The Casual Vacany



When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? (Summary and book cover courtesy of


This was the first book in a very long time that I did not finish.  I struggled for about 150-200 pages before admitting defeat.  Please note: I was not expecting this to be in the same vein as the Harry Potter and I knew the premise before reading.  I started the book the same way I start all books: by ignoring who wrote it and getting into the story.  But I just could not get into the book.

The characters are completely unlikeable, the constant perspective switches were ridiculously confusing to keep track of and the descriptions were so excruciatingly mundane and dull.  Coming from an author who was able to easily portray a fascinating fantasy world, this was extra painful.  I may have been able to put up with my dislike for the characters if the story was engaging, but as far as I was concerned, the plot didn’t exist.

If you decide to go for this book: good luck!

 Rating: 1 star!

Who Should Read it? I cannot recommend it in good conscience.