J.K. Rowling, author of THE CASUAL VACANCY

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little 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 façade 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?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

I’m calling it now, Fairweather was a squib.

In seriousness, I’m looking forward to this, despite it having no seeming ties to the Harry Potter universe. I was considered Rowling’s humour to be one of the under-appreciated strengths of the Harry Potter universe, and to see her embrace that in The Casual Vacancy has me curious. Plus, well, I’ve long had a soft-spot for small town murder mysteries and I think Rowling will do an admirable job, especially if she’s able to capture some of the community-as-character magic that helped Harry Potter climb to such heights.

The Casual Vacancy will be released on September 27th, 2012 by Little, Brown.

  • Carl Duzett April 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I’m skeptical. Her humor was best suited to a fantasy setting she could tool to equip it with. The synopsis sounds like the teaser for another bad ABC Family show. But now I’m reviewing something I haven’t read yet, so let me just say that I hope it’s great.

  • Josiah April 12, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I agree Carl. She’s gone boring on us. But i’ll read it anyways just to be sure.

  • Jesse April 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I’m a little skeptical about this. The plot summary doesn’t sound that interesting to me. However, one of Jo’s strengths is her humor and being able to make even background characters come to life. So there’s a great possibility that this could be really good. I just hope that people don’t expect another Harry Potter to appear. Skeptical – a little. Excited to read it – hell yes! Regardless, I am very curious to see what she does next.

  • Andrewson April 13, 2012 at 4:57 am


  • John M June 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Why this really excites me:

    The synopsis promises a story that is playing to all of J.K. Rowling’s strengths. Her sense of humor, though always a supporting element in Harry Potter, really elevated it above a run of the mill, earnest, doe-eyed fantasy novel to a keen, vivid world that feels as real as fantasy possibly can.

    And that brings me to another strength highlighted in this premise: the idea of these small-town characters playing off one another with possible mystery and intrigue thrown in the mix. Sounds a lot like a year at Hogwarts, only replace a castle with a small town.

    The last two Harry Potter books were, in my opinion, not as good as the first five. And that, I think, is because the scope of war is something J.K. Rowling did not write as well as the scope of vivid characters and page-turning mysteries. This new book of hers sounds like the latter and not the former, and for that I am glad. And excited. Very excited.

  • […] like it. The script is nice, colours are plain and it seems to fit the nature of the book described by the earlier synopsis for The Casual Vacancy. I’m also a little surprised, delightfully so, that Rowling’s name isn’t enormous […]