Even God didn’t like The Casual Vacancy. After being released to lukewarm reviews in September, J.K. Rowling’s first adult outing was slammed in a recent edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican.
Wait? The Vatican reviewed The Casual Vacancy? Yes, yes they did, as a part of their efforts to incorporate more pop culture into their weekly newspaper at the urgings of Pope Benedict XVI. The review criticized Rowling’s latest effort, claiming it “disappoints” and adding that it “needed a sprinkle of magic,” the UK’s Telegraph reports. “Fifty-six years after Peyton Place, an up to date – and British – version of that masterpiece of a social chronicle might make sense,” the review reads. “Rowling probably has all the qualifications to be the worthy successor of Grace Metaloius. But there’s something missing.” However, the newspaper did make it clear that it had “only admiration” for the Harry Potter scribe.
Of course, the Vatican is only one of a number of outlets to have given The Casual Vacancy a less than favorable review. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is picturing the Pope* reading lines like, “He rolled off her, peeled off the condom and threw it aside, then zipped himself up, feeling jittery, looking around to check that they were definitely alone” or “Uhhlll… uhhlll… C–TING THING! You f—ing do it! You! You’ve got pissy little girl’s fingers!” Now there’s an image for you.
What did you think of The Casual Vacancy? Has the Vatican’s review dissuaded you from ever giving it a try?
*I realize His Holiness probably didn’t write the actual review. But a girl can dream, right?