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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 (4777 )
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4.0 (4226 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kelli 02-09-16
    Kelli 02-09-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't get into it"

    I made it through five chapters and had to give up. I'm a fan of all her other work, but this one was so...dull.

    1 of 2 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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mollie United States 06-28-15
    Mollie United States 06-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Rowling's young characters outshine her adults"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Casual Vacancy to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version. I saw the HBO mini-series, liked it, then decided to listen to the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I don't want to give away anything, but the ending was very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryn James San Francisco, CA, US 02-01-14
    Darryn James San Francisco, CA, US 02-01-14 Member Since 2017
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    "I'll never forget these characters!"
    Where does The Casual Vacancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely one of the top three! Behind 'Cuckoos Calling' and Dan Browns 'Inferno!' Very interesting characters, plot so rich with stunning realistic details of a small towns gossiping neighbors.


    What other book might you compare The Casual Vacancy to and why?

    This was as good as Cuckoos Calling to me. Just a bit more dreary. Lucky for me, I love this kind of novel! I don't give out details but here is the best kinda vague summary I can give: Pagford is a small town somewhere in England, where it's citizens mourn the loss of a Council member who died randomly at a young age. Intricate plot lines take us through each family and relationship revealing the power of influence, class, and poverty on the towns political shakeup. Who will win the seat on the Council? What events transpire In a riveting final plot, and was it worth it in the end?


    Have you listened to any of Tom Hollander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Nope, looking into more works now.


    If you could take any character from The Casual Vacancy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Barry Fairbrother, so we can chat about the Fields.


    Any additional comments?

    Where are the gay characters? So many families and characters, but this would have been interesting to see from Rowling. Especially since she went full blown real on this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 01-25-14
    Sue 01-25-14
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    "Sadly Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Wasn't sure I would like this book, but after a couple chapters, I got in to the story line. Brutal representation of life between these two towns and the relationships between the people. It all comes together in the end.

    Highly recommended.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

    Crystal - hard life girl.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The final chapter. It all comes together.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sinton Altadena, CA, United States 01-12-14
    Sinton Altadena, CA, United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Very Moving"
    If you could sum up The Casual Vacancy in three words, what would they be?

    Moving, Important, Insightful


    What other book might you compare The Casual Vacancy to and why?

    Can't compare Certainly very well written


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending is probably the best - but this is very moving


    If you could take any character from The Casual Vacancy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    main character


    Any additional comments?

    It is iso different from her other books that I was put off at first - the main characters have difficult lives but this is an amazing book not to be missed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela B. West Richmond, VA 01-06-14
    Pamela B. West Richmond, VA 01-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Wow What a Hard Book to Listen to"
    What would have made The Casual Vacancy better?

    A better story. I tried 3 different times to listen to this book and it is just so boring to me.


    Has The Casual Vacancy turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, just another one Rowling writes like this.


    What three words best describe Tom Hollander’s voice?

    Monotone, predictable, puts me to sleep.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    depression. I really wanted to like this book.


    Any additional comments?

    A more enthusiastic reader might have made this book sufferable. My time is too valuable and there are so many excellent books to hear read by wonderful readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lafe 01-04-14
    Lafe 01-04-14
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    "Pointless"
    What would have made The Casual Vacancy better?

    The story dragged on without much direction and the ending made me upset that I had invested any time at all into the book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by J. K. Rowling again?

    Yes - her other non Harry Potter release - "The Cuckoo's Calling" was great.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Hollander?

    Yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger - I know the world is a cruel place for some people and I don't want to read about it. I want to read to get away from reality.


    0 of 0 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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Downers Grove, IL, United States 12-03-13
    Sheila Downers Grove, IL, United States 12-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Well Done"
    If you could sum up The Casual Vacancy in three words, what would they be?

    Family, Community, Reality


    If you could rename The Casual Vacancy, what would you call it?

    Behind Closed Doors


    Any additional comments?

    Having not read the Harry Potter series, I had no preconceived ideas of Rowling's writing skills. Making oodles of money from a series of adolescent/preteen novels does not necessarily mean the writer's talent is extraordinary - only that her conceived storytelling ideas are engrossing and unique. I enjoyed this book and it's construction and now know that Ms. Rowling is a great writer in addition to being a great storyteller.

    The idea that we don't really know what's going on in the lives of the people we think we know and what they really think of us is universal. The folks in this story could be living in any community in the western world. I know most of them in my own little subdivision!

    Tom Hollander does a fine job of reading. The narrator can make or break any novel and I thought his pacing and his inflections were spot on. Good job1

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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