Title: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
Narrator: Tom Hollander
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 512 pages
Audio: 17.9 hours
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Source: Personal Collection
Book Rating: 3/5
Audio Rating: 4/5
When Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, he leaves a meaningful opening in the parish council. While the council is divided on what to do with the poor part of town, the people of Pagford go about their business, which include unhappy marriages, abusive fathers, druggie mothers, first crushes, and power struggles.
This is decidedly not Harry Potter. And I wonder if Rowling didn’t stray a little too far from Hogwarts. The Casual Vacancy is very dark and could really use some…magic.
I felt that nothing happened for 15 hours, then everything did. If I hadn’t been reading this for book club, there is a good chance I would have given up. It still gets 3 stars because of they way things do eventually happen, because small town politics are so intriguing, and because JK Rowling still does what she does best – creates relatable characters with depth and personality.
I look forward to seeing what else Rowling has in that brain of hers. But, honestly, I hope she swings back toward wizards and love.
Hollander captures the very English feel of The Casual Vacancy well. This book is long and slow so audio works best if you need a little motivation like me.