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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

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,686
  • 4 Stars
    1,447
  • 3 Stars
    977
  • 2 Stars
    615
  • 1 Stars
    601

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,255
  • 4 Stars
    1,315
  • 3 Stars
    654
  • 2 Stars
    244
  • 1 Stars
    265

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,498
  • 4 Stars
    1,174
  • 3 Stars
    862
  • 2 Stars
    576
  • 1 Stars
    662
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration!

Would you recommend The Casual Vacancy to your friends? Why or why not?

I am going to read it in print. I could not even judge the book because after 1 1/2 hours I stopped. The narrator's voice made me lose interest. I could only give the book 3 stars because I didn't finish it and J.K.R is a wonderful writer.

Any additional comments?

I could only give the book 3 stars because I didn't finish it and J.K.R is a wonderful writer so I'm pretty sure it will be more.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointment

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't know if this book is truly a 4 or 5 star book because I can't get past chapter 2.

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

I am very disappointed in Rowling's attempt in this book. I haven't finished the book. Too slow to start. Not but in chapter 3. Not impressed with the lackluster sexual references.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Hollander?

I don't know if it's Tom Hollander as much as it is the material. In a word--Boring!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Casual Vacancy?

Since I've only read the first 3 chapters I can only judge on that and I would have to say--the first 3 chapters.

Any additional comments?

Terribly disappointed in this long awaited book from J K Rowling. But nothing can compare with Harry Potter.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A little low key for my taste

I was curious as to how Rowlings would write for an adult audience. The Casual Vacancy kind of reminded me of an Anthony Trollop novel, a small town full of self important people, a lot of character development and not a lot happening until the end. I'm glad that I stuck with it, she really wrapped it up nicely, and Tom Hollander was a good choice for the narrator.

I was listening to a Tana French Dublin Murder Squad novel at the same time, and it was a bit jarring, the narrator's dialects were fairly similar, but what a difference in story.

In answer to a question in your guided review, I don't think that the book needs a follow up in the same location. I am curious how the teen agers who moved made out, but I'm done with the town council.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

hard to follow

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

not sure

Would you ever listen to anything by J. K. Rowling again?

not sure

Which scene was your favorite?

none

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

none

Any additional comments?

I only listened to the first part of 3. The book was so detailed that it was hard to follow the story line. I kept waiting on it to get better, but never got the sense that it would... so I deleted it. Sorry J.K.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tara
  • Notasulga, AL, United States
  • 12-04-12

Ignore the bad reviews!

What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

The character development. The story. The reader.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Casual Vacancy?

Umbrella. Crystal Weadon & Fats in the cemetary. Kay's first visit to the Weadon house.

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

Crystal. Samantha. Andrew. Kay.

If you could take any character from The Casual Vacancy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Samantha. I am sure we would have plenty to drink.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the book had not jumped constantly from one group of characters to the next without any since of continuity.

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

Rowling should go back to the formula that worked so well in the Harry Potter books. Fully developed characters, action and an interesting plot. This book is the most poorly written peice I have read since I stopped teaching and having to grade student essays.

What character would you cut from The Casual Vacancy?

At least three-quarters of them. It is hard to choose just one.

Any additional comments?

I would advise people to save their money and skip this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon
  • Bayfield, Colorado, United States
  • 12-02-12

Rowling rocks it again

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

This is a great character book, that allows you to hear the story from all perspectives. The story moves along at a good pace, so that you never get bored. I would recommend this book to any listener, whether or not you like the Harry Potter series, as this book goes in a totally different direction than Rowling's other works.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ending a disapiontment

What did you like best about The Casual Vacancy? What did you like least?

character development,follow up

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

couple more chapters would have been better. I get the whole premise of don't be a hater,however,what besides the tradgedy came out of the whole thing?

What three words best describe Tom Hollander’s performance?

It was fabulous

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

depends

Any additional comments?

little slow at first,then captivating......at the end,aside from the moral lesson learned, then what? What did the characters do with that change,you know,in their psyce?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Janet
  • Pittsboro, NC, United States
  • 12-02-12

The Dursleys World

What disappointed you about The Casual Vacancy?

There is not a single likeable character in this book. It's as if you are reading about the Dursleys and the people in their community. Such a disappointment. I could not even finish it. Not worth the time.

Which scene was your favorite?

None

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

The narrator

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • Lake Worth, TX, USA
  • 12-01-12

Depressing and dreary novel!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The author gave us no characters to like. Everyone was not only flawed, but truly defective.

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

I don't even know what to call this genre - sad, pitiful, horrifying glimpse at the lives of others?

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performer was fine, given the story.

Any additional comments?

Be warned, there is a rape of a child in this book. It is disturbing and no justice is either sought or found. Pretty awful.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful