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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"Terrific story and wonderful narration."
I resisted The Casual Vacancy for ages because I wasn't sure what would be sitting under all that hype. Now I've listened to it, I'm glad to know J K Rowling remains a wonderful story teller. (Please do more.)
Tom Hollander's narration is perfect.
"Maybe its me!"
I just could not get into this book at all, had couple of attempts. A real shame as I was really looking forward to it.
a superb book. A patchwork of characters and an excellent plot - all pulled together in a very satisfying conclusion. Can't wait for her next adult book
"Great depth of characters"
I had no massive expectations of this book and haven't read the Harry Potter books and this really came as a welcome surprise. The narration is excellent and the story line is good but probably not exceptional. The thing that is exceptional however is the depth and astonishing realism that Rowling has put into the characters and this lifts the storyline and gives it worth. You really begin to understand how they think and feel and how their fears and weaknesses drive them.
You could argue that this slows down the book slightly but this isn't a rip roaring thriller so it feels worth doing. You can immerse yourself into a setting that feels like it could be being acted out for real in any village in England. Thoroughly enjoyable and it "stayed with me" for some time after I finished it.
"Part One only"
I have listened to almost all of part one of this audio book and found it rather vulgar for the sake of sensationalism. I think J. K. Rowling has a fantastic imagination and expected better.
I absolutely loved this book! It was engaging, interesting and the insight given into suburban village life was absolute genius writing on Ms Rowling's part. The characters are unlikeable, but brilliantly crafted, the subject matter is rather depressing, but it is an excellent reflection on modern life. Tom Hollander's narration was fabulous too. If you're expecting grown up Harry Potter-esque storylines then don't bother, you won't like it. If you're looking for something a bit different, then give it a go.
J. K. Rowling tackles racism, classism and sexism in razor sharp sentences, with chapters though at times short that have you racing to read them to see the outcomes; the thoughts and feelings and circumstances of life for the underprivileged, the pompous, the verbose and the psychotic. A stunning novel that shreds the morals and lives of the English village like an onion skin exposing the nihilistic state of Britain's politics, class and race issues like no other. A brave book that needed to be written.
"I really enjoyed it...."
...apart from all the swearing. However, the characters couldn't have been accurately portrayed without it, I guess.
Really good story and themes although I felt it ended rather abruptly.
I would recommend this book though! A brilliant read/listen!
Loved it ,well read and exellent story telling . People were do real you felt you knew them Cant wait for her next book.
"Well done JK Rowling AND Tom Hollinder."
I found reading the book a bit slow going in the beginning but the last third of the book more than made up for the slow start. The story lines that were laid in the earlier parts of the book were sewn together beautifully at the end. Listening to the book made it all come together further more so. Tom Hollinder's narration is A* he gave all the characters more life than my reading of the book could ever give them. I am now looking forward to not only re-listening to the book time and time again but I will also venture to re-read the book as well. If I was to say something negative about it is the amount of swearing, whilst reading the book I managed to skim over the swearing but listening to it outline highlighted just how much there was.
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