When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?
Blackly comic, thought-provoking, and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults.
©2012 J.K. Rowling (P)2012 Hachette Audio
I did not read the print version. I saw the HBO mini-series, liked it, then decided to listen to the book.
I like Arf. His storyline put him in contact with almost all of the other characters in the book. Truly, there is not a main character in this work; it's an ensemble piece, but I like the teens (except Fats) much better than the adults.
When Arf decides to get revenge on his father by posting information on the Pagford Parrish Council's webpage as "The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother" was fun scene.
I don't want to give away anything, but the ending was very sad.
Tom Hollander's performance was really great! If I remember correctly, he was in "Pride and Prejudice" as well as the second and third "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. He has a very good voice, and I would certainly listen to other works with him as the reader.
I loved it, although I wish it didn't end the way it did. It read like a cross between Skippy Dies and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.
Retired from academia and business, I am living in Guatemala. Few public libraries, not much access to books written in English. Audible!!
Get rid of the swearing, ugliness of the characters. I suppose there are those who like their reading materials raw, but please, warn the rest of us. I quit after about two hours of is, feeling like I needed a bath.
Publish it under a different author's name. I was expecting some of the lyricism of her other books, and though this was her first "adult" novel, I didn't think it needed to be this ugly. I expected more, or different.
I think the reader did the best possible with the materials. I just wanted to clean out my ears after a while.
Not for me. I would like to get my money back or a refund/credit.
In all honesty it took me a few tries to get through this book. It starts out slow and the author takes her time. The first few times I stopped reading thinking that Ms Rowling was really not reaching me. However, I somehow managed on maybe a 7th try to get through the initial parts, and I cannot recommend this book enough.
The slow start in retrospect does make sense, it sets up the mood for the main point of the book. The banality of the middle class struggle, the author develops characters like no other writer that comes to mind. She makes these regular people interesting through their mundane every day interaction. There is a level of empathy that is generated as the book progresses that is both subtle and staggering.
I think while this is a departure from Harry Potter, it is not a departure for Ms. Rowling. She has a tremendous gift for allegory, for relating her story and characters to the reader. For reaching us where live with things that matter, not statistically or conceptually but where we live without bleeding hearts or over intellectualized gibberish.
Exceptional character and plot development. Original storyline. Fantastic insight in to varied characters. The narrator gives an exceptional performance. The HBO version is rubbish.
I did not know what to expect when I started listening but it's so freakishly realistic. Well written and heart wrenching.
As an IT security professional I was surprised about the sql injection attacks but they were integrated well into the story.
I'm sure that this was totally fictional but omg I'm sure that there are tons of kids that live like the kids that are from the Fields - truly heartbreaking.
Decided to only listen while at the gym and cooking. I have spent a minimum of one hour at the gym every day and made a home cooked meal every night. I have never dreaded the ending of a book so much. The story is lavish and wry and the narration is excellent.
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