The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) J. K. Rowling

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  • Publisher: BACK BAY BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 221mm x 30mm | 635g
  • Publication date: 18 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0316228583
  • ISBN 13: 9780316228589
  • Sales rank: 90,469

Product description

A big novel about a small town... 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? A big novel about a small town, `The Casual Vacancy `is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

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Author information

J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, have been translated into 73 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films. As well as an Order of the British Empire for services to children's literature, J.K. Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, France's Legion d'honneur, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and she has been a commencement speaker at Harvard University. She supports a wide range of causes and is the founder of Lumos, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 10 Aug 2013 5

The Casual Vacancy is the first adult novel by popular British author, J.K.Rowling. This contemporary fiction is set in the seemingly idyllic English village of Pagford, where the sudden death of Parish Councillor, Barry Fairbrother creates a casual vacancy on the parish council. As subsequent events are narrated from the points of view of various different characters, the picture emerges of a village whose inhabitants are not all satisfied with their lot in life, a village of simmering tensions waiting to boil over. Rowling's characters are easily recognisable as the denizens of the typical English village, but at the same time, show individual depth and appeal (or repugnance, as the case may be). And it seems quite a few of the characters have a secret (or two). The setting, characters and events will resonate with readers, and these same happenings drive the characters to desperate actions that ultimately result in tragedy for some. Rowling manages to pack quite a lot into this novel: she has an obese megalomaniac, drug addicts, computer-savvy teens, a fawning wife, a violent husband and father, an anxious teacher, and a caring social worker, to name just a few. There is domestic violence, rape, racism, corruption, self-mutilation, bullying, gossip, teen pregnancy, child abuse and SQL injection. But if this sounds depressing, it is relieved by the underlying black humour that fills the novel. This all comes together to make a brilliant read.

Review quote

`A study of provincial life, with a large cast and multiple, interlocking plots, drawing inspiration from Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot...`The Casual Vacancy` immerses the reader in a richly peopled, densely imagined world...intelligent, workmanlike, and often funny.`-- The Guardian (UK)