J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults (and Non-Harry Potter book) is finally published at the end of the month. Like most people when I first heard the name and saw the synopsis, I was a little underwhelmed.
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.
Of course I still immediately pre-ordered it!
But, in the months since then, I’ve had time to think about it, and I reckon there’s plenty to look forward to…
- If you think about the wonderful cast of characters, JK Rowling gathered together over the Harry Potter series, the good, the bad, and the ugly (Umbridge!) the set-up for The Casual Vacancy seems to me to have the potential for plenty of wonderful (and quirky) characters to get to know.
- Political machinations always played an important part in the HP books (especially in the later ones) if only in the background. So we know, JK Rowling can deal can do politics. Clearly they’re going to play an even more important role in The Casual Vacancy (it is the main part of the plot after all!). I think it’s going to really bring out the best and the worst of the villagers.
- I’m also expecting plenty of subversive humour. In amongst all the darkness and adventure, the HP books were often quite funny (Harry’s sarcasm especially), and we’re promised a ‘Darkly comic tale.’ So I’m expecting plenty of opportunity to smirk, grin and laugh at the characters antics.
- The world Rowling built in HP was undoubtedly a major part of its success. While it looks like the village of Pagford, is going to be more contained than the magical world. I’m betting it’s going to be a place I enjoy visiting.
Are you looking forward to The Casual Vacancy? And if so, what are you looking forward to most about it?