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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    1,601
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

No wizards in Pagford...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, would recommend for sure. The narrator is very talented, and really draws you in. The story is very adult. No kid themes here, which I think people may not expect from JK Rowling.

What did you like best about this story?

The character development was superb.

What does Tom Hollander bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His accents were amazing. He switched between all the various British accents, male & female with ease. He really drew me into the story.

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

Sukvindah's issue was very troubling, as well as the end for Krystle.

Any additional comments?

It's not action packed like Hogwarts, but this is definitely for an adult reader who enjoys character development and an unfolding story. Well done JK!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ouch! Quite a let down!

I was very much looking forward to Rowling's new book. I had been enthralled with the Harry Potter series and, while I didn't expect this to be another Harry Potter or even to be similar, I was looking for the writing to be just as readable and riviting. I rarely give up on a book once I start, but I was ready for this one to be over before I got halfway through part one. I made it into part two and had to put it down. While there is no question Rowling excels at the descriptive and with her use of language, I found this story boring, annoying and bogged down in onorous detail. I could not for the life of me keep the characters straight and was constantly trying to figure out who was who, which was very annoying.I never had this problem with her other books despite the multitude of characters in them. Reading this book has been drudgery instead of enjoyment. I have to think it might never have been published except for the Rowling name.
If you want to listen to a treatise on politics and the poor human condition with nothing uplifting about it, this might be for you. The narrator was very good, but even he could not make it enjoyable. I may yet try to finish it, but right now, I've had all I can take! I am considering returning this one!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Crestview, FL, United States
  • 11-30-12

Not your Harry Potter!

What made the experience of listening to The Casual Vacancy the most enjoyable?

Characters are well defined. They seemed real. I could visualize this place very easily.

What did you like best about this story?

Definitely an indictment of the social environment.

Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

No one in particular.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No! It is too rough a story to listen to for any length of time.

Any additional comments?

Audible is always great. Rowling is great. Rowling needs a middle ground story now.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Reta
  • SURREY, BC, Canada
  • 11-30-12

Great insight into today's teenagers

Would you consider the audio edition of The Casual Vacancy to be better than the print version?

The different accents of the characters made it very interesting to listen to it in audio.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All charters were interesting and one doesn't stand out for me.

Have you listened to any of Tom Hollander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jaclyn
  • Franklin, MA, United States
  • 11-30-12

Worth the read

I was skeptical at first but JK Rowling proved me wrong. Great story, believable characters, completely different than Harry Potter.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • Nashville, TN, United States
  • 11-29-12

Crass View of Small Town England

Would you try another book from J. K. Rowling and/or Tom Hollander?

yes

Has The Casual Vacancy turned you off from other books in this genre?

If she writes another one like this the answer is yes.

Which scene was your favorite?

None. I am not sure what her purpose was other than show the failings of the British human condition.

Did The Casual Vacancy inspire you to do anything?

read Harry Potter.

Any additional comments?

she is a good writer that for some reason needed to air issues that appear to be relative to her personal background. While this is a bit presumptuous, the Queen will no longer honor her for this crass view of British life.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • Rome, GA, United States
  • 11-29-12

Ready for a sequel! Love these characters!

What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

After I became familiar with the characters, I couldn't wait to see their lives unfold. She makes you feel as if you almost know them.

What other book might you compare The Casual Vacancy to and why?

Wish I knew of another similar to it!

Any additional comments?

I already miss this story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Compelling read but depressing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Conditionally. It is well written and engaging but the characters are not very attractive--it is hard to find one to root for

Would you be willing to try another book from J. K. Rowling? Why or why not?

Absolutely. She is a great writer

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mary
  • BURLINGTON, MA, United States
  • 11-28-12

Well done.

Admittedly. part of my reason for choosing this novel is curiosity. I wondered how Ms. Rowling would do after leaving Harry. I thought this novel got off to a slow start, but it built into a moving and involved plot, with good character development, particularly of the teenagers, as to conclude with great pathos and literary satisfaction.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lorraine
  • 324 N Carver Ln. Lawrence, Ks
  • 11-28-12

Worst book ever.

Would you try another book from J. K. Rowling and/or Tom Hollander?

No

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure at this time

What didn’t you like about Tom Hollander’s performance?

He was fine, book how overall bad this book is.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

I wii not read a book written by her again, how overall sad and sick this book was.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful