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The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy (original 2012; edition 2012)

by J.K. Rowling

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4,1463551,209 (3.43)2 / 225
Title:The Casual Vacancy
Authors:J.K. Rowling
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

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

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English (322)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (351)
Showing 1-5 of 322 (next | show all)
I could hardly think the book was interesting it was horribly long and tedious soliloquies made it real worse . I do not think there is no other way you could actually ruin a book. It is quite extensive on the bright side but this is not harry potter to be explained with such detail.I find it real hard to finish the book and I think the long hours was a waste of time, which could have spend much efficiently reading a summary of the same.
On the bright side the literature is not quite boring and the way it is presented will help to stick on to the book longer than you expected. ( )
  durgaprsd04 | Feb 25, 2015 |
The Casual Vacancy takes place in the town of Pagford, England. At the opening of the book, parish councilman Barry Fairbrother dies of an aneurysm, leaving an opening on the council. Some characters see this opening as an opportunity to further their own agenda, namely, placing someone in that council position that will help them unload The Fields, a poor neighborhood full of all that the town considers undesirable, onto the next town over. We follow a good handful of characters through the changes the death of Barry Fairbrother wreaks on their lives.

Damn girl, there are a lot of characters here. Rowling's constructed a pretty elaborate narrative here that, I'll be honest, was a huge slog for the first half of the book. I'm pretty good with keeping many characters distinct--Game of Thrones taught me that, thanks--but I found myself tripping up a few times with trying to remember exactly who was who. There's a learning curve here, and thankfully by the second half of the book I've got it. But you've got to have the patience to get there first, which can be a challenge.

Being that Rowling cut her teeth on writing teens, it seems somehow unsurprising to me that the teenage characters in this book are the ones that most hold my interest. Krystal is a tragically identifiable character and, personally, the one I'm most invested in. They are the ones that are driving the major plot points of the story, since three in turn post the damning accusations about the adults who are running for the open council position. It isn't until the teenage characters really start to make these kinds of decisions that the plot really picks up in an interesting way.

Not to harp, but I think the slow pace of the first half of the book was really damning. I think that is in part made up for in Rowling's fantastic characterization. Of the characters that we spend a significant amount of time with, not a single one is less than fully developed. Even Terri Weedon, Krystal's drug addict mother, has faucets to her personality that exist outside of the generic 'addict' persona and make her a real, believable character.

Lastly, the utter complexity of the narrative is pretty fascinating when you start seeing all the different connections between the characters. The death of this one man triggered so many events: dissolution of a relationship, a complete u-turn of a personality, the deaths of two tragic characters. Each event keeps being tied back into a previous situation, a previous character, or a previous thought. Three other major characters pass by in the final climactic event, and only realize afterwards how close they had been, if they had chosen to intervene. We end on a funeral, with this feeling that they're all looking back, and not so comfortably.

http://tealeafbooks.blogspot.com/ ( )
  Onionspark | Feb 17, 2015 |
Rowling's ability to keep you guessing about the 'end of the story' or even the next steps in the story are still really strong in this novel. I found my self really caring about the characters in this story. I found I couldn't wait to read all of it so I read it over 24 hours. Kids got their own dinners... ( )
  mainerk8 | Feb 14, 2015 |
This book was gut wrenching, gritty, dirty and it felt real.

It focuses on a community that lives in Pagford, and the reader is introduced to the daily reality of ordinary people's lives in a way that is as bizarre as an episode of 'Desperate Housewives'. The reader is introduced to several issues such as: domestic violence, rape, drug use, mental illness, infidelity, teenage sex and much more of the seedy part of life. I loved reading about everybody's back stories and got engrossed in the issues that were affecting Pagfords residents.

The end of the book was sobering but completely realistic and I thought it was a perfect ending.

A great departure from Harry Potter by Rowling! ( )
  KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
Bleak book. Sort of gives the impression that only in death do we matter, and that in life we are all unspeakably alone and miserable. Interesting look at the horribly dull politics of a small nothing town that people take pride in regardless. ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 322 (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.
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.

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Average: (3.43)
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