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The Casual Vacancy Audiobook

The Casual Vacancy

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (4590 )
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  •  
    Beverly Goleta, California 93117 11-21-12
    Beverly Goleta, California 93117 11-21-12

    bella jackson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "JK Rowling knows how to tell a story!"

    If you were looking for Harry Potter, how disappointed you must be. This story could almost be about a town where the Dursleys' live. Small minded arrogant people who must find a way to feel they are better than others to allow them to have some control over their lives. To have a poor project "on the other side of the tracks' creates the tension and tragedy that follows. This woman knows how to draw you into the story even when you despise the characters for their weaknesses and lack of charity. It is a gritty tale but one more purely true in our world than my beloved Harry Potter. Don't give up on this book even if the beginning is a bit raw. In the end you will have at least a beginning understanding of why people hate each other for really no reason at all and the devastation it can bring to the world of everyday people. I commend JK Rowling for the courage it takes to change paths after such a phenomenal success with the Potter Series. This one is definitely not for children. It is definitely a 5 star read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenda Sajwaj Tennessee 09-28-12
    Glenda Sajwaj Tennessee 09-28-12 Member Since 2015

    Quiet

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    "Read reviews before you purchase"
    What disappointed you about The Casual Vacancy?

    The story was extremely depressing & slow. I almost fell asleep while driving. The narrator is probably good, but there's not much he could do with this story. I read lots of English novels...not just Harry Potter. I love JK Rowling, but this is just not up to her standards. I tried to plod through, but after starting the 2nd download, I just had to quit.


    What could J. K. Rowling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It was just a very depressing & slow story overall


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was good, it just wasn't good material.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really. I wasn't expecting all the bad language.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't.

    101 of 151 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Circle K Riverside, CA United States 10-01-12
    Circle K Riverside, CA United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Boring"

    I cannot remember how many times I restarted this book! But I do remember falling asleep every time I restarted this book.
    The narrator was excellent, I would listen to him again anytime.
    Rowlings needs to stay in imaginary worlds where she is so much more entertaining and the reader develops a bond with the characters--and knows who is who and cares about them.
    This book was a train wreck to listen to, no offense to Hogwarts...

    40 of 63 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 09-30-12
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rowling Proving Point NOT to be like Harry Potter"

    This story was very tedious will lots of foul language thrown in for good measure. I don't mind foul langue but it seemed to be thrown in just to be thrown in. Also the character development in this story was Painfully SLOW! There was none of the richness of and depth of characters we have come to expect from her. If she wasn't J.K. Rowling I don't know if this book would have been published. The brightest written parts of this book were when she was dealing with the high schoolers. Now for the bright side Tom Hollander did a fantastic job narrating and I would have no problems listening to any of his narration in the future. Hopefully now that J.K. Rowling has wrote this drivel she will write enriching full immersive worlds in the future.


    34 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Hirsch Denver, CO 09-20-15
    Mary Hirsch Denver, CO 09-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "excellent for 2nd reading, knowing the characters"
    Any additional comments?

    The whole village is in on the game! Worth the effort to keep up with the characters. Pagford and Peyton Place have many secrets!

    Enjoyed the movie just as much. Both book and movie are better the second time through, with more familiarity of the complex setting and all the characters.

    Spot-on human behavior, in my opinion!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 09-16-14
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 09-16-14 Member Since 2014

    Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.

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    "This could be called any small town in US or UK"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Casual Vacancy to be better than the print version?

    I cannot answer as I am too blind to read pint books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is difficult, but I suppose I really liked Teassa and Samantha and Andrew. Perhaps because they seemed to the ones with whom I most identified. It was easy to loathe some of the others.


    What does Tom Hollander bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked the reading, but didn't like that the voice raised so much and that the sound was not uniform. Meaning, it would disturb my husband when there was shouting and I had to turn the volume down.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I read it in two day.


    Any additional comments?

    Despite some negative and mixed reviews, I loved this book. It was also scarily real as the forces of development and gentrification are universal in these capitalist-driven times. Money and racism and class make for bad bed fellows. I thought the ending was near perfect. Would love a sequel.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vaughn South Charleston, WV, United States 12-19-13
    Vaughn South Charleston, WV, United States 12-19-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Very disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I don't think this could have been made into a 4 or 5 star book. I couldn't finish it. It was long, tedious, and difficult to continue. The story was very slow in developing.


    What could J. K. Rowling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She should have added some wizards, teenagers, and a boarding school. Trying to move from adolescent fantasy to adult fiction doesn't work for her.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate United States 04-06-13
    Kate United States 04-06-13 Member Since 2016

    I love audiobooks. Reading has always been a struggle for me because of my poor eyesight. Audible changed my world and made my commutes a joy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book is just OK"

    Firstly, I have never read the Harry Potter books, so I did not read this book through teen mystery goggles. I am also not offended by crude language, which made so many reviewers appealed. In this book, the curses and swears are rightly overused - they represent the world of the underprivileged that we conveniently like to ignore. The themes of the book are involve that greasy stain in the fabric of today's society that we tend to ignore and Ms. Rowling is a brave billionaire to chose to tackle these themes, though I should hope that some of the proceeds of the book go to charity and programs for children of lesser means.

    My problem with the book is the website hacking part of the story. It's forced and naive. I wish it was a little more clever and surprising.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela J United States 10-01-12
    Pamela J United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2016

    Sure, I'd love to hear your story....

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A book for adults from a tried and true writer"

    We are always wanting our authors to write something "different" - - and J.K. Rowling really did. For my fellow Potter fans, remember that only 3 of the seven books ended on a positive note; most ended with the dread that was hanging over Harry's head and/or with major characters that we had grown to love dead. Why are we so surprised she writes characters that are flawed and not always easy to like? It's in keeping with her pattern and I quite like that. That's why I'm so surprised at the harsh criticism that is being leveled at this book.

    With that as the backdrop, this is a book with a lot of well developed characters each living their lives of, "quiet desperation." I really liked how well the author blended the people and their miserable lives together by drawing patterns and cross purposes through what might be considered normal lives.

    Yes, there's rough language, sexuality, and crime. And yes, this is a book for adults. Having made that the premise, it much less graphic than most crime novels, has tamer sexual encounters than most romances, and is much more complex than a young adult book.

    The story did struggle in parts - - sometimes in the effort to define the characters it was easy to lose where we were in the plot. I think as she continues to write single books rather than series, the need to so well define someone who only has a tangential role in the plot will be abandoned. But, even with that criticism, I liked it, and I really look forward to her next book for adults.

    16 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glen Clancy Hoschton, GA, US 09-29-12
    Glen Clancy Hoschton, GA, US 09-29-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "IF I COULD GO BACK.... I WOULDN/T HAVE DONE IT!"
    Would you try another book from J. K. Rowling and/or Tom Hollander?

    Not under these conditions....... the arrogant billionaire. This has more value as a paperwieght in print!!!!!!!!!! The talent for creating a real picture of the world you are reading or hearing is there, but who wants to read this especially from the lady who created Potter. If it had been anyone else, I wouldn't have even bothered to listen much to the story at all and wouldn't do it the first time if I knew what I knew now. WOW... The words foul, repulsive, and tragic (on many levels) come to mind. Yeah she's out of the Potter box but I think she's Pandoras sister. God save us from such.


    If you’ve listened to books by J. K. Rowling before, how does this one compare?

    Comparatively, her other books were absorbing and made one want to hear the story again and again. Not so at all with this. The language was in the words of Dumbledore "disgusting"..Scarred and heartbroken is my reaction.


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    He did quite well......... it was the words he had to perform that was my problem.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like tragic drama with filthy language and lewd and shocking content and you don't care who writes it, this may be your thing. I literally felt like I was wrestling a poisonous snake trying to keep it from poisoning me.

    45 of 77 people found this review helpful

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