The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling The Casual Vacancy is a really good book about terrible people. I love J.K. Rowling's writing style, even when the subject isn't Harry Potter. She has a way of drawing you into the story and making you interested in the characters, even when they're kind of horrible people and the subject that they're bickering over is pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things. The book is about a group of characters in a small town that are fighting (directly or indirectly) over an open seat on the town council after the sudden death of Barry Fairbrother. The council is split into two factions over ta poverty-stricken neighborhood called "The Fields" - half of the town council want The Fields and it's substance abuse treatment clinic to stay in their small town, the other half want the larger town next door to absorb the neighborhood. I know that everyone has their bad days and selfish interests, but the characters in this book seem extra petty and self-absorbed. The magic of this book is that even though the subject of the fight isn't important and the people involved suck, you're still drawn in and interested in what happens. I will definitely keep reading Ms. Rowling's work in the future.