The Casual Vacancy; JK Rowling’s first dip into writing for the adult audience. It blew charts away, being bought by millions and obviously earning her a fortune due to its £20 price tag. I must admit it was an interesting read, not something I would usually delve into but interesting still the same.
The book tells the story of the inhabitants of a small town called Pagford. When I say the inhabitants, I mean all of them. Every single citizen of this town seems to be included in some way and the reader is not only expected to know them by name but the follow the many strands of interconnecting storylines which link them. This was my main issue with the book, the sheer amount of characters which I did not manage to understand until about halfway through the book, and it’s a very long book.
But putting that aside I’ll continue to tell you what it’s about. At the beginning of the story a man has a heart attack and dies. His name is Barry Fairbrother and he is a member of Pagford’s Parish Council, a very prominent member in fact. So prominent in fact that the first two hundred pages of the book are given to recounting people’s reactions at his death.
The rest of the book sort-of recounts how 4 people apply to get old Barry’s seat on the council, hindered by somebody who’s been posting revealing messages about the candidates on the Parish website. Guess who’s doing it! Barry Fairbrother’s Ghost (actually just some teenagers wanting to get revenge on their parents for God knows what).
In my opinion; the book is ok, hindered only by the sheer amount of characters that I mentioned earlier. I actually began to enjoy watching events unfold, from the teenagers; rebellious and insert adjective here, to their parents, fighting for their reputation. I would recommend it to Rowling fans, it’s an interesting read. The rest of you; go and read Harry Potter first.