Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

It was strange how your brain could know what your heart refused to accept.

Author:J K Rowling
Publisher:Little, Brown
Date of Publication:2012
Number of Pages:Approx 510 with cover

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

When popular Parish councillor Barry Fairbrother, drops dead unexpectedly, an empty seat: the Casual Vacancy is created in the local council of Pagford. His death provides his enemies an opportunity to elect friendly replacement that would help restructure the council and align its objectives and executions to their own advantage. Pagford, seemingly an English idyll with a cobbled market square and an ancient lobby is not what it seems, and instead what lies behind its pretty facade is a town at war. Death of Barry turns to be a catalyst for the biggest war that the town has ever witnessed before. Who will triumph in an election contested with passion, plotting and unexpected revelations?

Written around this premise of an election in local administration of a small town, J K Rowling’s first novel for adults itself is not a small read. Spread across five hundred pages, The Casual Vacancy is a generally well written book but is a sharp departure from the land of young wizards, magic, sorcery and the expected happily ever afters. In stark contrast, the author makes the reader land in a world of drug, abuse, and loss of innocence. With a less than complex story line, Rowling presents believable characters who are aware about their individual motivations in this interesting small town political drama. Except few disappointments, the narrative is written with considerable fluidity and is easy to read with the author being able to retain the reader's attention. This book is meant for adults only and is not targeted at the younger audience though. The frequent cursing, depressing abuses and domestic violence makes it a dark tale of a world full of selfish adults fighting only to meet their selfish ends.

This is definitely a readable book but disappoints considering the anticipations around this first book from J K Rowling for adults.

I had received the review copy from Hachette India. Thank you Hachette India for giving me this opportunity. You can buy this book at amazon or at flipkart in case you live in India.

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