Six Degrees of Separation: The Casual Vacancy

Posted 15 June, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes

You’re expecting me to go from The Casual Vacancy to Harry Potter or maybe the Robert Galbraith books, but I’m not going to do that. I’m goin’ crazy, y’all.

F’real though. The use of heroin and methadone in The Casual Vacancy is a huge theme which makes me think of Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby, Jr. it’s such the perfect description of the slippery slope down into addiction. It’s also a book that I’m too scared to watch the movie because I’m afraid I will be so disturbed the images will never leave my head.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess is a book like that too. I had no issue getting through the book and the terrible descriptions of things happening, but I had to turn off the Kubrick movie halfway through because it was just too damn disturbing for me – which is saying a lot because I have a high tolerance for disturbing things.

If we’re talking about novels adapted to movies by Stanley Kubrick how could the next link not be The Shining by Stephen King. The movie is brilliant, the book is more brilliant. The Shining is a brilliant horror novel (incidentally, also about addiction), so where do we go from here?

How about a double connection and use Joe Hill’s brilliant novel Horns? Joe Hill is Steven King’s eldest son and Horns is a book about a man who wakes up as the devil (more or less). It’s a fascinating book that goes way beyond the horror genre into something examining what it means to be human.

I’ll move to Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock, (I don’t need to explain that connection, do I?) it’s an absolutely brilliant novel written in the Southern Gothic tradition that completely entranced me with its bizarre and compelling cast of characters.

Let’s end with something new and delightful. Also with a bizarre and compelling cast of characters is The Shore by Sara Taylor. It’s also written in a Southern Gothic tradition and is enchanting and wonderful and incredibly readable.

6 degrees casual vacancy

Do you want to play? I know you do! Here’s how:

6degrees-rules-620x434

So that’s how you get from The Casual Vacancy to The Shore in six easy steps! Where do you go from The Casual Vacancy, Reader?

April

April @ The Steadfast Reader

17 Comments/ : , , , , , , , , , ,

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  • Whew, heavy chain this month for you! I’ve thought about reading Horns, and you calling it “brilliant” makes me intrigued… I wonder how it would be on audio…?

    • I think it would be okay on audio. I liked ‘Heart Shaped Box’ but Hill better — but Horns is still very very good 🙂

  • Totally agreed on the films for Requiem (actually couldn’t handle it) and A Clockwork Orange (almost couldn’t handle it). I shared this in my review for Clockwork, but I stupidly decided that it would be a GREAT movie to watch while I tried to flirt with a current crush. Not sure how that made sense to 17-year-old me, but, you know, hormones.

  • Oooh – Casual Vacancy to The Shore…nice work on that one!

  • Oh, this is a tough one, April, but I love your connections! I know it got really mixed reviews, but I truly enjoyed The Casual Vacancy; of course, your six degrees now has me dying to read The Shore – ha! Such a great post!

  • AnnabelSmith

    Fab links April. I didn’t know The Casual Vacancy was about heroin and methadone. JK Rowling really wanted to shake off her G-rated roots! It reminds me of Miley Cyrus going all rebel to distance herself from her Hannah Montana character! Requiem for a Dream is SUCH a disturbing movie. And I too won;t watch the movie of A Clockwork Orange – the book was dark enough – I couldn’t bear to see some of those things acted out. Thanks for playing!

  • Nishita

    I love that you went such an unexpected route. I couldn’t think beyond Harry Potter!

  • Well done! I’ve been on the fence about reading The Casual Vacancy ever since it came out. For now, I think I’m just going to stick with Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

  • This 6 Degrees is PERFECT. And yes, I read A Clockwork Orange and did okay with it (I think it ended up being a solid 3 stars for me) but I’m not sure the movie and I will get along!

    • Also I came *this close* to picking up The Casual Vacancy at my library for $5 but then changed my mind when I ended up getting like 7 books for lending. I’m going to read it one of these days, though.