On Hypable this morning, the title was announced as “A Casual Vacancy”, with a length of 480 pages and a release date of September 27 of this year.
When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little 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?
Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.
Obviously very different material from Harry Potter, though as Eric comments over at Hogwarts Professor, “I wonder how much we should make of the fact that the first book began with a boy named Harry who lived, and this one begins with a man named Barry who dies?”
The synopsis tells us a lot about the town but absolutely nothing about any living characters, suggesting that Rowling may be diverging from the tight third-person (limited omniscient) narrative voice she used in Harry Potter, or at least using multiple perspectives throughout. The situation has a lot of potential to get very political, although it could also be a comedy of manners–or both; neither would be far from Rowling’s tendencies or influences.
Any thoughts or prognostications? Now that we have a title and synopsis, will you be out to get a copy?