Shortlisted for: UK Author of the year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the 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 facade 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 first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish 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?
A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.
©2012 J.K. Rowling (P)2012 Hachette Digital
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A hard act to follow Harry Potter but this is so different but with believable characters that I enjoyed it.
"Authentic and Credible Tale"
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and believed absolutely in all of the characters presented. The dirty politics, the disaffected relationships and the callous disregard from society for the unappealling underdogs was a damning description of contemporary life in the UK. It is read excellently by Tom Hollander who breathes life into a wide range of characters. Excellent listen!
"Great story and not a wizard to be seen"
Not your average slice of life book. Some great characters and storyline. Would highly recommend this book to anyone.
"A good listen"
I thought it was an OK read entertaing but not particularly challenging. I am not a fan of her other stuff so was not put off by other reviews. The characters were believable and it was a solid plot. More gritty than I expected.
All the characters are given fairly equal weight and there are a lot of them. None of them comes out at the end smelling of roses. Lots of false peaks and a sobering but not glum ending
"A wonderful surprise"
Although this book presents you with a lot of characters in a short space of time, the descriptions and writing is such that you very soon get to grips with them and then the story takes off. I absolutely loved this story, a gentle climb to a really gripping conclusion. I was in tears by the final page and bereft that my interaction with these characters was over.
"Village life exposed"
A slow start but the book soon gathers momentum as the characters come to life. I found myself hating one character, feeling sorry for another, admiring another and always eager to know what happens next. Anyone who liked the Harry Potter series will appreciate J.K. Rowling's brilliant story-telling style and her endless attention to detail when describing the people who fill her pages. Teenagers play a big part in the book and it especially makes you think about what adults do to young people and how vulnerable teenagers are despite their bravado. Excellently narrated.
"Great start to adult literature from JK"
What a great narrator! I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and piecing it all together as the story progressed. Lovely subtle humour
I will definitely read any future novels from JK for us bigger boys and girls.
"The Casual Vacancy"
After reading each Harry Potter book I was left feeling "Well nothing much happened there for such a thick book" and I wondered if her adult writing would be the same. The characters in The Casual Vacancy seemed to start off as descriptions for someone casting a new soap opera. J.K.Rowling threw in quite a bit of swearing to show she wasn't just a children's author. You know as the plot unravels lots of unsavoury details are going to emerge about the characters. My conclusion is that: on the one hand the book is nothing much out of the ordinary and if she hadn't been such a famous name, publishers might not have taken it up; but by the end I knew the characters inside out and after several weeks still feel as if I know them and wonder what some of them are doing now! Would I read another? Yes I would but I can't quite put my finger on why.
"This is questionable....?"
Although this book is JK's first attempt at an adult theme I am certain with her imagination she could have done better.
To me the story line is something that could and probably does occur in real life...knowing how local councils work !
I am led to understand that this book is to be made into a TV program, I would be VERY interested to see how this will work and who the main characters would be.
I have given this book only two stars based on the fact that although I listened through to the end it did not excite nor enthral me.......maybe the next will be better, come on Miss Rowling you know you can do better. !,
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