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.
"Long drawn out first half"
The later third of the book is grinning and raw. However the first half is tedious and uninspiring. Overall there are more enjoyable reads. On a positive not it is colourful in its description and uses a broad and rich vocabulary .
"Thinking man's Hot Fuzz"
Engrossing study of modern middle class English provincial manners. And brilliantly read by Hollander. But beware. There are rather a lot of lead adult characters, well over a dozen, all of similar importance to the narrative so it can be confusing keeping track of who is who. Teenage characters are blessedly fewer. Rowling knows how to tell a good story and it all rings true. Though I wonder if middle England is really quite as miserable and desperate as the book describes. Not as funny as Hot Fuzz, and a lot more swearing. So beware of that too.
I didn't think I'd like this book but I thought I'd give it a go and I'm glad I did. Lots of story threads and characters which were actually easy to follow. Real, honest characters, who felt natural and were well constructed. Although not very likeable. Rowling is a talented writer, it's not just about Harry Potter.
"Gripped. From start to finish"
I really enjoyed this story.
Rowling shies through her writing some insight into the everyday depravations and trauma of both young and older folk.
Excellent, thank you.
"just not sure.,,"
to be honest.... thought this would be something very different to what I got!
the story is in my view a make believe story of real life, I am no novelist so am not going to say it's good or bad or in between. it's just not what I was expecting from someone who has such favourable fans!?
I will say I struggled with it, a bit long winded and slow in places, but ultimately, it left me feeling utterly sad! to realise that this 'story' could well be playing out in my community where lives of others are left to run their course with little or no concern from neighbours and or family.
"A great story"
This is a marvellous story of different lives rubbing against each other in a small town. Each character intertwining with other to weave a rich tale of human idiosyncrasies. With a bitter sweet ending the tale wraps up in a tragic conclusion. The characters are both loveable and despicable and the narration is perfect. A really excellent book.
"Spares no gruesome detail"
So sad. So brilliant. Holding nothing back in describing our bleakest moments. An elegant description of something sordid, but normal. Everyone has something they want to keep for themselves, but the truth always comes out in the end. Through force, or happenstance. She has done it again.
"The Casual Vacancy"
I started off as an observer, but ended up as a family member.
What a clever audible book, able to immerse the listener without effort.
Can only hope for more of the same --- excellent!
Rowling's story is a slow, dull trudge through a suburbia of Middle-class unlikeable stereotypes. The only character I felt anything other than apathy toward was a cliche of a teenage girl who didn't even seem to be the main focus of the story. Not that anyone seemed to be the focus of the story because there are a dozen different characters all vying for your attention. Altogether a sad affair and one I was unable to complete.
However, Tom Hollander's performance is flawless. He is the only redeeming feature.
This was an easy book to listen too. It flowed nicely, was easy to follow and the readers voice was perfect also. Looking forward to adding more to my library.
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