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But booksellers are confident “The Casual Vacancy” will be one of the year’s best-sellers, whatever reviewers say.

“A lot of children have grown up with Harry Potter. They’re now adults who love books,” Susan Sinclair, divisional manager for the Foyles bookstore chain, said.

“I think it’s going to be a really big seller at Christmas. It’ll be an easy gift _ but also a good one.”

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Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless