The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling MAG

April 2, 2013
By _rachelyang SILVER, Vestal, New York
_rachelyang SILVER, Vestal, New York
6 articles 0 photos 2 comments

The Harry Potter novels are a worldwide ­phenomenon; virtually ­ubiquitous in pop-culture. The woman behind these ­intensely beloved fantasy novels, J.K. Rowling, is ­arguably a household name.

Now Rowling is back, ­releasing her first novel since the series ended in 2007. The Casual Vacancy is also her first adult novel. The book revolves around an idyllic English town called Pagford and the events that ensue after a local parish councilor dies, leaving a “casual vacancy.” Factions arise over deciding whether a local council estate, “The Fields” (a notoriously poor neighborhood) should ­remain part of Pagford.

The book focuses on the major players running for council, and their children who are harboring their own secrets. One particular focus is Krystal Weedon, a girl who lives in the Fields with her heroin-addicted mother. She dreams of escaping her traumatic life, and with the help of Barry Fairbrother, she joins the school's rowing team and tries to improve her situation.

The Casual Vacancy uncovers many grimy details hidden beneath a seemingly perfect English town. Rowling's novel explores sinister events on a different level than witchcraft and wizardry; instead, she focuses on social issues.

Each character's agendas are shown, as well as their greed and prejudices. No person is flawless, and thus is intensely relatable and authentic. Yet they each contain redeeming and sympathetic qualities so the reader will empathize with them.

Overall, The Casual ­Vacancy is a worthy read, blending social criticism and humor with nuance. However, it is quite long at 503 pages, and it's likely that many Harry Potter fans will be disappointed by the austere and often mundane world of local politics.


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This article has 5 comments.


on May. 2 2013 at 9:21 pm
_rachelyang SILVER, Vestal, New York
6 articles 0 photos 2 comments
I'm glad you liked it. You should check out the Harry Potter series too!

Mckay ELITE said...
on May. 2 2013 at 4:30 pm
Mckay ELITE, Somewhere, Virginia
146 articles 0 photos 2260 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
—Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997
“Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.”
― Weihui Zhou

Just wanted to let you know that I finished the novel. And I love it. It is what a novel should be. Rowling is amazing.

Mckay ELITE said...
on Apr. 9 2013 at 1:20 pm
Mckay ELITE, Somewhere, Virginia
146 articles 0 photos 2260 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
—Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997
“Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.”
― Weihui Zhou

I'll do my best. But yeah, i can't wait to read it. I'm sure I'll love it. I've only read the first 30 or so pages. And I'm loving it. rowling is so descriptive. 

on Apr. 8 2013 at 6:20 pm
_rachelyang SILVER, Vestal, New York
6 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Thanks for the comment! Let me know how the book goes. I know people who loved it and others who found it dull.

Mckay ELITE said...
on Apr. 8 2013 at 3:14 pm
Mckay ELITE, Somewhere, Virginia
146 articles 0 photos 2260 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
—Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997
“Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.”
― Weihui Zhou

Very detailed review. I just checked out this book from the library. I've started it. And already I can tell it's going to be amazing. It's my first J.K. Rowling novel that I will read. 


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