I can't say it was a bad book. It was in fact very well written. The characters were exceptionally vivid and memorable. However-- I hated it.
Maybe if it had been written under a pseudonym and assigned to me in literature class... yes, I knew it wasn't a Harry Potter book, but it was still a huge disappointment. Pitiful small-minded small-town English Muggles spending 18 dreadfully dull hours showing how pitiful, small-minded, and small-town they all are, with a terribly depressing ending to top it all off... it was NOT what I wanted. I found myself wishing that Voldemort would come along and eat the lot of them.
This book is very sad. It put me in a bad mood all week. I would not recommend it to anyone.
I was extremely disappointed in J.D.Rowling. As a Harry Potter fan I expected more from her. Very hard book to finish.
I'm not sure who would enjoy this book; I expected so much more than what I got.
The story line rambled on and on and on.. way to much over use of the F word-- Quiet ridiculous in fact.
The narration was fine.. but the story was never ending.
Disappointment.. a total waste of a credit.
Don't waste your time on this one.
I desperately wish to give this novel 5 stars. I enjoyed JK Rowling's Harry Potter series for the brilliant plot, character development, resolution etc. And I would rank JK Rowling as the most brilliant author of our time. Yet this novel is the exact opposite. Poor plot layout. Horrific character development. Potently graphic (without purpose) and extremely disturbing subject matter. I thought the book would never come to an end. In all fairness there was some resolution at the very end but still did not satisfy. I just hope that JK Rowling doesn't have as negative of a view of this world as portrayed in this novel. I am so very disappointed.
The story is writen from different characters point of view which I usually like. This book however bounces from boring character to character and it is hard to keep track of who's story is who's.
I understand this book is geared towards adults but the cursing is completely unnecessary. I expected more from Ms. Rowling's writing.
The narrator is the only decent thing about this book.
I am really disappointed in this book. I didn't even get through the first 45 minutes of listening to it because it the characters, story, and language was so awful.
Jk Rowling told such wonderful tales in the Harry series, They were woven with delightful texture and flavor with layers of discription. Most of the characters were inherently good with redeming qualities or frightfully evil. JK Rowling, to this point, had become my favorite author. I still read the series periodically.
The Casual Vacancy was so disappointing, it was as though the book was written by a different author. The story was very shallow , as were the characters. A very depressing book. I want a story to entertain me and if social commentary is included (the social commentary was horrendously thick in CV) good should prevail. It didn't. JK Rowling's ship may have sailed with the end of Valdemort!
I had to be talked into the Harry Potter phenomenon, but once I got into it I became obsessed. So, naturally, I was hesitantly hopeful about Rowling's foray into adult fiction, even though I was still mourning the end of the Harry Potter books and films.
I am mourning Harry Potter no longer.
Don't get me wrong. This is nothing like the Harry Potter books, and if you're looking for a children's book or even an adult fantasy book, this isn't the one for you. However, if you're looking for a complex analysis of a small town, with incredibly profound character development, and shifting viewpoints that illustrate the human weaknesses behind each of our personal and political views, then you will not be disappointed.
About halfway through, I tried to slow down, not wanting it to end, but eventually I just gorged and finished it. Rowling is an incredible storyteller, and her carefully crafted characters will stay with me for quite some time.
The narrator is good as well, and though I don't have a keen ear for accents, there was a difference in classes when he spoke, which rang true to me.
No one can say that J.K. Rowling cannot conjure up a good story, and the Casual Vacancy is most certainly a good story. The plot is every bit as intricate and twisted as any of the Harry Potter books, the characters are fully drawn and believable, and the action keeps you in suspense, waiting for the multiple threads of narrative that Rowling lays out to align and spontaneously combust. You can feel that explosion coming early in the book, as layer after layer of the peaceful veneer of small-town life in the English countryside is peeled away to reveal the simmering cauldron of anxieties, neuroses, overblown egos, class and racial tensions, and suppressed rage that lies beneath.
This is most definitely a novel for adults, with sex, drug abuse, profanity, rape, suicide, and difficult adult situations replacing the wands, brooms, creatures, and spells of the Potter series, but I suspect that there is much here for the 18 to 20-somethings who grew up on Potter to dig into. Much of the action revolves around and is driven by several teenagers coming to terms with adult feelings and adult responsibilities while struggling to deal with adults in their lives who are at their mildest somewhat whacky and at their worst very dangerous. Guess who turns out to be the heroes?
This was an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable listen, made all the more so by the skillful and sensitive narration of Tom Hollander.