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
It was miserable, depressing and too many characters in need
The filthy language. I am not a prude, but this book is full of it.
He wasn't the problem
All of them they were so depressing
Sorry I even started to read it and certainly didn't finish it.
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!
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
I never listen to books a second time but i would go back to parts of this book as new circumstances need review.
Confronting domestic violence and self abuse and trying to think like the victim Andrew Secvindar
Tim was very well rounded. Each character was believable
Secvindar as her dyslexia and lack of self belief stemmed from parents too proud to recognise their daughter needed support not threats.
From fantasy (Hogworts / Lower Whinging) to reality, (Packford / Yarville) with the same naturally magical, literary skills.
Wife, mother, nanna, part time actor, avid reader, world traveller, golfer, bridge player, lover of life.
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.
Yes the Potter books maybe
Too many to mention
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.
kept me interested
life in a small town
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
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.
Character, compulsive, insightful.
Rowling is like Isabel Allende. She gets to the dark heart of people through compelling story telling, beautiful language and gut wrenching insights.
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.
I would take Crystal of course.
I now have to go and read all of the Harry Potter books just to get more of this woman's writing style.
Absolutely spellbinding, the best yet
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.
Definitely, but listened to it spread over a few days. It is a book I shall listen to again quite soon.
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.
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.
slow to start but hard to put down, I really enjoyed it.sorry it came to an end, felt like I really knew the characters.
"A living story"
Real and gritty. Totally believable characters. I found myself wanting to get back to pagford for the next extract as soon as I could
Fell below my expectations, and found it tedious to get through. I don't think I'll be buying anymore of her books!
"a neat circular story. well drawn characters. A g"
a neat circular story. Well drawn characters. A good summary of how small town local politics can operate.
"Unusual reflection on society"
Tom Hollander was an excellent narrator. I don't think I would have got to the end of this book without him.
It took me a while to get used to this book, and I expected something 'to happen' but it is really more of an observation of people and why they might behave the way they do. I personally like good over evil, happy books. This book is more a reflection of reality- which I generally like to leave behind me when I get into a book. When you get to the end - it makes you think.
It was worth the listening time but I wanted the characters to turn a corner and see the error of their ways. It seems the nicest character was Barry and he died within minutes of the first chapter!
I could see this book becoming a classic in time as it focuses on society and why people behave as they do.
I struggled to get into is book at first because a lot of characters are introduced in a short amount of time, so it was hard to place some of them in my mind. However the more I listened, the more engaging the book became and I began to really look forward to listening on my way to work. What also helped with placing the characters was watching the episodes of The Casual Vacancy on iplayer. I would recommend this book.
Listening to this story reminded me of my experience applying for the casual vacancy in my local PC. The issues in the rest of the story were very good and intriguing as the author put them all together. Easy to listen to, having to dip in and out was easy without losing the thread of the story.
"Rowling at her finest."
I could not stop listening. Absolutely excellent. Cannot fault anything about this book. Well done to the author.
"Got better towards the end"
I didn't really connect with this book and persevered.
Storyline was ok, I just somehow didn't feel I was immersed with the characters...
"Couldn't see the point"
Yes I would, as I like some of her books very much, and my enjoyment of the book ( or lack of ) was nothing to do with Tom Hollander.
I couldn't get the point she was trying to make, unless it was that the rural dream of owning a pretty cottage in a little village is now the domain of solicitors, doctors and middle class professionals, and that for the poor rural life is as dismal as urban life but without the shopping facilities. I already knew this , so the message ( if that's what it was meant to be ) was wasted on me.
He was a perfectly adequate performer.
If I wanted to go to sleep, it was perfect.
If this was JK's attempt to attack the middle classes it wasn't really caustic enough, I really couldn't get on with it.
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