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The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy (2012)

by J. K. Rowling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,067482805 (3.42)2 / 286
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English (441)  Dutch (9)  German (7)  French (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Norwegian (2)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (478)
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
Rowling is a master at creating characters that come to life - I'm still thinking about all of the ones in this book. Also, amazing how she weaves their stories together. The political issues in this book sounded like they could of come right out of the daily news in the US - sad but true. I've had this on my shelf for quite awhile and glad I finally got to it. Highly recommend! ( )
  carolfoisset | Apr 14, 2019 |
In this book Rowling creates a real world of depressing, against all the odds, I enjoyed reading about it! ( )
  Lithamerrsmith | Feb 12, 2019 |
JK Rowling leaves magic behind, what remains is a cruel British reality where everyone is a muggle.

A seemingly quaint countryside town of Pagford hides a dirty secret under every roof. With the death of a popular local council member and hence a replacement election campaign, they're starting to come out rather quickly, to the shock and sometimes secret satisfaction of the populace.

The issue at hand is, as always, the fate of the local slums called Fields. Rowling paints the situation in Fields with brutal honesty and lack of any beating around the bush, but perhaps also with overuse of swearing and too many sex scenes, as if she wanted to drive home the point that this was an adult novel.

The traditionalists want to expel Fields from the county so that children from there would get no access to Pagford schools, whereas the progressives oppose this. Yet, the political conflict is not the essence of the story, just the underpinnings of it. This is more of a look under the skin of about a dozen - too many in my opinion - characters from Pagford and Fields, their flaws and virtues, what makes them -us?- tick, the nature of human character. Yes, this is what this is, a look into the nature of human character, particularly its less flattering side.

Read this in Slovene, titled Nadomestne volitve. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Racism, bullying, child abuse, self-harming, neglect, drug addiction, adultery, sexual assault, extreme poverty: there is nothing likeable in this book. Rowling must have been trying for the 'most swear words per page' award when she wrote this. When the hoopla wound down soon after it was published, I realized it wasn't for me but I came across a copy at the bottom of a dusty heap in a used bookstore. I should have left it there.

On my first try I abandoned this book about three-quarters in. Later I returned and finished it so that I could give it a fair rating.

Fortunately Rowling eventually redeemed herself with the Cormoran Strike series written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 13, 2018 |
So far it's OK, but not "woohooo". I keep putting it down in favor of other books.
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
Set in the fictional village of Pagford, The Casual Vacancy at first seems to have all the trappings of the adorable-English-town novel—an updating of Jane Austen viewed through the loving lens of a Merchant Ivory production. But the book’s misanthropy is more indebted to Hardy or Somerset Maugham, both known for their deep distrust of humankind and their sense of the viciousness that can spring up among neighbors.
Rowling has spoken of the sense of risk in embarking on this novel. The Harry Potter series must have been a tough act to follow. What she wanted to do here, I guess, was to seize on the world we can all see without going through Platform 9¾. She has done that to stunning effect.
This is a novel of insight and skill, deftly drawn and, at the end, cleverly pulled together. It plays to her strengths as a storyteller. That will not stop the envious from carping.
added by eereed | editThe Economist (Sep 29, 2012)
It is not the sort of book that hordes of people would choose to read if its author had not also written a far more comforting series of stratospheric bestsellers. But perhaps the world will be better for them reading it. Rowling may not be an easy woman, but she uses her powers for good.
added by lampbane | editSalon, Laura Miller (Sep 28, 2012)
The Casual Vacancy is a sour novel, one that seems designed to leave Rowling’s biggest, most avid fans feeling as though she sort of hates them. For all its readability—I had no problem tearing through the whole thing today after buying it from a bewildered bookstore clerk at 7:30 in the morning—the book reveals that though she remains a careful observer of human foibles, Rowling the writer isn’t well-served by her enforced isolation.
added by DieFledermaus | editSlate, Dan Kois (Sep 27, 2012)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowling, J. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Demarty, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metaal, CarolienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mutsaers, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner.
He thought that it was all over, finished, done with. Andrew had never yet had reason to observe the first tiny bubble of fermenting yeast, in which was contained an inevitable, alchemical transformation.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The early death of a small town councilman reveals deep-rooted conflicts in the seemingly idyllic community of Pagford, which rapidly deteriorates in the face of cultural disputes, generation clashes, and a volatile election.
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When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock and the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

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