This book was such a disappointment. I knew before purchasing that this was marketed for "adult readers" and that Rowling wanted to distance herself from the Harry Potter books. However, this book retained NONE of the charm or appeal of the Potter series. I suppose the author thought she had to make the book as vile and trashy and depressing as possible to make it clear she didn't write for children only.
I'm no prude, but the constant foul language was just too much.
More importantly, there wasn't a single likable character, and the plot was almost nonexistent. I was thoroughly depressed reading this, and when I finished the book, I just felt a tremendous sense of relief that it was over. I don't know why I read the whole thing except that I kept looking for something redeeming in the book. It never came.
The narrator did well. No complaints with the performance, just the text.
The one redeeming quality was Rowling's descriptions of the characters and their interactions with each other. As always, she did an exceptional job with this. If any of the characters had been worth knowing, the characterizations would have been charming. As it was, the characters were so unlikable, it was all just too depressing.
I've heard that Rowling has battled depression. If these are the things that run through her mind, I don't wonder at it. I was quite depressed myself while reading this book.
After listening for an hour and a half, I finally gave up. Just could not generate enough enthusiasm to continue.
The story was so tedious. No excitement. The characters fell short.
Save yout time and money.
I listen to audiobooks as I have a brain injury which makes it hard for me to read for more than 10--15 minutes. Jewish grandmother to twins
I think the only reason this book was published was the author's prior history: if it had been written by a first time author it would likely have been put in the trash can. It is a horrible piece of writting not worth the listen. While there is a semblence of plot and storyline, it is not worthy of the hype and certainly is not worth the price of the book.
Someone who likes ugly mean character studies.
That it went on and on and it never went anywhere. And it was nasty and depressing the whole time.
None of them.
All of them.
I wasn't expecting a light Harry Potter book, but this book made me wonder if Rowling thought most people were like the despicable characters in her book. You could see touches of her wicked wit in the story, But it's all so nasty and unpleasant that it wasn't enough to justify the book. The characters were well-observed and well-drawn, but you wouldn't want to invest any time reading about them.
Someone else mentioned restarting the book several times. I did too. It's never a good sign.
JK Rowling captured the world with Harry and his friends, amazing adventures of memorable characters. In Casual Vacancy, Rowling again captures the reader with story of and characters; except this time, I didn't meet a single person I wanted as a friend. No fantasy this book, no magical heroes or evil villan; only unhappy people filled with the evils of selfishness and apathy.
Excellent plot. Great narration. Many subplots.
JKR completely distances herself from the HP franchise. This book explores nearly every social issue in todays world to include adultery, drug abuse, teenage sex, death, poverty, and the list goes on. I think it's a good book but I am hope that it will not be a series.
I was entirely caught up in the lives of the people of Pagford. I enjoyed their stories immensely and I was sad when it was over. How can anyone say it's boring? If you like Maeve Binchy, then this is the book for you, it has a similar way of placing you into the center of the lives being played out before you. The way that each person's actions, no matter how small, triggered the actions and reactions of all of the players was perfectly executed. I am glad I gave it a try, I hope she keeps it up in this vein of storytelling.
Plenty of people have given glowing reviews about this book, but it honestly did less than nothing for me. Everything in the narrative is petty and spiteful, and not one of the twenty or so main characters have any redeeming quality. I simply didn't have a reason to care about what happened to any of them. Unless we're talking about artsy literature (which I enjoy and which this most definitely isn't), I need something or someone to care about.
As for the swearing mentioned in many reviews, my issue is not with the frequency (although I would be nearly as rich as Rowling if the swear jar were in effect). Instead, I was turned off by the stunning lack of inventiveness. With casual cursers, a simple f-bomb is atomic and evocative. When it comes to habitual cursers, though, it becomes incredibly monotonous to use the same four letters over and over again. A prolific curser will invariably possess an extended vocabulary full of modifiers and extensions that add colour. The swearing in the novel didn't have that crackling fluidity. It was inauthentic to me, and felt like a casual curser trying too hard to shock the reader. The same goes for the sexual language, because the use of clinical terms felt prissy and detached when the intended effect seemed to be visceral shock and disgust ("labia" has my personal vote for most overused word in the book).
In many ways The Casual Vacancy felt like a modern day attempt at Dickens, where an attempt is made to expose social ills that are ignored—or even actively lobbied against—by the middle class. What Dickens always had, though, was one universally relatable protagonist to bring the social issue into sharp focus, and a host of larger-than-life secondary characters to make the journey memorable. The Casual Vacancy has none of this, and I felt the absence acutely.
Tom Hollander's narration was probably the only reason I got through the audiobook. His reading was memorable enough that I'm still hearing echoes in my head. If you're on the fence about The Casual Vacancy, the performance should really be the least of your issues.
I loved the way J.K. Rowling's wrote for the Harry Potter series. So I was willing to give this a try. However, the story just did not hold my attention. I rarely don't finish a book but I found this story too hard to enjoy. Usually, I can't wait to hop in my car to hear the books I am reading and while reading this story, I found myself wishing for my car ride to end. I finally decided to move on. Good luck if you decide to buy it.
J. K. Rowling is taking advantage of her fan base to get out a message. I admire her guts. I already understood the "generational curse" so I didn't really change my attitude and I suspect the author has written partly for this purpose. Some describe the book as tragicomedy but it is all tragic, nothing funny anywhere. This was a tough listen and I regret the experience. But I will be buying her next book anyway.
Not published it
Competent, Believable, not distracting
The whole Krystal story - too horrible, too sad.
J. K. Rowling: I hope this is out of your system now!