Maybe in an attempt to distance herself from our favorite child wizard, the story has a very real, somewhat depressing tone to it.
Rowling reminds us how "unmagical" can people get - the characters of this book are selfish, small, insecure and misunderstood. I believed her, and gulped down this book in a heartbeat.
Boring, tedious, and drab. I kept wondering "when is it going to get good?" Too many characters introduced too quickly with no essence of individuality that would make them memorable.
If someone were to ask me who my favorite writer is I would respond "JK Rowling," with that said this book is Horrible. I only made it to chapter 8, could not make myself wast any more time I could spend listening to a book I enjoy. Definitly not in the league with Harry Potter. I knew it wasn't going to be fantasy but this book was just plain boring. Sorry JK :(
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.
Disappointed in JK Rowling's "adult fiction" book. The Casual Vacancy fell flat on its face. Too many characters, too predicable an ending - it didn't meet my expectations after her Potter series.
If this were written by anyone other than Rowling, it would be panned outright.
Tom Hollander tried his best to embody the various characters and reads with great diction. He was the one bright spot in this recording.
Tom did a great job. I would listen to another of his performances again.
Disappointed with the outcome, the plot, the characters.
I could tell if it was the narrator or that the hook was sooooooooooo slow that I never got hooked.
A faster pace, it started off well enough but then dragged and dragged
Use different voices for the female and male characters
Really didn't need all that bad language.
After reading the reviews I thought I better put on my own "hat" of curious listening of an old friend.... a friend that wrote unprecedented and captivating youth fiction who's deciding to speak her own dark opinion and mind in a more adult audience.
In my listening I considered also that she has traversed the sorting of classes and has in some ways transcended all the classes unto herself, in some ways, especially in England, I get the feeling it is impossible to transcend the class system entirely... the tragedy and comedy of this irremovable.... and this is her expression, some of her therapy just as the Potter books were for her.
So, again, I put on my curiosity "hat" and decided to see the big picture of Rowling, the world, politics, fiction, my own suburban life where it is I am stuck with certain realities and where the dangers of just going along and being in the doldrums indefinitely and were it is that even with effort how luck is needed to see through and step beyond the new polarity of classism burgeoning here in our own back yard.
I feel a thoughtful read, an approach of continuously asking why it is she is choosing these bends in fiction now that she doesn't have to please a publisher and get approval but has free reign... to take a refreshing curious approach to dark comedy is already an oxymoron in itself but it really worked for me in hearing this well spoken book.
I must admit, the political side of adult life is not nearly as exciting as to read of children and youth.... this book inspires me to keep working at keeping myself young at heart in part in fear of the tragedy of becoming dull and vacant. This book is plenty good if I bring my own good sharp mind of curiosity and dialogue with the author as I listen and ask... who am I in this story were I inserted into it? How would that be for everyone there? In my own backyard? For this alone it is worth it.... she is like iron; as it is said "iron sharpens iron"... this is the approach I think bears good fruit in good listening.
I do look forward to her next novel and do hope for something entirely different yet again and also do expect a fond inclusion of the relevance of children as a part of the main thread throughout her next story.
Ok, I quit. I got about a quarter of the way in before I couldn't stand the boredom anymore. The person who performed the book is just fine. Too bad he didn't have a better story to work with. In my opinion it's a book about nothing. Too many characters makes it confusing, too much minutia (the nothing)and the story advances too slow for my taste. I actually spent money on this.Disappointing.