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The Casual Vacancy Audiobook

The Casual Vacancy

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.
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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

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  •  
    ms 01-03-13
    ms 01-03-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Rowling writes for grownups, too!"

    An audible book benefits from a few very clearly developed characters. Rowling has created a town with about 20 characters whose personalities and quirks are revealed in time. However, it requires some concentration to follow each character initially.
    When I sorted them out, I enjoyed the story immensely.
    The reader excels at telling the story and I was sorry when it ended.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen Lincoln University, PA, United States 01-02-13
    karen Lincoln University, PA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Prefer JKR's Petty, small-minded folk to Franzen's"
    Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

    I thoroughly enjoyed my listen, but I don't listen to any audiobooks a second time. I would definitely listen to other audiobooks narrated by Tom Hollander. He was outstanding.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way she showed the interconnections between people, the clever dialogue, the realistic portrayal of small town politics and gossip, and the keen insight into the various personality types that lurk behind the facades people erect to fool their family, friends, and neighbors.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Andrew's feelings anytime he was around Gaia were finely-drawn. Nobody understands writing about teenagers better than JKR.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    All politics is local.


    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic writing. If someone like Eggers or Franzen had written this novel, it would be the toast of literary critics everywhere. The backlash against Rowling for her success and for not writing another Harry Potter--I can't understand if it is jealousy or misogyny. Probably a little of both.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inbar Haifa, Israel 12-26-12
    Inbar Haifa, Israel 12-26-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Underrated"

    I was a bit wary because of some bad reviews on the site, but downloaded anyway because I'm a fan of JKR. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
    Yes, there was a bit of a slow start to the story, but the third act paid off big time, and had me in tears.
    JKR manages to make even the mundane and quotidian salacious.
    It takes a while to get going but I think it's totally worth it in the end!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda G. M. USA 12-21-12
    Linda G. M. USA 12-21-12
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    "Dark but excellent"
    Any additional comments?

    I found the story and the characters very compelling. By the end of the book they were so real to me, I want to know what happens to them next!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Siler City, NC, United States 12-19-12
    Heather Siler City, NC, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2015
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    "A modern day Middlemarch"

    OK, so maybe it's not going to be a timeless classic a la Eliot's Middlemarch, but the structure is the same and the writing is really quite enjoyable and insightful. Rowling takes on the psychology and motivations of over 15 characters in a small English town and paints each one with a brush both critical and compassionate. Unlike Eliot, she doesn't necessarily give you the ending you want, but draws the logical conclusion based on the people and circumstances. I was absolutely drawn in, rooting for everyone and no one at once. The realistic and complex portrayals of parent-teenager relationships as well as relationships of social class were thoughtful without being maudlin.

    At first I couldn't tell if I was enjoying the book so much simply because the narration was outstanding. By the end I had to admit that the story itself is truly unique and compelling. But I am so glad I listened to this book. Hollander was able to communicate each character with just subtle inflections of his voice. The performance was flawless, I could see the story unfold as if I were there.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lori MALIBU, CA, United States 12-19-12
    lori MALIBU, CA, United States 12-19-12
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    "WELL BEYOND POTTER"
    Where does The Casual Vacancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This one is top shelf. I drive long distances and make it a rule that I can only listen when I'm in traffic. I broke the rule with The Casual Vacancy.
    Clearly Ms. Rowlings has studied the human condition. Her depictions of personalities, human behavior, internal suffering seemed spot on. Providing a gamut of emotions and often humorous account of social situations was beyond entertaining.
    Narrators can make or break a book. Tom Hollander was a joy to listen to as he had so many English dialects down pat.
    Please don't think that this is remotely Harry Potter - although they were lovely. This is for big kids.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way she wove the fragile adults and their personalities among the teenagers and their growing pains.


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    Each voice was so clearly distinct. No confusion. All great Brits yet so diverse.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Casual Vacancy and why?

    Tough one! I enjoyed them all, but Samantha hit a home run as the unhappy middle aged woman losing her looks and frustrated with the reality of her life. She was fun to conjure up an image.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish it were longer. The ending was certainly surprising.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay FRANKLINTON, LA, United States 12-15-12
    Kay FRANKLINTON, LA, United States 12-15-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Not Just A Fantasy Writer"
    What made the experience of listening to The Casual Vacancy the most enjoyable?

    The story and the way the writer understood them and was able to convey them


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Barry Fairbrother. He seemed to be the only truly compassionate person in the story.


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    Pleasing voice. He didn't try too hard to do different accents etc.


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

    Name is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    J K Rowling is a wonderful writer.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rosemary Los Angeles, US, Canada 12-13-12
    rosemary Los Angeles, US, Canada 12-13-12 Member Since 2013

    roscka

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    "stop complaining!!!"
    Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

    yes and i did


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

    the red house


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    great, and funny


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

    no it take a little more listening to figure out out the characters


    Any additional comments?

    this also goes for the host by Stephanie meyers. STOP ASSUMING that their next book is suppose to be like the last. Deal with it.

    Good for JK to branch out and do something different.

    If you go in expecting a masterpiece, then you will most likely be disappointed. Just start it with an open mind and be prepared to enter a world full of entertaining people. It's a funny read. I loved the character development.

    This certainly must capture modern life in a small British community. I am hardly an expert on that, but, lets face it, J.K. Rowlings certainly is. It matters little, though, where the story is set. Needless to say there is many secrets and scandals hidden in this ordinary town. There is sexually explicit parts in the book , and violence, and sexual violence towards children, drug abuse, self harm etc etc.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Keogh Austin, TX 12-12-12
    C. Keogh Austin, TX 12-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved a well-developed, sugar-free story."
    Where does The Casual Vacancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have to put this at the top. I am huge on character development, and I felt she did a fantastic job of doing this. As I finished this book, I was sad to leave behind these folks, wanting to know what would happen later in their lives.


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

    I honestly can't compare it to another.


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    He is by far the best narrator I've experienced so far. His inflections kept me every bit as invested in the characters rather than rip me out of the story as other horrid narrators can do. His performance did a great story the justice it deserved.


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

    Absolutely Crystal Whedon. She needed to know how strong she was.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Dubai, United Arab Emirates 12-11-12
    Jean Dubai, United Arab Emirates 12-11-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Compelling"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this book. It can be difficult at times, as the characters are somewhat raw, and sometimes thoroughly unlikable. However, the story is compelling and drags you along even if you want to give up on the lives and petty concerns of the inhabitants of this small town. By the time I reached the end, I was sorry it was over, and sorry that I would not be traveling farther with the inhabitants, about whom now I want to know more. It was beautifully read.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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