Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows author JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series. I saw the movies, but I did not read her books. I hope to someday, partly because I hope her writing is a bit better than what I saw in this novel, The Casual Vacancy.
First, the premise of the novel. Two towns (one highbrow, one wrong side of tracks). The novel opens with the death of a man. Barry Fairbrother is on a council which his death opens up his seat, or what is called, a casual vacancy.
Let the fighting begin. There are many people in the town who want to take over the seat. Secrets of these families (rich and the poor) are revealed. The book makes for a juicy nighttime, Peyton Place sort of read. On a personal note, it was not my type of read. It took me till page 400 of this Goliath to get to the point where I actually cared about the characters (and there were many to follow, too many in my opinion). I was quite expecting a different type of read I suppose, especially from the man who sold it to me...he said, "I hope you enjoy it as much as I did." unfortunately, i really didn't.
I do not think that her writing is bad. Rowling is actually a very good writer, but in this instance, I had a problem with the number of characters, backgrounds on those characters, and all the drama I had to keep track of as a reader. It may have been a more fun read, if there were unnecessary scenes cut that had taken up pages and pages, and not to mention hours of my time. I kept thinking, "it has to be leading somewhere, it has to be getting better." It did, and i enjoyed the final 200 pages, but I am not sure I would want to go through that again. This was not my cup of tea so to speak, but I am sure there are those who would love it.
This book will be a BBC tv movie adaptation see the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_Myt40YHiU
and more about buying the book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Casual-Vacancy-J-Rowling/dp/0316228591