Book reviewer Lev Grossman, writing for Time Entertainment, calls it a "great novel."
"What surprised me about 'The Casual Vacancy' was not just how good it was, but the way in which it was good," Grossman writes in his review of J.K. Rowling's first foray into adult literary fiction, which went on sale Thursday.
Click here to read Grossman's full review.
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"This is a courageous departure for Harry Potter's creator," writes Deirdre Donahue for USA Today, who calls the book "dressily moralistic."
Donahue continues, "Unfortunately, The Casual Vacancy reads less like a work of fiction and more like a plea for Britain's comfortable middle-class Muggles to be more aware of the obstacles faced by poor children growing up in dysfunctional homes."
Here's what other reviews had to say:
"So look, here's the thing: This. Is. Not. A. Children's. Book. If you're looking for what made Harry Potter magical -- Wizards! Spells! Flying Broomsticks! -- you're not going to find it. If you're looking for what makes J.K. Rowling magical -- emotion, heart -- you will." — Associated Press review
"The Casual Vacancy is a fine and fascinating read, but it is not for children, and it will most emphatically not make you want to live in Pagford." — Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times book editor
"The 'for adults' tag isn't just a declaration of high literary purpose. It's a warning that this 503-page portrait of vicious, rich-versus-poor politics in the fictional English village of Pagford is in no way, shape, or form a bedtime story." — Steve Daly, Parade Magazine