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The Casual Vacancy | [J. K. Rowling]

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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  •  
    LeeAnn Fry Conroe, Texas 11-16-12
    LeeAnn Fry Conroe, Texas 11-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Another great listen!"
    What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

    I didn't expect the story line! After the author wrote the Potter books, I was so impressed with the change in Genre.


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

    The accent and his tone when he was speaking of the different characters


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

    The girl (can't remember her name) who was stuck in an envirounment she had no control over. I would discuss with her how to break the cycle she was born into.....her ending broke my heart!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly ATLANTA, GEORGIA, United States 11-12-12
    Kelly ATLANTA, GEORGIA, United States 11-12-12
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    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow start, but it pays off"
    Where does The Casual Vacancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The vast array of characters were intertwined in a complex web. Because I'm not great at absorbing information aurally, it was hard for me to keep the characters' relationships to one another straight through an audiobook.

    The first third of the book felt like drudgery, but I was determined to listen in full and I'm glad I did. Rowling did not disappoint. An avid HP fan, I was skeptical about what Rowling could accomplish for adults. There really is no overlap between HP and The Casual Vacancy except for the omniscient POV. Vacancy explores characters more deeply with an omniscient narrator who rotates through the townspeople.

    This was a great book, but one I wish I'd read in print because I'm quite sure I missed some of the intricate details Rowling laid out. If you are better able to focus than I, you will probably enjoy this slightly more than I.


    What did you like best about this story?

    J. K. Rowling's ability to weave so many characters into intricate plot and subplots was my favorite part.


    What aspect of Tom Hollander’s performance would you have changed?

    I'm surprised that a male narrator was chosen. The characters roughly bounce between male and female, with slightly more than half being female.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer 11-12-12
    jennifer 11-12-12
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    116
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    Story
    "This is not Harry Potter but I loved it!"

    If you are looking for Hogwarts you won't find it here! But if you want a change of pace this novel is salacious and gossipy with no hero in sight. However, I found that even without someone to root for I couldn't put it down.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hankwise 11-12-12
    Hankwise 11-12-12 Member Since 2007
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Strong story, but so unrelenting."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The people are believable and the story presses forward to a gloomy, but inevitable conclusion. The issues are compelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Now that you ask, I wonder why it was I persisted in finishing the story. Probably because I hoped for redemption somewhere, preferably among the kids.


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

    Crystal


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

    The Doctor's explosion at the Council meeting.


    Any additional comments?

    Write more, but please some of the cleverness that lead to Diagonally.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaci Boulder, CO, United States 11-12-12
    Jaci Boulder, CO, United States 11-12-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Keep 'em coming J.K.!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Casual Vacancy to be better than the print version?

    Reading and listening are personal preferences so I would never say one is better than another. However, when you have Ton Hollander narrating, it's not to be missed.


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

    Freedom maybe? It's a soap opera but with a bigger meaning


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    His versatility with accents and attitudes.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, just great appreciation for J.K. and her relentless creativity


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amie Chattanooga, TN, United States 11-12-12
    amie Chattanooga, TN, United States 11-12-12
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    Story
    "Wow."
    Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

    Yes. Performance was outstanding and I'll love to revisit Pagford.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Krystal, obviously. Her continued ability to push on and try to gain control of her situation was evident right through to the end.


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

    Krystal again.


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

    No, I listen while driving usually.


    Any additional comments?

    What a great opportunity for us all to get another chance to live in the mind of JKR. I loved the shocking, funny, traumatic, mundane scene she set. She obviously understands us as a human race far beyond anyone else I've read. Funny that it took a withdrawal from fantasy to let her break the chains of accepted subject matter.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Bayou La Batre, Al, United States 11-07-12
    Pamela Bayou La Batre, Al, United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed it!"
    If you could sum up The Casual Vacancy in three words, what would they be?

    Life in a small town


    Any additional comments?

    We can not live without influencing the lives of others. Most of the time we are unaware how much. Great story!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinne Springfield, TN, United States 11-07-12
    Corinne Springfield, TN, United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Writing Exemplary, Characters Crisp, Reality ?"

    I approached this book with trepidation as it did not sound interesting to me. I had to give it a chance. It was a wonderful literary experience. It was heartbreaking. Rowling once again excels at the descriptions of children - they are real, not stylized, not stereotyped. Also the children moved the story to its climax. Decide if you can balance the pain with the beauty.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 11-05-12
    Kelly 11-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Story For Today"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Casual Vacancy?

    When things did not turn out as planned which was most of the time.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This book had a number of modern day components. The thing I thought was most interesting was the attitudes between the different classes of people. Political process 2012 in a nutshell. Depending on what your experience is dictates how well you are able to deal with differences and challenges. It also dictates how well you sympathize. But when the challenges come closer to home is when compassion begins to surface.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DeShay Richmond, VA, United States 11-05-12
    DeShay Richmond, VA, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    19
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    "Overall Just ok"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Casual Vacancy to be better than the print version?

    Yes. It was very nice to listen to the book in the English accent. I think it added something to the story that a print book would not have given.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    All of the characters in the book.


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

    This was my first Tom Hollander's performance. I thought he did an excellent job with the bok.


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

    The lives of a small town


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I though the narrator did a great job. At the beginning of the book, I felt like there were way too many characters to follow but it was masterfully how Rowling linked the lives of all of the characters together. The storry is a sad and a little dark.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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