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
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.
This is the most beautiful and confronting book I have read this year. The narrator is simply perfect. The story is heart-breakingly lovely. So sad to say good-bye to these characters. I did not want the book to end. An absolutely brilliant book. Brava!!
"Very sad but quite clichéd."
None of the characters in the book are particularly endearing in fact most are quite pathetic or just plain horrible. It is worth a listen though if you feel like a long depressing tragedy read wonderfully by Tom Hollander then this is pretty ok.
"Great listen and performance."
I was hooked from the start. The narrator was great.
My only gripe is all the swearing in JK Rowling's adult novels, I get she's trying to set up a character but sometimes it can be too much.
Yes, I really enjoyed this book & had empathy for the characters.
I don't want to say as I don't want to spoil it for future readers.
Tom Hollander's voice is easy to listen to & I felt his narration added to the experience.
Yes definitely. I won't say who or why as I don't want to ruin it for future readers, but there's a part in the book where I definitely had a tear or two in my eyes.
Now enjoying watching the small screen version.
For those wondering where they've heard Tom Hollander's voice (as I did), among other roles, he's Culter Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean lol.
There is a LOT of filler rubbish!!!
I read this because of the BBC drama. I was intrigued... I wish I had saved my credit. Its not great - AT ALL! I found myself skipping thru it because there was just so much filler.
A lot of background information about chararcters that, quite frankly, I didn't care about because they were just tooooo DULL to be cared for! Not only that there seems to be a lot of people!
The story - when you can actually find it - isn't that bad. NOT great, but not bad.
The idea that badly treated kids want to right horrible things about their parents on a blog, is a nice idea - OH WAIT... HANG ON A MINUTE... wasn't that an episode of the Simpsons about 10 years ago??
Maybe not an original idea after all then Ms Rowling!! *shakes head*
The swearing, and in particular, the much overused use of the "C" word is just completely unnecessary!
I am all for using bad language in literature (who am I to argue with Shakespeare!), but when it is just used for the shear hell of it, it gets my goat!
I will never bother reading another JK book again... Its just too boring!
the rape scene is also not necessary either - its just there for the shock factor. To be honest, it didnt shock - it just BORED!
Perfomance wise it was brilliant! Tom Hollander was a very, very good narrator - shame he didn't have a decent book to actually narrate! I will seek more from him.
Overall, I give a 3 - this is solely because the narration was good. If it hadn't have been for Mr Hollander, i would have ended the book after the first 2 hours. He and he alone got me through this tripe.
Ms Rowling - Never again!
"Made by the narration"
I originally purchased the book when it came out but just did not get into it. I think I was distracted by the negative reviews. But with the TV show looming I thought I would try again.
I am so glad I did and that I combined it with the audible version. Tom Hollander was just remarkable and his soft sardonic voice was simply perfect. It made the whole experience for me.
"Split decision -do I love it,or hate?"
The story flowed easy and fluid.
Not sure really .
Everything-Tom Hollander is an excellent narrator-will definitely be looking out for more read by him.
There were a few moments that were funny and made me laugh-and some that were equally sad.
I am really undecided on this one.I did not know what to expect when I bought this .It was the name J K Rowling on the cover that made me buy it.But I have to admit the first half of the book made me think I was listing to an audio soap.Lots of going in and out of everyone's lives,but no plot at all.It was Tom Hollander;s excellent narration that made me continue,I am glad I did-Around the 300th page it picks up and moves fast. I was the same way. Rowling does a lot of character development and little plot development, but when the plot finally unfolds, it is all worth it. The way she grasps human nature.... It's really worth it, but it does seem slow as hell with no real plot. If you're expecting a murder-mystery novel;, you will be sorely disappointed. If you're hoping to be transported to another magical adventure, you'll receive an even greater plummet back down to earth. Gritty, realistic, layered portrait of a small town in crisis. In the fallout of parish councillor Barry Fairbrother's death, the stories of a diverse cast of unhappy people are woven together: some likeable, most not. The upcoming election for Barry's empty council seat fuels a sea of pettiness, gossip, and self-interest, and long-simmering resentments come to a head. I went into this book expecting to hate it, and I'll admit, it started off pretty slow. and I did for the first half-I was about to give up when it picked up and moved faster. As the story progressed, each character grew more and more, and I became emotionally attached to a couple of them,. This is one of those books that I know I'll fully enjoy the second time I read it,more than the first listen ,as this time I admittedly did tune out at various points,finding it hard to concentrate as nothing was happening,since now I know all the characters it'll be much easier to follow.I am overall glad I continued and not give up and asked for a refund of the credit...Give it a go if you are looking for something different,but be warned ,it does take a while to get going.
"Touching,gritty and rewarding read"
This book is well researched , well written and holds a mirror up to British society with breathtaking clarity. Not a cosy read but with moments of humour and great honesty it was somehow enjoyable. The narrator does a great job overall.
"Story to slit your wrists to..."
I loved the Harry Potters but this is so different depressing, gross and downright dire
I hope never to waste my time reading such a depressing story again
Dont even bother opening this book unless you are feeling tooo happy and want depressing :(
I enjoyed the Casual Vacancy from start to finish. I don't often feel so bereaved at the end of a book, but I have to say that's just how I feel. I really look forward to the next book.
While all the characters were believable I think I loved Crystal the most. Poor girl,
His voice was believable. I felt like dad was reading me a bedtime story.
So many parts of the book moved me . So believable and current and so many twists and turns.
"Explicit language warning needed"
Shocking language and explicit sexual descriptions made this hard to listen to, but the characterisation was so gripping that I had to listen to the end.
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