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
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!
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.
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.
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?
Nope, looking into more works now.
Barry Fairbrother, so we can chat about the Fields.
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!
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.
Crystal - hard life girl.
The final chapter. It all comes together.
Moving, Important, Insightful
Can't compare Certainly very well written
The ending is probably the best - but this is very moving
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
A better story. I tried 3 different times to listen to this book and it is just so boring to me.
No, just another one Rowling writes like this.
Monotone, predictable, puts me to sleep.
depression. I really wanted to like this book.
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.
The story dragged on without much direction and the ending made me upset that I had invested any time at all into the book.
Yes - her other non Harry Potter release - "The Cuckoo's Calling" was great.
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.
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.
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.
Family, Community, Reality
Behind Closed Doors
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
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