About the Casual Vacancy

Before you read this book I think it’s important to make yourself forget who the author is and what she’s previously written.  Squash all those expectations and preconceived notions and just start reading.

I don’t know how anyone can keep so many characters alive and functioning and interacting with each other, and get so deeply into their heads.

This is a study of people, community and politics, human nature, drugs, racism, prejudice, poverty, self-abuse, family and domestic violence, doomed relationships, parents and teenagers, and how lives intersect.  The language is adult and many of the scenes are graphic.

The book begins and ends with a funeral and is not at all about happily ever after.

Personally I didn’t find anything very funny in it – I was too busy being disgusted with all the pompous idiots – but most of them more or less ended up getting whatever they deserved.

There’s more sadness than joy here, and enough twists and turns to keep you turning pages to find out what happens next.  It’s a story you can get completely caught up in, and for me, that’s the mark of a great book.