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The Casual Vacancy

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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 town's 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 01, 2012 – On the face of it, Rowling s first adult book is very different from the Harry Potter books that made her rich and famous. It s resolutely unmagical: the closest thing to wizardry is the ability to hack into the amateurish Pagford Parish Council Web site. Instead of a battle for worldwide domination, there s a fight over a suddenly empty seat on that Council, the vacancy of the title. Yet despite the lack of invisibility cloaks and pensieves, Pagford isn t so different from Harry s world. There s a massive divide between the haves and the have-nots the residents of the Fields, the council flats that some want to push off onto a neighboring county council. When Councilor Barry Fairbrother born in Fields but now a middle-class Pagforder dies suddenly, the fight gets uglier. In tiny Pagford, and at its school, which caters to rich and poor alike, everyone is connected: obstreperous teenager Krystal Weedon, the sole functioning member of her working-class family, hooks up with the middle-class son of her guidance counselor; the social worker watching over Krystal s drug-addled mother dates the law partner of the son of the dead man s fiercest Council rival; Krystal s great-grandmother s doctor was Fairbrother s closest ally; the daughters of the doctor and the social worker work together, along with the best friend of Krystal s hookup; and so on. Rowling is relentlessly competent: all these people and their hatreds and hopes are established and mixed together. Secrets are revealed, relationships twist and break, and the book rolls toward its awful, logical climax with aplomb. As in the Harry Potter books, children make mistakes and join together with a common cause, accompanied here by adults, some malicious, some trying yet failing. Minus the magic, though, good and evil are depressingly human, and while the characters are all well drawn and believable, they aren t much fun.

Customer Reviews


A very good read! This story of a small town reminded me of the small town I came from. Casual Vacancy shows all the angst of teenagers, all the good and the bad. The feelings Ms Rawlings brings out in her writing makes you feel like you know these people. I’ve also read the Cormorant Strike series by Ms Rawlings and had the same feelings about those books. Please keep writing more stories like these!!!

A bit of a chore

No, this is not a happy book and no, it's nothing like Harry Potter. Neither is a reason to fault a book and we all know the author is an accomplished writer but the shot gun like style of this book made it a chore for me to read. The reader needs to take in the identities any relationships of almost all of the 25 major and minor characters in the first few chapters. The narrative skips around quickly between vignettes make the use of pronouns problematic. All the way through the book I found myself asking "Which one is Tess married to and what's her kid's name? It's probably better on second reading but I'm exhausted and There are other books to read.

The Casual Vacancy

I cannot believe this was written by the author who wrote the brilliant Harry Potter series! I have read the classics, and I believe that the Potter books will one day be listed among them. Therefore, it is with regret that I must rate this book as horrible. So many characters, as to be confusing. Action too slow moving. Time shifts make the story, if one can find it, too difficult to follow. One of the very few books ever that I could not finish. If I were you, Ms. Rowling, I would burn all copies.

The Casual Vacancy
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Sep 27, 2012
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 512 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings