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More rare is the kidlit author who can make the leap from entertaining young readers to enthralling their parents.

The Casual Vacancy by Rowling - AbeBooks

Here are seven who earned a seat at the grown-up table. Though he was already semi-famous in Britain and the U. Though the adult picture books Theodore Geisel wrote in his lifetime are rightly overshadowed by the books featuring the Cat in the Hat and Horton the loyal elephant, You Only Grow Old Once! The Woefield Poultry Collective , the first full-on adult book by the British Columbian author of Alice, I Think and its many sequels, was wacky and light-hearted enough to count as a kind of YA crossover.

Meanwhile, he has also been focusing on writing books about the unfortunate events that befall people his own age.

The Casual Vacancy

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About The Star. More Entertainment. Top Stories. The election heats up when scurrilous but accurate accusations, posted by "the Ghost of Barry Fairbrother", start appearing on the council website. The Casual Vacancy has all the satisfactions and frustrations of this kind of novel.

The Casual Vacancy - review - J.K. Rowling

It immerses the reader in a richly peopled, densely imagined world. Rowling has reportedly drawn on her own mildly unhappy West Country childhood, in a village outside Bristol and then later outside Chepstow.

Confrontation - The Casual Vacancy: Part 3 Preview - BBC One

The claustrophobic horror is nicely done: everyone knowing everyone; Howard, scheming from behind his hand-baked biscuits and local cheeses. Rowling is good at teenagers, particularly boys, and unhappy couples. The book has a righteous social message, about responsibility for others, and a great big plot that runs like clockwork; like the Potter novels, it is efficiently organised beneath its busy surface.

https://dufftisgedecon.tk On the other hand, the novel is very much the prisoner of its conventions. Rowling's underclass characters are not bad, considering they were put together by the richest novelist in history, but it's a pity that they all use a kind of generalised, Dickensian lower-order-speak, that belongs more to literary custom than anything anyone ever says: "I takes Robbie to the nurs'ry"; "Tha's norra fuckin' crime"; "No, shurrup, righ'? The plot is often predictable; it requires a large helping of artificial contrivance; and it lurches into melodrama in the final act.

The rules probably require this, and it all rattles along nicely enough, but it leaves a slight sense of disappointment. No one, I suspect, reads Rowling for the beauty of her sentences but there is often a sense here that the language is not quite doing what she wants it to do. One character, we are told, "hated sudden death". Who doesn't? The metaphors regularly run away with her.


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One character's sexual performance was "as predictable as a Masonic handshake". What's predictable about that? The Casual Vacancy is no masterpiece, but it's not bad at all: intelligent, workmanlike, and often funny. I could imagine it doing well without any association to the Rowling brand, perhaps creeping into the Richard and Judy Book Club, or being made into a three-part TV serial.


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  • The fanbase may find it a bit sour, as it lacks the Harry Potter books' warmth and charm; all the characters are fairly horrible or suicidally miserable or dead. But the worst you could say about it, really, is that it doesn't deserve the media frenzy surrounding it.