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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"not one for the kids"
This is no children's story with strong language and drug use. The book is relentlessly dark, not one to listen to after a hard day. So why listen to it? Because it is superbly written by a class author and is a great exploration of the petty thinking in small town politics. J K Rowling peels away the veneer of respectability to show the skeletons in the cupboards. The characters are truly awful and seem fantastic, until you watch the news and reflect that nice people do terrible things. Definitely one to listen to, then follow up with some Wodehouse as an antidote.
"Stayed with me"
Like lots of people I approached this book with Harry Potter in mind. I'm every pleased to say that quickly got left behind. A stunning novel, I found her characters utterly authentic and terrifyingly real. It's a testament to Rowling's skills that she has overcome the Potter legacy to explore in fine detail the complex world of everyday life. The politics of community life, the lust to wealth and power, the drive of self interest and the misery of accidents of birth. I loved every moment of it.
The reason I didn't like this book is there wasn't a single character I could empathize with. I presume it was written this way in purpose but there were almost no redeeming qualities in anyone. There was a glimmer of hope for some ofthe teenagers but most of the adults were selfish and/or weak. It's hard to get into a book if you don't care about any of the characters; I kept hoping that would change as the story progressed but I remained disappointed.
"so very wordy"
J.K.Rowling is a good story teller but this exploration of small town life, social issues, cultural divides and human shortcomings was far too wordy. I wish she had managed to whittle the story down. It would have improved the overall result.
Absolutely hilarious until a really sad ending. Enjoyed the story immensely until the unnecessarily distressing ending.
"Book Worm - Can't Rate This High Enough"
Outstanding - not to be missed!
Filled with lots of twists and turns in a very gripping true to life story.
She has an incredibly deep and clever insight in to human nature.
Didn't want it to end, and shall definitely be looking out for her next novel.
Top marks also to Tom Hollander a perfect narrator - so easy to listen to and accent/pitch totally faultless.
Having read all the Harry Potter stories, I was looking forward to reading this book written especially for adults. I thought the story line looked promising and interesting but the constant and unnecessary bad language really spoiled my enjoyment of the story and means that I would never recommend it to anyone
"Relentlessly depressing but all too lifelike"
J K Rowling is an amazing writer but why pick a small town and it's relentlessly petty, mean, sad characters for a novel? There appears to be no plot and the people are so awful that you actually feel no sympathy for any of them and therefore no desire to see if they succeed or fail in life. To be scrupulously fair, the characters are so well drawn they make you wince because I am sure all of us will have met at least one of these types but I'm afraid I just did not want to hear them. I actually did not listen to the end.
"disappointing considering the author, but okay"
I expected better coming from such an author, but nethertheless, it was a 'good' book. a little slow to start but came to a very good ending. Worth reading, but don't expect anything as good as harry potter, it's good book though
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.
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