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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

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5,155420867 (3.41)2 / 260
Member:dragon178
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:None

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

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English (387)  Dutch (8)  French (5)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (418)
Showing 1-5 of 387 (next | show all)
I feel like I ought to review this book, since it's had such mixed reviews from the time of its release. While I love the Harry Potter series, it was really great to see another side to J.K.'s writing. The story couldn't have been more different from HP, but she still managed to portray it beautifully. The characters are so well developed that you could put them into any situation, and the reader would know exactly how each one would react. (And, of course, the few Latin references that she stuck in there always made me squeal with delightful nerdiness.) ( )
  Iamanerdfighter | May 30, 2016 |
I found it interesting the "hero" of this story is a dead man. The majority of the characters being developed are not very likeable. The teenagers are much more well developed than the older characters in my opinion. The story is really quite gripping initially and I powered through this book. However I felt a bit let down by the election and the ending once I got there.

I particularly liked the differences between the households and interactions portrayed and I felt the social worker was suddenly dumped at points but was a very engaging character for me. I didn't like the focus on so much of the characters appearances over their behaviors but this was tempered by the portrayals of the different key teenagers to the story

It was interesting but I struggled at the finish. I think there could have been a few more chapters as it petered out a bit with a feeling of "and then she woke up" feelings...

I have not read anything previously by this author and I would read something else but still feel a little disappointed by the tailing off of the conclusion. ( )
  Felicity-Smith | May 29, 2016 |
So this book went places I did NOT expect it to go. And for that I'm grateful.

It took a while for it get rolling, and with good reason: there are a lot of characters to develop, a lot of familial and community ties to weave, a lot of local history and politics to create. Still it takes a little while for you to care much about any of them.

But the payoff is there - just wait for it. I found all the teens sympathetic and likable, with the exception of Fats. I came to understand him, of course, but like him? Not really. The adults are a lot harder to latch onto. Even when you find one you can like well enough, like Parminder, you realize she's miserable, and you see how badly that's hurting her child. Collin, Gavin, Miles... they're all spoiled, self-absorbed, gutless whiners.

Eventually, the story of this community is what moves you through the pages: it does matter who gets the vacant council seat; it does matter what happens to the addiction center and the housing community; it does matter who stays in Pagford, who leaves, and when. And the things that happen that clarify these situations for everyone are everyday tragedies, that one can either learn from, or avoid blindly.

It's great to see what else JK Rowling can do. I'm so excited to continue to read her work for years to come. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
I have to say that I was tempted to give up as I didn't like any of the characters. All of the adults and most of the children were pretty unpleasant with few redeeming features; the author seems to dislike middle class slightly bourgeois people and lets it show in this book. The climax is unexpected, almost to the extent that it felt disconnected from the rest of the book but the underdogs (who happen to be children) come out as the best. ( )
  jbennett | May 18, 2016 |
It is scary how amazing of a writer this woman is. And it is even scarier to see how perfectly she has mastered the human race. It does not show humans as the strong, all knowing kind. But delves deeper into the desires, weaknesses, selfishness of the mind. You just never know what is coming up next.
The raw quality of the book is gripping and just comes to show that some of the best literature is disturbing. ( )
  hmurya | May 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 387 (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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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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