The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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A big novel about a small town...

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, 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 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 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.
ISBN: 9780316228589
9780316228596
9780316228534
Characteristics: 503 pages ;,25 cm.

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diesellibrarian Apr 14, 2013

On the surface a commentary on race and class relations in the UK, but more profoundly deep and unflinching look into human society and the many and varied ways we hurt and love and touch each other. Impressively consistent in tone, with a measured and well-paced plot and character development. N... Read More »

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UniqueSnowflake Jan 08, 2013

An excellent book by an excellent author. It's best read without prior expectations.


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d
davidp3
Jan 25, 2017

Loved it! Rowling can write! I read that this was turned into a mini-series in the UK. Enjoy!

b
bunnayy
Nov 30, 2016

Remember when Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera/ Miley Cyrus etc tried to rebrand themselves from the teeny-bopper to something more "sophisticated" by becoming excessively sexual and vulgar?? Same thing here, plus the characters embody some of the worst qualities in people to make the overall tone of the book very negative.

d
dprodrig
Sep 06, 2016

I just couldn't get into it at all (and no, I've never read Potter before). Just too much gossip and wondering, and circular happenings and I will admit I didn't have the patience for it.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

Most people who read Harry Potter before reading this novel seem to hate it. I have never read Harry Potter (I'm one of nine left in the world) and so I have a different perspective of The Casual Vacancy. I loved it.

The story moves with a pace that made my heart skip. The characters are unique and so incredibly realistic. The novel is heartbreaking and entertaining and, dare I say it, perfect.

t
thomqui
Jan 26, 2016

A richly detailed look at the politics and more of English country life. A satisfying read

cals_flss Sep 29, 2015

If you enjoy reading stories about scheming, backstabbing, hateful, violent, depressing, and morally bankrupt characters with no redeeming qualities and a very unhappy and dissatisfying ending, this book is for you. If you hated the Harry Potter Series and prefer your fiction more true to life and grittier, this book may be for you. If you dislike books with happy endings, this may be the book for you. If, however, you like happy endings, and at least one decent human being in your fiction, don't even open this one.

p
palmer0808
Jul 29, 2015

If you like reading the "f-bomb" repeatedly, then this is the book for you. I didn't care for it at all, but it could be because it was as far away from Harry Potter as you can get!

PrimaGigi Jul 19, 2015

When Barry Fairbrother suddenly dies in his forties, the idyllic town of Pagford is left in total shock. Pagford is, seemingly, peaceful English town, with cobbled streets, a market square and a abandoned abbey, but beneath all the peace lies a town at odds. A war is brewing between family and friends, Pagford might not be as charming as it seems. The empty seat left by Barry on the parish council is the spark that ignites the whole blaze. Who will win the seat among deceit and intrigue.

I understand the need for writers to branch out to seem versatile and have diversity within their writing. That they can tackle any subject and should not be pigeonholed within the genre that made them famous. If you are expecting J.K. Rowling to hold up the book with her superior wit and creative structure within only a few daft sentences, please don't read this book. I wouldn't have read this book if it wasn't J.K. Rowling, I didn't expect another Harry Potter adaptation and respected that she wanted to branch out. I felt that because she was so amazingly wonderful at building a story and holding you in, this would be nothing for her. I was wrong. J.K. is so busy trying to show that's she not that J.K., but this J.K.; The subject is denser, but she misses the mark and leaves the story-telling and the story by the wayside. There are too many people, the chapters are cut into small vignettes and once you learn about something new, you are bombarded with another issue or third character from the first part, talking or meeting the fifth character from the second part of the third chapter. The whole premise seems like it's meant to confuse you as some type of layered intrigue. The characters themselves are bland and contrived. There is not a singular person you would root for and that's disappointing since J.K. has the knack for making you care for even the worst villain's.

It seems she just made a rough draft an entire novel and wrote up whatever came to mind that sounded risque or outre. I personally wouldn't have bothered to read this as far as I tried to. If you expect to read this, hoping for one of her famous techniques to punch you in the gut or send tingles down your spine, that brings all her stories together. All you get is mild distaste. I won't give up hope. I do believe she can handle different genres from adults to toddlers ABC books and make them magical (not just in the wizard-sense), I just don't think this was the best novel to s

c
canasta
Jun 13, 2015

What an out and out disappointment. There was not one character in this book with whom one could become engaged and the whole plot was forced. Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing was humourous, Rowling's attempt to blow a minor event into a novel a dismal failure. The younger characters were universally unlovable, parents were immature and dull and everyone else was artificial. I forced myself through 80% of the book because I just couldn't believe that Rowling could write such a ripsnorting bunch of crap and consequently expected things to improve. I gave up with only 50 pages to go - just wasn't interested enough to know how it all came out.

o
oliviadyck
Jun 05, 2015

Haven't read this book yet, but I loved the Harry Potter series so much, I had to look for more books, by this brilliant author.

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cedarblood
May 15, 2013

cedarblood thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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toby65
May 13, 2013

toby65 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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PramandTenar
May 04, 2013

PramandTenar thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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CupertinoJay
Apr 24, 2013

CupertinoJay thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Stephen M Kellat Mar 28, 2013

Stephen M Kellat thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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Keep_On_Rockin
Nov 28, 2012

Keep_On_Rockin thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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beardedcanuck
Nov 08, 2012

beardedcanuck thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

You must accept the reality of other people. You think that reality is up for negotiation, that we think it's whatever you say it is. You must accept that we are as real as you are; you must accept that you are not God.

m
Methinks
Feb 04, 2013

How awful it was, though Tessa, remembering Fats the toddler, way tiny ghosts of your living children haunted your heart; they could never know, and would hate it if they did, how their growing was a constant bereavement.

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j
jennyfarl
Jul 09, 2016

This book highlights the challenges facing a British village when poverty, elitism, and competition meet adultery, abuse, death, and mental illness.

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