The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

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?

I didn't have my hopes up when I started reading The Casual Vacancy, as I'd heard a lot of poor things about it - mostly that it was boring, too long and not Harry Potter.

Though it took a little while to get started (around 200 pages of introduction to the many main characters and their story lines) it managed to completely suck me in and had me both laughing and crying. It is one of the most excellent books I've ever had the pleasure of reading and my only regret with it is that it comes to an end. It holds some of the best written most fleshed out characters I've ever "met" and they are so real, it hurts - particularly when they hurt.

I like to call it something of a social study. It's very British, it's very dark and glum, but it's also so incredibly interesting. I can only urge others to read it, but it's definitely not for everybody. For me, it was just perfect.

The Casual Vacancy
ISBN13: 9781408704202
503 pages / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


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