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The Casual Vacancy Audiobook

The Casual Vacancy

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Publisher's Summary

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little 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 façade 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 at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's 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?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking, and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults.

©2012 J.K. Rowling (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (4961 )
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4.0 (4396 )
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  •  
    T. Galloway 10-05-12
    T. Galloway 10-05-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Save Your Money/Credit"

    I tired of the tedious characters and plot line early on. I cannot understand how an author can go from the highly entertaining Harry Potters series to this lame book. Save your money. I bought the book before reviews were out.

    16 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Vanderwood 08-16-17 Member Since 2006
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    "Not for me"

    this is the first time I've been dissatisfied with a book by jk Rowling! I love Harry potter, and I love the Galbraith stories. I've listened to both many times.

    I got 4 hours into this book and realized I was forcing myself to continue because I thought it had to get better. I finally decided to stop and return the book.

    4 hours in--chapter 26--and I can't identify a central character, which makes it very difficult to invest in the story. I might have gotten past that just to see what happens, but the narrator was boring me. His acting and character voices are pretty good, and his voice is pleasant, but his narration is flat. He would be very well suited to read a children's bedtime story, but not drama.

    I hate to submit a bad review because I know how hard both writer and narrator must work to present a story, but reviews are useless if we only ever respond when we like what we heard. So... I'm very sorry, but I did not enjoy this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Woodside, CA, United States 07-25-17
    Amazon Customer Woodside, CA, United States 07-25-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Compelling slice of contemporary suburban life"

    Wow. Harry Potter's magic would likely be entirely daunted by the reality of these intertwined lives. What a writer she is! So many characters to keep straight, and yet nearly every one of them, no matter how apparently deluded or selfish, has a backstory and/or extenuating circumstances to explain the behavior that will ultimately lead to emotional devastation and even tragedy. I listened to the last third of it almost at one sitting. Moving, with the promise of hope at the end for some. A superior read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillian Swanson Livingston, Montana United States 06-18-16
    Gillian Swanson Livingston, Montana United States 06-18-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Fear & Loathing in Oagford"

    I hated this book. While Rowlings crafted a story, it was shocking to me that the book, overall, had so few redemptive qualities. It seemed to me to be an exercise in displaying & highlighting all the worst traits that we humans are burdened by, with no attempt to balance that very depressing picture with anything that it is worthwhile, decent or good. I feel sullied & encumbered by having read this. I intend to read some decent literature in the hope of recovering

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. H. Orlando, FL 03-19-16
    A. H. Orlando, FL 03-19-16 Member Since 2001
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    "Could not get into the story"
    What disappointed you about The Casual Vacancy?

    I love just about everything else she has written and tried to like this but could not get into the story after the first few hours. Very slow start.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelli 02-09-16
    Kelli 02-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Couldn't get into it"

    I made it through five chapters and had to give up. I'm a fan of all her other work, but this one was so...dull.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Hirsch Denver, CO 09-20-15
    Mary Hirsch Denver, CO 09-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "excellent for 2nd reading, knowing the characters"
    Any additional comments?

    The whole village is in on the game! Worth the effort to keep up with the characters. Pagford and Peyton Place have many secrets!<br/><br/>Enjoyed the movie just as much. Both book and movie are better the second time through, with more familiarity of the complex setting and all the characters.<br/><br/>Spot-on human behavior, in my opinion!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mollie United States 06-28-15
    Mollie United States 06-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Rowling's young characters outshine her adults"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Casual Vacancy to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version. I saw the HBO mini-series, liked it, then decided to listen to the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like Arf. His storyline put him in contact with almost all of the other characters in the book. Truly, there is not a main character in this work; it's an ensemble piece, but I like the teens (except Fats) much better than the adults.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Arf decides to get revenge on his father by posting information on the Pagford Parrish Council's webpage as "The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother" was fun scene.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I don't want to give away anything, but the ending was very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    Tom Hollander's performance was really great! If I remember correctly, he was in "Pride and Prejudice" as well as the second and third "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. He has a very good voice, and I would certainly listen to other works with him as the reader.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vaughn South Charleston, WV, United States 12-19-13
    Vaughn South Charleston, WV, United States 12-19-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Very disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I don't think this could have been made into a 4 or 5 star book. I couldn't finish it. It was long, tedious, and difficult to continue. The story was very slow in developing.


    What could J. K. Rowling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She should have added some wizards, teenagers, and a boarding school. Trying to move from adolescent fantasy to adult fiction doesn't work for her.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ogres3 PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 10-19-13
    ogres3 PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 10-19-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Loved it!"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed Rowling's character development. It takes a little while to be able to keep the characters straight, but they all have their individual foibles, which is part of the point of the story. Despite dealing with some rather serious and depressing subjects, the tone of the book is overall lightly humorous, in an appropriate way. The plot is believable; no magic or too fortuitous happy endings occur. The book was easy to listen to, especially with some understanding of British slang. Highly recommend.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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