Preview of The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling: Plot summary & critical analysis


The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling's first adult novel ever, is coming out on September 27. Read this review of The Casual Vacancy and take a first look at the critical analysis of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, plot summary, and other important details.

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling, new book to release in September 2012The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling is the author's first endeavour to write for the grown-ups, after the tremendous success of the seven Harry Potter novels. While it will be interesting to see whether her first adult novel acquires as much commercial succession as the Potter books, let us try to have a sneak peak into Rowling's eighth novel. This 512 pages novel is going to be blackly comic, thought provoking and constantly surprising as revealed by the publisher, Little, Brown and Company. While we have to wait till 27 September know about the full plot of Rowling's new book, here we have tried to gather what we found from different sources. Take a first look at The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling!

The background of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is set in a small English town of Pagford, with a ‘cobbled market square and an ancient abbey’. The plot of The Casual Vacancy deals with the underlying currents of this rural English society; the clash, tensions and power equations between the rich and the poor, the old and the new, the feminine and the masculine. Meanwhile the Parish Council Election comes closer, and what happens around the election forms the story or subject matter of The Casual Vacancy. J. K. Rowling here deals with both a locale and characters that are poles apart from the Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts School, and the Wizards. It will be interesting to see how far she succeeds, both critically and commercially, in the mainstream English fictions. Given below is a plot summary of The Casual Vacancy. Keep reading!

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling: First Look

  • The stipulated date of publication of The Casual Vacancy is 27 September 2012.
  • The genre of Rowling's new book is pure British fiction, unlike her previous seven children books on fantasy.
  • The publisher of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is Little, Brown and Company.
  • The book is not going to be much heavy, unlike the last few novels of the Harry Potter series. The total number of pages in The Casual Vacancy will be 512.
  • Price of The Casual Vacancy (Hardcover) will be $35. However you can read Rowling's The Casual Vacancy e-book online at $19. To know details of the price and purchase details, please see how to buy Rowling's The Casual Vacancy online.

Plot of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy: A story of class conflicts


As we said earlier, The Casual Vacancy plot is set against a small town of England called Pagford, far from Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, this apparently calm English idyll with a ‘cobbled market square and an ancient abbey’ is not as tranquil as it seems to be in the first appearance. There are undercurrents of tensions and class clashes between the rich and the poor, the women and the men, the aged and the youth. There are wars all around Teenagers are at war with their guardians and parents. Husbands are at war with their wives. The poor is at war with the rich. Nevertheless, these hidden tensions burst out open all of a sudden over the Parish Council. The former Parish Council member Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly at his forties, and the empty seat leads to an untimely election in the Parish Council. The story of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is centred around the town of Pagford getting prepared for the Parish Council election, and witnessing the biggest war it has ever seen. Through a labyrinth of passions, falsehoods and unexpected revelations, we will see who wins Parish Council election of Pagford in J. K. Rowling's new book.

J. K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy: Review & critical analysis


Latest photo of J. K. Rowling before The Casual Vacancy releaseThe Casual Vacancy will perhaps the so far permanent tag on J. K. Rowling is children's fantasy fictions writer. Rowling is a genius story teller, and we noticed as early as in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone her skills of plot building. Perhaps Rowling rightly felt that after seven novels, eight films and a dedicated theme park, there can be nothing more with Harry Potter and it is time to move on. From Hogsmeade to Pagford, it will definitely be an interesting journey as much for the reader as it was for the author. Instead of wizards, we are going to be associated with Muggle English townsfolk for the first time. Brothers against brothers, wives against husbands, and the Parish Council election; it sounds all very intriguing to me. The setting seems to resemble Hardy in nature, whereas the clashes, tensions and wicked duplicities will certainly remind us of Dickens. However, it seems that under the apparently simple story line of The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling has problematized eternal themes like greed, passion, duplicity and betrayal, of which Hardy was a master. However, unless we read the book, it will be too early to present any complete critical appreciation of The Casual Vacancy, and only time can review J. K. Rowling's new book in the scale of greatness. Nevertheless, we must acknowledge that it is undoubtedly the most anticipated fiction among the upcoming book releases in September 2012.

And yes, just like you, we are also thinking if there is any significance of the lower-case i in Rowling's name in The Casual Vacancy cover design, or it is just for fun.

Expert reviews & comments on Rowling's first novel for adults


  • The publisher on Rowling's new novel:
    Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising — Little, Brown & Company

  • On the simplistic cover design of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy:
    Understated design for Harry Potter author's first adult novel gets mixed reception — guardian.co.uk

  • A general remark on Rowling's The Casual Vacancy:
    A big novel about a small town — IBN Live
What are you thinking about Rowling's new novel? Write us your views on The Casual Vacancy here. Modern literature is reader response, after all!


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