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The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
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The Casual Vacancy (original 2012; edition 2012)

by J.K. Rowling

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8543221,340 (3.44)2 / 212
Member:read4thefunofit
Title:The Casual Vacancy
Authors:J.K. Rowling
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2012, fiction, england, local politics, secrets

Work details

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (2012)

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English (293)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (4)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (321)
Showing 1-5 of 293 (next | show all)
In this book, Ms. Rowling gives us a picture of small town life, full of interesting characters and local government intrigue. When councillor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, an election must be held to fill his seat. There is divided opinion on a major zoning issue and on the future of a drug treatment centre. As candidates come forward, we learn more about what is going on behind closed doors in several families. Well written with great characters...I felt as if I were a member of the community of Pagford. ( )
  LynnB | Oct 27, 2014 |


Rowling is a beautiful writer but the plot was just not interesting to me. ( )
1 vote Marleen_Cloutier | Oct 26, 2014 |
This is one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. Picked it up on the spur of the moment in the Norfolk while waiting to board an airplane. This is so well written. Following the lives of the characters was so interesting that it made putting the book down hard to do. As I read I had hopes for different characters and was anxious to see what would happen in their lives versus what my hope was. Ms. Rowling out did herself with this book. ( )
  JanicsEblen | Oct 25, 2014 |
I loved this book. I thought the character development was so real that I actually knew the people written about. I was sad to see it end. An excellent "slice of life" book that showed how one incident can set off a whole other chain of reactions. I didn't like the Harry Potter series, but loved this one. Maybe it was listening to the book that made it so real. ( )
  csobolak | Oct 15, 2014 |
3.5 stars

When Barry Fairbrother dies, he leaves a spot open on the Parish (town?) Council. Following his death, there is jostling to see who will fill the position. It's a small town, so everyone knows everyone and everyone's business (mostly... except for what happens behind some closed doors...).

The first couple of chapters were good, but then it was very slow for a while. However, there were a couple of threads that slowly caught my interest. As the book continued, I was more and more interested in other threads/characters, as well. The book switches perspective (and there are a lot of characters) and there were times where I was on to the next perspective before even realizing it, so it could be slightly confusing at times because of that. Overall, though, I liked the book. Except for the slow start, it got much better, and I really was interested in some of the characters and what was going to happen to them. It's definitely not a happy book, though. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 293 (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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Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner.
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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
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, 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 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?
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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