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The Casual Vacancy | [J. K. Rowling]

The Casual Vacancy

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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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  • Amazon Customer
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    Adelaide, Australia
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Yate, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William Stewart
    Neston, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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. !,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    clacton, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Why"

    Yes it's adult, yes it's well written and yes it's not Harry potter. It's however not my cup of tea. I need escapism not harsh reality, if you like a little realism in your life please try it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • N Kernohan
    Belfast, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Stays with you long after you finish"

    I listened to The Casual Vacancy partly because as a fan of the Harry Potter series I was interested to see what J K Rowling's next book would be like. I found the book to be a rather depressing look at British Life, from the point of view of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised teenagers and their families. The book was at times a struggle as I didn't particularly warm to any of the characters. It also raises the question in your mind that ultimately how can anyone help to change their lives. Before listening to this novel I had heard it described as a dark comedy. I didn't find any comedy in it at all. The character who seemed to be trying to help and change lives was the dead man who had given himself such an insurmountable task it isn't surprising he died from a heart attack. Ultimately, the novel is well written and raises questions we would all rather not think about. Although the story is rather depressing, it really does come back into your mind long after you finish. It is a worthwhile book to listen to and who knows perhaps someone will come up with a way of making Britain a better place. It will take more than politicians telling us we need to feel happier. I wish I had been able to like at least one of the characters though but to be honest it all reminded me a little too forcefully of people I knew when I was at school, and my school days were not happy days. A well written story as it leads to a sad yet inescapable conclusion. A Casual Vacancy is a book whose uncomfortable themes stay with you long after you finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alfie
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Small world, big scope"

    Brilliant portrayal of each individual character. This book paints a terrifyingly accurate picture of small town life, class warfare, family secrets and the effect on the various members of each family. A tour de force, written with insight and with no holds barred.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Imogen
    BATH, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    If I could give this book four and a half stars I would! First off I should mention that The Casual Vacancy is NOTHING like Harry Potter, so if this is what you're after, move on! Notably it did take me a while to get into, the introduction of multiple characters made for a confusing start, but this novel is one to stick with. Brilliantly read, the Casual Vacancy will have you laughing, crying, feeling gloriously frustrated, and by the end you won't be able to stop listening. It is a novel I had persevere with, but I am INCREDIBLY glad that I did! Excellent comment on the class prejudices faced in todays society, each character displays an identifiable flaw that compliments the nature of the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mickyzip
    New Forest UK
    12/22/12
    Overall
    "Classic"

    Superb story of a small town life. A bitter-sweet ending bringing a tear and a smile together, is nothing short of brilliant.

    This book should become a classic for future generations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    United Kingdom
    12/18/12
    Overall
    "Fabulous"

    Great book, didn't want it to end. Excellant look at our communities, insightfull delve into family life. More please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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