The Casual Vacancy
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The small town of Pagford appears, at least on the surface, to be an idyllic and almost predictable part of the world.
But things are not so idyllic, at second glance. After Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly and without warning, the town erupts into an all out drama-series. Pagford becomes a place of gossip, lies and selfishness as people jostle into position for Barry Fairbrother’s seat.
And while all of this is happening, Pagford’s citizens shine through in the undercurrent, with the author, J.K. Rowling, showing the reader a side to every-day life that often gets swept under the rug and forgotten about.
‘The Casual Vacancy’ was J.K. Rowling’s first publication after the ‘Harry Potter’ series. In it, Rowling breaks away from the magic by plonking the reader head-first into a completely commonplace town, with seemingly dull issues, such as the upcoming Pagford election.
However, it soon becomes apparent that while the election is on the forefront, it is the undercurrent of activity from every-day citizens that is of most interest.
The story of Pagford is innocuous at first glance, and yet, it somehow gives the reader a grim taste of reality. ‘The Casual Vacancy’ is a story of the every-day cruelty and selfishness of human-kind, wrapped up neatly as the town of Pagford, with a bow and on show, like a goldfish in a bowl.