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The Casual Vacancy Audiobook

The Casual Vacancy

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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (232 )
5 star
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3.7 (207 )
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4.1 (206 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Fisher 11-12-12
    J. Fisher 11-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Hated it!"
    What disappointed you about The Casual Vacancy?

    It was miserable, depressing and too many characters in need


    What was most disappointing about J. K. Rowling’s story?

    The filthy language. I am not a prude, but this book is full of it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Hollander?

    He wasn't the problem


    What character would you cut from The Casual Vacancy?

    All of them they were so depressing


    Any additional comments?

    Sorry I even started to read it and certainly didn't finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Togala, Australia 11-08-12
    Stephen Togala, Australia 11-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Not expected; Parallels reality for many I'm sure!"

    This is not what I expected from Rowling. Having said that it was not difficult to cast off the expectations of magic and fantasy and become immersed in the lives of a petty few.

    Sadly I could draw many parallels to reality the story could of been about any committee in a closed or small community. The characters came to life quickly and very soon your second guessing only to be thrown down another path.

    The plot is not overly complicated but twists and turns in a way that makes you keep listening and eager to witness the next interaction of characters.

    Rowling is a good writer, this story is full of swear words that serve their purpose in building the characters and their intellect. As mentioned the plot is not so complicated but well written and if you can get over the expletives I challenge anyone not to at least find it interesting and thought provoking.... I'm sure you'll know someone just like one of the characters and identify with another in some way.

    The performance was a little drawn out but listen at 1 1/2 speed and you still get the inflections and character and probably enjoy the story a little more for the pace.

    Overall worth the credit - but that's just my opinion; try it for yourself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce aka (McGoolie) 11-05-12

    Successfully against the odds I learnt life's path, rules and history by osmosis due to a modest yet real reading barrier. Now I can embrace history, classics and pulp with the spoken word. Thanks Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nobody is left out. Every family has their secrets"
    Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

    I never listen to books a second time but i would go back to parts of this book as new circumstances need review.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Casual Vacancy?

    Confronting domestic violence and self abuse and trying to think like the victim Andrew Secvindar


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    Tim was very well rounded. Each character was believable


    Who was the most memorable character of The Casual Vacancy and why?

    Secvindar as her dyslexia and lack of self belief stemmed from parents too proud to recognise their daughter needed support not threats.


    Any additional comments?

    From fantasy (Hogworts / Lower Whinging) to reality, (Packford / Yarville) with the same naturally magical, literary skills.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb West Pennant Hills, Australia 11-05-12
    Deb West Pennant Hills, Australia 11-05-12

    Wife, mother, nanna, part time actor, avid reader, world traveller, golfer, bridge player, lover of life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "There was a Big Casual Vacancy left"
    Would you try another book from J. K. Rowling and/or Tom Hollander?

    I didn't enjoy this book because I was waiting for something to happen and it never did. It was boring and I lost interest. The Characters were too detailed by J.K Rowling for me. I loved the Potter books but this one didn't do a thing for me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by J. K. Rowling again?

    Yes the Potter books maybe


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Hollander?

    Yes


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Casual Vacancy?

    Too many to mention


    Any additional comments?

    This book was about awful people in an awful place. The language was not necessary and although the beginning started off with someone dying the story for me never really went anywhere and I lost interest in it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Sydney, Australia 10-29-12
    Lynne Sydney, Australia 10-29-12
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    4
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    "a fascinating study of small town life"
    If you could sum up The Casual Vacancy in three words, what would they be?

    kept me interested


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters


    Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

    Krystal


    If you could rename The Casual Vacancy, what would you call it?

    life in a small town


    Any additional comments?

    The study of the connections between the different social claseses and the insight into the characters' lives seemed to come from inside knowledge about life in a small town

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maureen Margaret river, Australia 10-29-12
    maureen Margaret river, Australia 10-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great insight into people"

    After a slow start and the need to change "parish council" to "local/shire council" in my mind ( ie not parish as in church) I became totally absorbed by the characters and insight into the politics and motivation of people living in a small community. No one is all good or all bad and this book is agreat reminder and insight into people.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Broome, Australia 10-29-12
    Beverly Broome, Australia 10-29-12
    ratings
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    6
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    "Rowling's Dark Side"
    If you could sum up The Casual Vacancy in three words, what would they be?

    Character, compulsive, insightful.


    What other book might you compare The Casual Vacancy to and why?

    Rowling is like Isabel Allende. She gets to the dark heart of people through compelling story telling, beautiful language and gut wrenching insights.


    What does Tom Hollander bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This is my first long audio book. I expected to get bored by Tom's voice but his interpretation of the script and the characters had me agreeing and disagreeing with him. I really enjoyed what he brought to the story.


    If you could take any character from The Casual Vacancy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take Crystal of course.


    Any additional comments?

    I now have to go and read all of the Harry Potter books just to get more of this woman's writing style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Oamaru, New Zealand 10-29-12
    A Oamaru, New Zealand 10-29-12
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    14
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    "A must have story"
    Where does The Casual Vacancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Absolutely spellbinding, the best yet


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Casual Vacancy?

    the whole story is an intermingling of various lives, pulled together in Rowling's inimitable style.
    There was no best moment, as the whole book is a best moment.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely, but listened to it spread over a few days. It is a book I shall listen to again quite soon.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a little bit prudish or find sexual innuendos hard to deal with, then be aware in the book there are many references to this type of behaviour and ferocious swearing.
    These are not inappropriate, as this reflects the way many people live, It is a poignant story, I would liken it to a modern day Dickens, making observation on life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice 11-02-12
    Alice 11-02-12
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    5
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    "J.K.Rowling's Soiree into adult fiction"

    A typical small town with it's small town politics and it's seedy underbelly. You will find small communities like Pagford and The Fields all over the globe.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Sydney NSW, Australia 10-31-12
    Amanda Sydney NSW, Australia 10-31-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow !"

    So what does a person who never need work another day in her life write just for the sheer joy of writing ?

    This book is gritty. It is about death, drug addiction, poverty and the fears of the middle class.

    I loved it, so well written and gripping.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Glt545
    Edinburgh
    6/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic in depth characters"

    I was put off by early reviews of this book being boring. I'm so glad I eventually decided to listen to it. The characters are brilliant. You are completely invested in their lives. Every one is detailed to perfection. A truly gifted writer. The narrator is also excellent, he moved between accents, age and gender seamlessly, giving each character life. Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • carps
    6/28/16
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    "terrific"

    brilliantly observed demolition of English small town politics. uncomfortable reading as brexit gloom envelopes us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teen
    Somerset ,United Kingdom
    6/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb storyline! Wish it had been longer.."

    Complex relationships, how they intertwine & change after the death of just one man is incredible! Underlying morals & a surprising main character! Throughly enjoyed this. Sad it's finished!
    Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • eclectic reader
    6/22/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Goes beyond our own little worlds."

    An absolutely fabulous listen. Characters so varied and familiar to everyone. Although the concept of a local election in a small town could at first seem quite limiting in storyline the truth is that this book highlighted the enormous cross section in society regardless of the size of its catchment. We can never truly know what goes on behind closed doors. Would strongly recommend this book to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • victoria hogg
    6/14/16
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    Story
    "Loved it!"

    So many stories within one story. Wonderful characters, many with secrets unexpected in such a small village. Attention to detail so well done, I could see this story unfolding in my head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • canal walker
    england
    5/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "just could not get into this book"
    What would have made The Casual Vacancy better?

    started the second part of the book and deleted it all


    Would you ever listen to anything by J.K. Rowling again?

    Yes of course I have read all the Robert Galbraith Cormoron Strike detective books. I cannot wait for the next one to come out.


    Any additional comments?

    I just could not enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Mayo
    oxford UK
    4/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very disappointed"

    all it did for 19 hours was flip from one characher to another
    very disappointed
    too many characters and a weak story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr
    4/23/16
    Overall
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    Story
    "Great narrating!"

    Best narrating I think I've heard since I started listening to audio books. really enjoyed the story too, totally different to Harry Potter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    3/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quintessentially English Thriller."

    Great listen packed with believable and rich characters. Centred around a small village, lots of family mysteries unfold as the Parish seeks to fill the Casual Vacancy
    Expertly narrated. Well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ewan
    3/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Simple one of the most engaging, enthralling books I have ever listened to. I cannot praise this book enough. 5 stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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