks, but at least they look out for one another (even if it is to the detriment of the whole community). Simon Price, on the other hand, is almost cartoonishly douchey—I mean, the way he abandons his coworker after buying the boosted compy in The Fields, or how he lies to his family about a security guard getting beaten up FOR NO REASON, or how his calls his youngest son "Pauline" after the kid helps him load batteries into his wireless mouse...I don't get this guy, and I don't get how his family has dealt with him for so long. But maybe that's the point.
On a cheerier note, my favorite part of this chapter is when Krystal raps Jay-Z. Girl's got 99 problems, and a golden snitch ain't one.
Which household irks you more—Simon Price's, or Terri Weedon's? Who do you want to take over the vacant Council seat? Do you think J.K. should just stick to writing about teenagers, forever, or do you dig any of the grown-up characters too?
Let's finish Part 1 tonight (up to page 179 in the hardcover), then batten down the hatches for what is sure to be remembered for generations as The Great Election of Self-Entitled Butt-Clowns.