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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
3,5953111,465 (3.44)2 / 195
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)

2012 (49) 2013 (36) 21st century (17) adult (23) audiobook (16) British (46) contemporary (28) death (28) drugs (27) ebook (32) England (111) English (17) family (30) fiction (411) hardcover (15) J.K. Rowling (32) Kindle (27) local politics (20) mystery (43) novel (40) politics (79) poverty (42) read (30) read in 2012 (31) read in 2013 (21) Rowling (17) small town (54) to-read (230) UK (17) unread (16)
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English (281)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (4)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (309)
Showing 1-5 of 281 (next | show all)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I had not expected to be drawn in from the very beginning but I was. J.K. does what she does best which is introduce characters and all their personality to make you either hate, or love them.

The Casual Vacancy shows you how people of different backgrounds act with in their kind and with those either above or below them. I am glad I took the time to read this book. ( )
  crazy4reading | Jul 8, 2014 |
This was a much denser read than I thought it would be. It is a slice of life in a small village with everything turned on its ear due to the death of a town councilman and the fallout of people deciding to run for his seat. It is very much conflict book, haves vs have nots, parents vs kids, and in law battles. The book starts and ends with death but there is no real tidy ending to the book. It was well written but not sure if I would pick up another one of her books as fast as I had this one.
( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
I believe that the order one reads JK Rowling's novels will influence how you feel and think about The Casual Vacancy.

If, for instance you read it after reading Harry Potter, in hopes that you will get some of that magical, hopeful and happy endings...you'll hate this book. It isn't happy or hopeful in any stretch of the imagination.

If you read this book after The Cuckoo's Calling (like I myself did), you may already have been shocked to learn that Rowling can write cuss words and about bad situations.

If you've never read anything else by her, you are a blank slate, congrats! You'll probably dig this book.

The storyline is of several families in a small British town, Padford (not sure on spelling, I listened to the audio book). All of these families are affected by the death of a local city counsel members death. There are two main plot lines, the stories of the adults (all of whom are unhappy in their lives and generally like to see others suffering as well), and those of the teenagers--who like their parents generally hate their lot in life, and take the most pleasure from displeasing and undermining their parents.

The story of the teenagers is where, if you were reading this book out of nostalgia for Harry Potter...you would be greatly disappointed. These are teenagers who are bullying each other, sleeping with each other, and having to deal with parents who abuse and neglect them.

Overall, this was an interesting read. It needs to be read with an open mind. This isn't Harry Potter. You will not feel warm and fuzzy after reading it. You may not feel super connected to the characters for they are real; and they have their pros and cons. Overall, I recommend this book. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
No magic and no likeable characters. But good prose and enough untidy endings, despite some dubious coincidences.


Antony Millen is the author of "Redeeming Brother Murrihy: The River To Hiruharama"
[b:Redeeming Brother Murrihy: The River To Hiruharama|18067949|Redeeming Brother Murrihy The River To Hiruharama|Antony Millen|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1370951913s/18067949.jpg|25269951] ( )
  Antony_Millen | Jul 7, 2014 |
I would say that this book is more a collection of characters than it is a story. The characters are really well filled out. The story, which I feel is secondary is really modern gothic! Dark, dark, dark. ( )
  elsyd | Jul 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 281 (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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