I have been a Children's Librarian for 30 years and considered J.K. Rowling to be one of the most talented authors ever. Knowing her gift of keeping the reader engaged, I decided to try her adult novel expecting at least something intriguing. Instead it seemed as if a Jr. High kid had just learned a bunch of bad words and wanted to show off his/her new knowledge in the most shocking and distasteful situations. I was disgusted with not only the language but the descriptions of teenage erection, masturbation, and sexual exploits. None of the characters were really likable, so I struggled to listen until something happened that could keep my interest. I really tried. As a professional I consider it unfair to judge a book without reading the whole thing, but I just couldn't force myself to download the 2nd and 3rd portions onto my Ipod. I gave up at the end of the 1st part, so this review is admittedly unfair. If I were to recommend this to a friend, I would definitely lose all respect from that friend. I think sexually curious Jr. High kids would like it a little better than I did, but they, like I, would find it boring. It had nothing to hold the interest of anyone I'm acquainted with.
I would have been embarrassed to have been the narrator and use the expletives so thoroughly. I have no complaints with the job he did. He was appropriately British.
Well, the guy who died at the beginning sounded like a decent individual. Too bad he didn't stick around longer.
I would try another JK Rowling book.
Yes, I would listen to another book by JK Rowling
I couldn't really get a reaction because I had such a hard time following it.
I may try to listen to this again, the speaker was great... it was the story I just could not figure out what was going on...
It needed to be more centered and focused
skipped writing the book it was all over the place
Have a better book
I'm glad I listened to the book if for no other reason than to prove that a writer outside of his/her comfort zone is not necessarily good. We read all the Harry Potter books and enjoyed them as much as our son. However, this book had none of the charm and appeal. The darkness was there, but no redeaming characters or ending. Overall, very grim and dark view of humanity.
The only likeable character died in the first chapter. It was downhill from there. A very dark and troubling impression of mankind.
Hollander was very good with what he had to work with.
Yes, but with the caveats above.
Don't expect excitement or a satisfying ending. Indeed, even the journey to the end of the book was tedious.
he did a fine job
I am very disappointed in this book, however, I believe J.K. Rowling is one of the most brilliant writers of all time. This is her first published adult book to my knowledge for which I did not care for. I will def buy the next one that comes around though without a doubt. :)
Rowling is a master of words, and the plot intricacies here are interesting, but the book is just depressing. Nothing redeeming or inspiring or enjoyable about it. I quit 1/3 way through. I never read reviews before a book bc I don't want to be tipped off about what happens. So I was not expecting to dislike it. There was nothing to make me care about what happens to these characters. Zilch.
Absolutely. Tom Hollander's voice is like velvet, switching easily from one character to another without being too campy in various accents. The story was absolutely engaging from the first minute and I finished the book in record time. I lived in England for a short while, and as an American had a difficult time picking up on the subtleties of the British class system and it's changing topography. Rowling's book is an incredible insight into that murky world, and I learned just as much listening to her book as I did living for two years abroad. In the Harry Potter series, Rowling was able to show that she understood a growing 16 year old boy; and in The Casual Vacancy, she proved that she has the uncanny ability to get inside the heads of and describe the motivations, actions and thoughts of people from ALL walks of life. She treats the deepest darkest secrets of the conservative 50-something small-business man with as much care and consideration as she does the early-thirties single mom/social worker. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested interested in politics, the British social class system or psychology. However, be warned, if you are choosing this book because you loved the Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy is written with a much starker tone and deals with much darker issues and I would not recommend it for younger readers.
Excellent book. Not an adult Harry Potter but an adult literary masterpiece. Starts a little slow but definetly picks up. The ending is poetic
A better story line. I expected more from J.K. Rowling.
The horrible language. The story line is so weak. The characters so sad.
The narrator is fine.
All of them
There was no need for such horrible language. The constant swearing was offensive. I am not even going to finish this book it's so bad.
Yes, it was time well-spent. But as I said above I do not like stories that go back and forward in time. I lose the story line.
pleasant, good dictate.
Yes, I would.