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 cast of characters that are beautifully contstructed and developed. Non of them are angels and all have their demons. It is a hard hitting, no punches pulled description of life in the UK for many.
I had no idea where the story would take me & the climatic ending had been exclaiming out loud. A darned good read.
"The Casual Vacancy"
J K Rowling has excelled herself with the Casual Vacancy, proving she can write for the adult world. Straight from the start I was engrossed with the goings on in Paggford and the neighbouring Fields. Starting the book with the death of Councillor Fairbrother, J K Rowling had the tittle tattle of the community to a T. But as the book goes on the story unravels troubled family lives of a teenager who is desperate to keep her mum off drugs so her 3 year old brother does not go in to care, a teenage boy living in a violent family and a mixed up adopted boy whose father has serious mental problem, to name a few. But it is J K Rowling's descriptions that make this book so good and credible. She describes the hovel of the drugged up mother's house, who has sold all her furniture to buy drugs, the dirt, the grim, the scruffy furniture, it just conjures up great images in your mind. J K is such a brilliant author. She deserves an award for this book, it is absolutely fantastic!
Found this book very disappointing. One-dimensional characters and stereotypes throughout. This book left me feeling depressed after every listen.
Interesting enough storyline, but it seemed to go at such a slow pace I almost gave up several times! Had I been reading the book , as opposed to listening whilst driving or doing my chores :-), it would still be unfinished on the bookshelf. The ending was very disappointing.
This is quite the best book I have read in years.
Dont be put off if you are not into politics. It is parish pump stuff and only a framework for the brilliant characters involved.
Each character is beautifully drawn and the 'story' moves on at a cracking pace. Even though she leaves one character to delve into the life of another, it all seems to fit.
"Tedious, far too long"
It will make a good film as all the tedious detail will be glossed over. The end is very dramatic and ties up all the various story lines. If you get to the end, you will think about people more openly than before.
"Much much better than the critics say"
She can be a bit of cheesy writer in her use of language, but it works by God. She is a brilliant plotter, and uses language to create exactly the effects she wants - which is what you want from a novelist. I find some of Dickens' stylistic conventions irritating but it doesn't stop him from being a great writer. I have never read Harry Potter, though I dislike the Stephen Fry reading of it when I've heard any of it,. Anyway, clearly JK needed to get kids out of her system so she's written the most adult book imaginable. I love the realism, the dark humour, the plot line - it is totally compelling. I was so surprised since I was expecting to not like it after reading the snotty reviews. Well done JK and the excellent reader.
"Unpleasant people without redemption"
The story is a good premise. The characters weren interesting as sketches of people and Tom Hollander tells it well.
However I agree with many that the swearing, although true to life, was unpleasant and over done. The characters were recognisable in there way without being stereotypes. They were mostly unpleasant and without redemption. Any sign of altruism - and there weren't many - was revealed as either having an ulterior motive or creating a negative effect elsewhere. People are nicer than this book portrays. That was a dissappointment. If that is how JK Rowling sees the world, I wouldn't changes places with her for all her wealth!
"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.
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