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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 (4388 )
5 star
 (1264)
4 star
 (1225)
3 star
 (835)
2 star
 (539)
1 star
 (525)
Overall
3.4 (3907 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (712)
2 star
 (509)
1 star
 (572)
Story
4.0 (3871 )
5 star
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4 star
 (1119)
3 star
 (582)
2 star
 (214)
1 star
 (235)
Performance
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  •  
    R.Reader 10-09-12
    R.Reader 10-09-12

    I don't look anything like that figurine, just love the fact that she's holding a book like that.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Seriously Depressing"

    As I read this thr first thing I thought was - wow the men in this book are severely flawed idiots that I wouldn't like to meet....
    Then I thought - wow, the women in the book are severely flawed idiots that I wouldn't like to meet.
    I've seen complaints about Rowling's character development, but I honestly don't think she has a problem there; I think her character development is fine, but I think we are quite uncomfortable with the characters she has developed. The thing you come to ask yourself is - are we are as a people really like this? And I think the sad truth is - yes, we are quite pathetic.
    The way the book ended depressed me, but I dont think this book could have ended any other way and remain...authentic.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Woodland, CA, United States 10-04-12
    Diane Woodland, CA, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Downer"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This is a well written book but very depressing. But that is not why I only gave it 2 stars. I found even in the Harry Potter series the grown ups not behaving as good parents and often causing pain unnecessarily. This is true in this book also. JK Rowling seems to have a good grasp on the adolescent brain and rational but I feel she diminishes adults and their ability to respond appropriately.
    Also, I appreciate learning about other countries and culture and love to learn through literature. I felt she was weak bringing me into the social structure. As an American reader, it took a bit to understand how the politics influenced the story.
    JK Rowling is obviously a talented writer but her observations skew towards the dark side of adults and the low side of children. It is for this reason that I would not recommend her book. I will not read another.


    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanie Jenkins Shreveport, LA United States 09-30-12
    Jeanie Jenkins Shreveport, LA United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Computer Glitch Rated This For Me"

    I might not have written a review, but the ratings for Overall and Story happened through a glitch in my computer while downloading and I don't want to leave the wrong impression. While the performance by Tom Hollander deserves five stars, this is a two star story for me.

    I approached this book with nothing but good will for Rowling and an expectation that this would be unlike Harry Potter. What the lame publisher's summary and the pre-publicity didn't say was that it contained significant sexual content and explicit language. It also didn't indicate just how depressing and bleak the story would be.

    The problem is that this is the kind of story I usually avoid at all costs. I find no enjoyment in vicariously suffering with others. There isn't a single individual in the story for whom I found a true sympathy--sympathy in the sense of making a connection and pulling for them rather than feeling sorry for them. I read books for enjoyment, entertainment, to learn, to be uplifted, or even to escape. My life contains enough stressors of its own not to need to find more of them in my reading material. I am not entertained by the misery of others . Perhaps as a school psychologist I am more aware on an everyday basis of the various conditions of life described in this book, and need no primer on poverty, drugs, violence, sexual assault, child abuse, bullying, poverty, neglect, weakness, and self-absorbtion of others. I certainly don't desire to fill my off hours wallowing in such miseries.

    The two stars I would have given the story are for its being well-written--for what it is, rather than what I wished it to be--and the clear-cut characterizations. I don't think I would want to actually meet any of these people, but I did feel I had a clear view of who they were.

    I wish the publicity had been a little less coy about revealing the true tone of this work so that I might have been more prepared. This sort of story simply isn't my cup of tea and I will be far less likely to buy a book by J. K. Rowling in the future. I had hoped to like this book and had been willing to accept something completely different from the author of Harry Potter, but this is outside my ability to enjoy. If this is what Rowling feels the need to write, she's perfectly entitled to do so. I'll exercise my right and not read it. Perhaps her future books will be less grim, but it will take a lot of convincing before I try another one.

    7 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Granville, MA, United States 10-16-12
    Susan Granville, MA, United States 10-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring is an understatement"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator was the only "good" thing about this book. It was boring from the start. I got to Chapter 10 and gave up. If it wasn't written by JK Rowling, I don't think it would have been published.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dmac62x 10-07-12
    dmac62x 10-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "I couldn't get through it"

    I listened to the first half, but could not finish the rest. The story, and the characters were uninteresting. My advice is to save your credit!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tory WILLISTON, ND, United States 11-08-12
    Tory WILLISTON, ND, United States 11-08-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SAD!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is very sad. It put me in a bad mood all week. I would not recommend it to anyone.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Christiansburg, VA United States 10-24-12
    Connie Christiansburg, VA United States 10-24-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is no Harry Potter"

    I was extremely disappointed in J.D.Rowling. As a Harry Potter fan I expected more from her. Very hard book to finish.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mechelle Weatherford, TX, United States 10-19-12
    Mechelle Weatherford, TX, United States 10-19-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Big Disappointment!!!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not sure who would enjoy this book; I expected so much more than what I got.


    What was most disappointing about J. K. Rowling’s story?

    The story line rambled on and on and on.. way to much over use of the F word-- Quiet ridiculous in fact.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was fine.. but the story was never ending.


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

    Disappointment.. a total waste of a credit.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your time on this one.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.R. 10-17-12
    R.R. 10-17-12

    R.R.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "So very disappointing...."
    Would you try another book from J. K. Rowling and/or Tom Hollander?

    I desperately wish to give this novel 5 stars. I enjoyed JK Rowling's Harry Potter series for the brilliant plot, character development, resolution etc. And I would rank JK Rowling as the most brilliant author of our time. Yet this novel is the exact opposite. Poor plot layout. Horrific character development. Potently graphic (without purpose) and extremely disturbing subject matter. I thought the book would never come to an end. In all fairness there was some resolution at the very end but still did not satisfy. I just hope that JK Rowling doesn't have as negative of a view of this world as portrayed in this novel. I am so very disappointed.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey Rock Springs, Wy, United States 10-17-12
    Stacey Rock Springs, Wy, United States 10-17-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    5
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    "Slow, boring, and unnecessary cursing"
    What would have made The Casual Vacancy better?

    The story is writen from different characters point of view which I usually like. This book however bounces from boring character to character and it is hard to keep track of who's story is who's.


    What was most disappointing about J. K. Rowling’s story?

    I understand this book is geared towards adults but the cursing is completely unnecessary. I expected more from Ms. Rowling's writing.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator is the only decent thing about this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I am really disappointed in this book. I didn't even get through the first 45 minutes of listening to it because it the characters, story, and language was so awful.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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