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
Rowling excels at providing the reader with complex characters - almost as if you are first looking at the shadow from a cardboard cut-out, a shallow cliche that slowly grows in complexity for good or ill. I came into the story with few pre-conceived ideas as to what I would find - other than there would be no magic.
Indeed, there was none. There was life, in all its hard brutal reality, starkly painted and unforgiving.
A book to enjoy for its difference.
Tom Hollander provides an even pace and warm tones that do not distract from the story.
Yes. I can't wait for more people to read this. It's a very true portrayal of marginalization and the light and shadow of intimate relationships.
Both Crystal and Andrew haunt me. Their circumstances, vulnerability and strength evoke empathy and hope for their happiness. Rowling understands duality in humans where the good and the bad sit alongside each other. She shows the irrefutable reasoning behind life choices we otherwise criticize.
Great reader! He easily moves between the accents to embody the characters.
I can't forget the final scene.
I wonder if the reason for negative reader reviews is due to their expectation of fantasy based literature. The very realist style of this book is its strength.
I'm 40 something female and like to escape into a book. I listen in the car and like a story that either business related or pure escapism.
As I said in the opening the language was quite startling and considering I was driving through a car park listening through the speakers in my car with the roof down, I had to quickly turn it off in case I caused offence. Now I am prepared for open spaces.
JK Rowlings knows how to set a scene and does it just as effectively in this tale. It is quite a dark story and whilst I am only half way though I really wanted to warn people that they may not want to play it aloud in the earshot of others.
The characters are great and the story is gritty, would I listen again? Probably not but am I enjoying it, yes.
...Maybe it would have been read on its merit rather than its author's achievements.And who may enjoy it more? Not my friends.
I have to admit that I could not finish this book.
No. If I do not like it, I do not reccommend.
Yes, very well written, just a very trivial average story
Completely.... It was just so detailed about average life!
Vey well narrated
This book was so depressing if I had continued listening to it I would have had to go on medication. No likeable characters, no redeeming features for any of the protagonists. I think Rowling's thought process was "What can I write about that's the complete antithesis of Harry Potter" ?
The writing must be good as I always was feeling the need for a hot shower to scrub clean. I may one day get hold of a paper copy to make sure all the horrible people get their just desserts, but I can no longer listen to it in the car when I cannot fast forward and have to listen to the foul, depressing distasteful things described in this book.
If I never read another word about adolescent sexual 'awakenings', particularly those of spotty masturbating boys, it will be way too soon. A tired subject that bores me no end and was never worthy of any literary merit.
Horrible, horrible book. It will be a long time before I spend my money on a JK Rowling book.
could not believe it expected exciting adult fun and its boring town council with crude words and teenage sex and drug taking.. did not expect it .. I am in my 50's so no child ...
give it a go
dull and he even sounded bored with the telling.. but good voices
the amount of the swearing it was toooooo much. I do not care that it is the way of the world now but tooooo much for me. good luck to all that like it....
got warned sorry I paid to hear this and I have 1000's of audio books from a great variety of authors... including of course Harry Potter.. I did not want another Harry but wanted an experience of sensual adult excitement with no magic written.. I got mmmmmmmm.. new school kids that are rude and crude.
If this book had been written without every sentence containing negative sexual content, and instead kept to a story base, it would have been an OK read, a book like many others. I do not think it lived up to her previous writings at all.
J K Rowling has a supreme gift of word use which comes through at times. However, this is so overlayered by the negatives that her gifts unfortunately do not shine.
As above, I did not enjoy much about this book. My least favourite from Audible.
Having seen a book written by J K Rowling was at last available on Audible I was delighted. Unfortunately, this did not measure up to my expectations. I found the book unpleasant and not worth the credit nor the time I spent listening to it. Out of the 19 hours this book takes to read, I listened to two and three quarter hours, waiting to see if it would improve. It didn't. In my opinion it was a sad waste of talent.
The writing style was great and I found that I was immersed in the story.
As good as HP
The first part was too slow to begin but Rowling took her time to fill in the background
Great reader perhaps the only reason I sat through the whole performance.
Report Inappropriate Content