This book is definately not as well written as the Harry Potter series. The large amount of characters made it really difficult to keep up with which story line was being presented. Became clearer towards the end so may need to listen to it twice to fully understand the complex story line. Similiar outlay to Maeve Binchy's books who also follows the life of a vast array of characters but just doesnt do it as successfully.
I listened to this book because I was keen to see what JK Rowling's novel for adults was like. Overall, I did not enjoy it. It just didn't grab me. It was slow to begin with and had too many characters to try and keep up with.
Tom Hollander did a great job reading the novel.
Towards the end of the book, it did have me hooked so that I wanted to keep listening and see what would happen next. It is full of twists and turns which were interesting.
Definitely in my top 3
Tom Hollander's narration was fantastic - he added so much to the pleasure of listening to this book. So easy on the ear & each character so distinct.
I came to this book with an open mind. I was nearly turned off starting it by 'comparisons' to the 'Grey' books. I've not read the latter but for my money JK Rowling has captured magnificently the human condition in the sweeping breadth of its diversity. I laughed out loud & cried too. I loved Krystal & Sukvinder. My heart went out to so many of the characters, including Krystal's mother Terri.
I found the writing highly evocative; when the social worker describes entering the Wheedon home I almost gagged on the smell, not only the ammonia coming off of Robbie's nappies but metaphorically the stench of neglect and poverty.
I thought more than once we ought give more regard to 'children' if only because they'll soon be deciding the future for those of us already 'adults'. And it reminded me of the debate with regard to refugees and asylum seekers - when those who have reached 'safety' & made a better life for themselves want to turn around & pull up the ladder so as to prevent others less fortunate doing the same.
I've been so keen to discuss it with others, I ask all my friends if they've read it & have been disappointed that all have been put off by negative publicity. I couldn't recommend it more highly!
The various interwoven stories of the lives of the numerous characters.
Nothing I can think of to compare.
The character of Terry was very good.
Yes, towards the end. The unnecessary loss.
The story starts out a little slow and I wasn't sure about the standard of writing, but it builds into great reading.
Adore reading - almost any genre except science fiction. In a book club so get to read a variety of great books!
It is peopled with real, raw characters.
Barry Fairbrother's death and that of Robbie/Krystal.
I liked Krystal the most: she had no pretence about her and had strong convictions about what was right and wrong. Also, she was unafraid to speak her truth, irrespective of who it might have offended.
I felt quite gutted by the close of the novel, as I had come to know and love the characters so well. I cared about what would happen to them and felt their grief and pain. I also enjoyed Rowling's ability to lighten the mood periodically: with so much tension throughout the novel, it was a necessary relief!
Having only ever read Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel, and not being overly keen on the genre, I was not expecting to enjoy the author’s first foray into adult literature. But from the opening sentence I was hooked. The little west county township of Pagford is peopled with three-dimensional characters whose lives are as real and raw as anything I’ve experienced in life. This truly is a tragicomedy with its mix of high jinx and hardship although the latter dominates the novel, punctuated periodically with wry humour and the ordinariness of life. The mark of an effective novel for many readers is its ability to keep them entertained and/or reading. No problem on either score there, for me! I was compelled to read on, caught up in the actions and reactions of the Pagford community: from Barry Fairbrother’s cameo appearance and haunting reminders, to the Wheedon family, especially that of the sixteen year old Krystal, a junkie with potential, caught up in a tragic cesspool – and all the diverse characters in between. What I found particularly appealing was Rowling’s ability to allow the reader to fill in the gaps: Rowing doesn’t take her readers for granted, nor treat them as if they’re lacking in sufficient intellect to work through the plot. There is a subtle cleverness to her writing. The author knows how to create vivid imagery for the reader. At one point, Rowling’s character, Shirley, buries an Epi Pen in the back garden, like a “tiny corpse”, having reconsidered its use as a lethal weapon. The novel is filled with this kind of gritty imagery that leaves one filled with regret or revulsion. Moreover, there is no hint of Harry Potter wistfulness here (thank God!). Rowling has considered her adult audience and adapted her writing style powerfully. The raw edginess of the tone and base language attributed to her characters, are appropriate for the context and characters, providing realism and a sense of time and place. I’m pleased that Rowling has moved on from kid’s literature, to an adult audience where she can more fully explore her literary repertoire.
It was miserable, depressing and too many characters in need
The filthy language. I am not a prude, but this book is full of it.
He wasn't the problem
All of them they were so depressing
Sorry I even started to read it and certainly didn't finish it.
This is not what I expected from Rowling. Having said that it was not difficult to cast off the expectations of magic and fantasy and become immersed in the lives of a petty few.
Sadly I could draw many parallels to reality the story could of been about any committee in a closed or small community. The characters came to life quickly and very soon your second guessing only to be thrown down another path.
The plot is not overly complicated but twists and turns in a way that makes you keep listening and eager to witness the next interaction of characters.
Rowling is a good writer, this story is full of swear words that serve their purpose in building the characters and their intellect. As mentioned the plot is not so complicated but well written and if you can get over the expletives I challenge anyone not to at least find it interesting and thought provoking.... I'm sure you'll know someone just like one of the characters and identify with another in some way.
The performance was a little drawn out but listen at 1 1/2 speed and you still get the inflections and character and probably enjoy the story a little more for the pace.
Overall worth the credit - but that's just my opinion; try it for yourself!
Successfully against the odds I learnt life's path, rules and history by osmosis due to a modest yet real reading barrier. Now I can embrace history, classics and pulp with the spoken word. Thanks Audible
I never listen to books a second time but i would go back to parts of this book as new circumstances need review.
Confronting domestic violence and self abuse and trying to think like the victim Andrew Secvindar
Tim was very well rounded. Each character was believable
Secvindar as her dyslexia and lack of self belief stemmed from parents too proud to recognise their daughter needed support not threats.
From fantasy (Hogworts / Lower Whinging) to reality, (Packford / Yarville) with the same naturally magical, literary skills.
Wife, mother, nanna, part time actor, avid reader, world traveller, golfer, bridge player, lover of life.
I didn't enjoy this book because I was waiting for something to happen and it never did. It was boring and I lost interest. The Characters were too detailed by J.K Rowling for me. I loved the Potter books but this one didn't do a thing for me.
Yes the Potter books maybe
Too many to mention
This book was about awful people in an awful place. The language was not necessary and although the beginning started off with someone dying the story for me never really went anywhere and I lost interest in it.
kept me interested
life in a small town
The study of the connections between the different social claseses and the insight into the characters' lives seemed to come from inside knowledge about life in a small town