The first adult novel 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?
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.
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, translated into 73 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films. She has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's schoolbooks within the novels. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. In December 2008, The Tales of Beedle the Bard was published in aid of the Children's High Level Group, and quickly became the fastest selling book of the year.
As well as an OBE 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 USA. She supports a wide number of charitable causes through her charitable trust Volant, and is the founder of Lumos, a charity working to transform the lives of disadvantaged children.
This is a wonderful novel. JK Rowling's skills as a storyteller are on a par with RL Stevenson, Conan Doyle and PD James. Here, they are combined with her ability to create memorable and moving characters to produce a state-of-England novel driven by tenderness and fury — Melvyn Bragg, The Observer
A needle-sharp and darkly comic expose of today's class-ridden society . . . A highly readable morality tale for our times — Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express
The Casual Vacancy is a stunning, brilliant, outrageously gripping and entertaining evocation of British society today. [J.K. Rowling] has done a rather brave thing and pulled it off magnificently — Henry Sutton, The Mirror
One marvels at the skill with which Rowling weaves such vivid characters in and out of each other's lives — Christopher Brookmyre, The Daily Telegraph
Heartbreaking - turning the page seems unbearable, but not as much as putting down the book would be — Deepti Hajela, Associated Press
An exquisite and occasionally moving black comedy . . . The acid test - I suspect it would do well even if its author's name weren't J.K. Rowling — David Robinson, Scotsman
A big, ambitious, brilliant, profane, funny, deeply upsetting and magnificently eloquent novel of contemporary England . . . This is a deeply moving book by somebody who understands both human beings and novels very, very deeply — Lev Grossman, Time Magazine
Insightful, meaningful, daring and resolutely challenging to tabloid assumptions regarding the moral worth of individuals — Scotland on Sunday
The action bowls along compellingly, most of the characters are vividly drawn and there are some sharp - often very sharp - observations about their social pretensions . . . a bold and distinctive effort — The Sunday Telegraph
This is a novel of insight and skill, deftly drawn and, at the end, cleverly pulled together. It plays to her strengths as a storyteller — The Economist
The Casual Vacancy is a brilliant novel, entertaining, intelligent, moving, passionate and hard-hitting; touching on familiar subjects but approaching them with great originality and skill. Moreover, it's unputdownable . . . The novel is a triumph — Irish Times
Rowling is a great storyteller with a clear eye and a warm heart, and The Casual Vacancy is a moving and immensely pleasurable novel — Sunday Business Post Ireland
Wrestles honourably and intelligently with big moral and political questions . . . a study of provincial life, with a large cast and multiple, interlocking plots, drawing inspiration from such writers as Trollope, Gaskell and, perhaps most of all, George Elliot . . . [the plot] is big, engrossing, and runs like clockwork — Guardian
Rowling weaves a web of connections that resonate long after the book ends — Daily Express
This is a book with a social conscience . . . Much lurks behind Pagford's idyllic facade — The Times
Rowling once again shows her skill at laying bare the best and (more often) worst of human nature — Star Magazine
A perfect holiday read — Best Magazine
JK's first grown-up novel is an eminently-readable tale of small minds in small-town England — Bella