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The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling


With strong writing and a diverse cast of characters, J.K. Rowling looks into the dark side of human nature in her novel, “The Casual Vacancy.”

Set in the picturesque English village of Pagford, the book practically reads as a response to the Harry Potter books, with a lack of the imaginative.

The book starts with the death of councilmember Barry Fairbrother.

The death creates a casual vacancy in the council that causes some characters to reach for power, while others are victimized.

The plot rockets into orbit following the death, only to fizzle out a few chapters later.
The book’s ending feels premature and overly dramatic.

Luckily, Rowling’s characters, a group representative of the town’s demographics, keep the reader interested.

The characters often move to the dark side of human behavior, pursuing casual sex and drug use.

The novel’s cast of characters and sharp writing more than make up for the weak plot, and the book is perfect for anyone interested in the human condition.

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