It took a while for me to get used to the idea of Ms Rowling dropping ‘fucks’ and ‘cunts’ into her writing, but I loved this book. She is so good at plotting and so brilliant with characterisation that I can’t fault her, and it’s not just because I was (and still am) a massive Harry Potter fan. The Casual Vacancy was long and tragic, tackling important social issues like poverty, domestic abuse, rape, drug addiction, self-harm, class prejudice and racism, to name but a few. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, it was infused with plenty of Rowling’s wry observational humour; my favourite. I enjoy comic tragedies, and this is a particularly good one.
Verdict: Definitely read it, if you haven’t already. I was slow to pick it up, but I’m glad I got there eventually.