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Alan Taylor

Posted by on in Alan Taylor

By Alan Taylor

The first thing to say about about The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s first novel for so-called adults, is that’s it’s long, too long perhaps. The British edition runs to 503 pages, not all of which sing. The second is that it is not the kind of novel that many parents will be eager to thrust into the hands of those whom they were delirious to see read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The third is that, whatever its faults, it is a brave and, to some extent, ambitious piece of work, which is frequently funny but which more often paints a grim portrait of a country that seems hardly to appreciate the trouble it’s in.