The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Little, Brown and Company
Format: Hardback, 503 pages
First Line: Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner.
From the inside cover: When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?
My Thoughts: The Casual Vacancy was different from any book I have ever read. It is not my usual cup of tea, but I had to read it because, 1) I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling and 2) I had to see what all the fuss was about. I was not disappointed in the story and characters as they were extremely descriptive and came to life right before your eyes. I also enjoyed the political and societal undertones throughout the book.
The story takes place in the small town of Pagford and follows at least fifteen characters. If constantly going back and forth from character-to-character annoys you, this may not be the book for you. I did have a hard time keeping up with the fifteen main characters as they all had chapters written from their point of view. The characters are blemished in their own ways, but they depict real life for many people in our world that we don’t feel comfortable talking about.
I must admit that I was shocked by the vulgar language and it’s frequency used throughout the book. When she decided to write an “adult” novel, she meant ADULT as this book involves hard drugs, distasteful sexual scenes and the harsh language. I had a difficult time getting in to the book at first but 300 pages in, I found that it was quite enjoyable.
I would not tell anyone not to read this book, however, I would advise that only adults read it because of it’s content. It is definitely not a book for everyone. There were parts of this story that were enjoyable and parts that horrified me. To answer the big question – no, this book is nothing like the Harry Potter Series, although J.K. Rowling’s writing style is apparent.
(I purchased this book.)
Nicholl Vincent says
thanks for sharing this, i don't think ill read it now, but i was going to before, because she is a legend!
Have a wonderful evening! Drop by thechiffondiary.com & say hi!
Jennifer Hartling says
I do plan on getting to this one of these days 😉
Jennifer @ Mrs Q Book Addict says
I was really disappointed in this one. I can't deny that J K Rowling is an amazing writer but this one was not for me. There were too many characters and I didn't like one of them. Great review!
Sharisse Lopez says
I did not even know she wrote more after HP & related stuffs. I added it to my Amazon.com wishlist, thanks!