The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
Release Date2012-09-27 (added to CC 24 Sep 2012)
Amazon Sales Rank2
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little 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 façade 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 town’s 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? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

Member Reviews
(16 Oct 2013)
I lost interest half way through. Lots of overdone descriptions that turned out to be not very interesting. I think she tried too hard to make this "different" from the HP series and ended up lost in the woods. Couldn't wait to put it down.
(16 Apr 2013)
Don't agree with the other CC reviews. Yes, the book has a lot of characters but each is well formed and distinct. In fact, I'd say characterisation is the strength of this book. A wonderful insight into small town life. An easy read but raises some difficult questions about the human condition and class in particular. It was always going to be difficult for JK to follow Harry Potter but I think she has achieved something original and very different. Not a broomstick in sight!
(21 Jan 2013)
Too many characters, although each necessary to the overall story, but painful to try and keep up with. A jaundiced view on most, but moving at the end. IOW I shed a tear or two so I guess the effort was worth it?
(12 Nov 2012)
The Casual Vacancy had huge hype, naturally. In my opinion, it is very good, quite gritty in comparison to Harry Potter. However, confusion arises when Rowling introduces so many characters, in such a small period of time, that it literally becomes too confusing to bear. Eventually, reading this book becomes slightly tiring, and a game of Guess Who?
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