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
Having listened to all the Harry Potter books, I was really looking forward to this book. After listening to it for 4 hours on a road trip, I'm not sure I'll even continue.
I'm half done listening to this book and I still don't have a clue what it's supposed to be about!
I normally love listening to books while I'm driving long distances. This narrator reading this book almost put me to sleep several times.
I would definitely listen to it again because I like a good story well told -- and that's what this is.
There's a funeral scene near the end where one character recalls her lost friend in better times, pushing back against systemic b.s. with sass and humor and guts. That recollection will stay with me.
No, but I intend to. he's very good.
Krystal. Because she's smart and gutsy and full of heart.
I glanced through the bad reviews before downloading this book and almost skipped it because they were so vehement. I'm so glad I didn't! This has nothing to do with HP; my advice is to think of this writer as someone you've never heard of and take the work on face value. It's a book filled with people most of us can recognize, some of them honorable, some of them wretched, some of them just lost. The prose is fine and the dialogue rings true.
For those who say it's all just ugliness and vulgarity, I strongly disagree. I love this book.
I was prepared for JK Rowling's new book not to be another Harry Potter installment, in fact I thought it was a good move for her to go a different direction. After the phenomena that was HP what could she possibly do to follow it up? So I gave a Casual Vacancy a chance. I gave it a chance after a slow start that introduced so many characters it was hard to follow. I gave it a chance past all the profanity, drug use and sex; more than most adult crime novels I listen to. I could have even dealt with the rape scene if it had been important to the story. Unfortunately it wasn't worth it. I get That Rowling wanted to dig into the gritty "real world" after years of fantasy, but she seems to only run to all the things she couldn't write about through seven other novels. she spends the entire novel digging into all the dirt of real life without out even glancing at the good parts. There are no redeeming characters, no one to pull for, no innocent people only victims, no villains just slightly corrupt, incompetent abuser and self absorbed people.
You wouldn't think a small town in the English country side would hold such misery. Casual Vacancy starts like many books, introducing different characters of a small town who seem to be completely unconnected. One local councilmen dies of a brain aneurysms and we begin to see how his death effects them all. The story is slow, but has a sense of building so I figured it was going somewhere. None the characters are completely good or bad, but its their flaws Rowling focuses on. The story ends in a senseless tragedy, which seems to come out of no where and leave you completely unsatisfied. You think something good will come out of this entire mess, but it doesn't. One or two of the characters end up slightly better than they started, but anything to be learned from the book are left to the reader to be decided. The story is told from 3rd person omniscient, and I had a hard time believing some of the characters motivations which got a little annoying.
All that said I somewhat enjoyed it. I was drawn in, I wanted to find out where the much to do about nothing was leading. I was hoping for big payoff, and I was prepared to write a good review. But the ending is just kind of empty and sad. It's like Rowling created all of these characters and then didn't know what to do with them. I noticed in the HP books she had a tendency to add unnessicary story lines in some of the later books. I thought she just like those characters too much not to have something for them to do. Now I wonder if she just needs someone to tell her to focus on the main storyline, even if you have to cut a few thing.
I don't know who would enjoy this book. It is confusing and disappointing!
I think if she really wanted to write an adult book and make it in a different genre, she should have published under a different name and seen what would have happened. I feel like she only got published because of who she is.
I am not blaming this story on the narrator. I think he did fine with the material provided.
None that I can think of.
I think that if this book would have been by anyone except J.K. Rowling it would never have seen the light of day!
I REALLY WANT MY CREDIT BACK! ABSOLUTELY WASTED!
It isn't 'Harry Potter' and it isn't magic... but it is a interesting social commentary with a full cast of characters. I enjoyed this book, with all the character flaws and human condition. I will continue reading JK Rowlings because she can tell a story.
I read other reveiws and was worried, but am glad I relied on my gut instinct to trust this story teller to live up to her talent. Another good book by one of my all time favorite authors.
J. K. Rowling is an excellent writer. What's missing here is a driving plot line. It's as if Harry never left the Dursleys. The whole Potter series is his miserable life in the closet under the stairs. Instead of a closet, make it a dank little English town wallowing in child abuse, drug addiction, racism and all-around, mean-spirited thick-headedness. There are a few decent adults, but they tend to be ineffectual. Rowling let Harry off in the end, but don't expect that bounty for "The Casual Vacancy" kid who needed it and earned it here. I kept listening, but I feel as if I need a bath. Good reader.
I'm a world traveler and avid reader. I come here when life doesn't give me time to turn pages :)
I was very curious about Rowling's A Casual Vacancy and I knew it would be very different from her famous Harry Potter series. She has proven herself to be able to cross genres and audiences. This book is not for children, to be sure and is set in real life. The way she wove together the lives of the several different characters was fascinating. I only give it 4 out of 5 stars because it was full of cursing which may not bother some as much as me. I could have done with less, although I can tell that Rowling was going for real life and not shying away from the rawness of it. So at the same time, I admire that.
The narrator was excellent. He voice was very easy to listen to and he did a fantastic job of giving each character their own voice and nuances.
JK Rowlings look into the ripple effect that one man's death makes in small town England.
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