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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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4,2653561,163 (3.44)2 / 227
Member:kinsey_m
Title:The Casual Vacancy
Authors:J. K. Rowling
Info:Little, Brown (2012), Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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

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English (325)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (354)
Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
If you're looking for a book of character vignettes that are loosely connected by a single thread, this is your option. I kept listening to the audio, hoping it improved, but it felt like this was Rowling's chance to release all those pent up crap storylines she couldn't work into Harry Potter. Cursing doesn't make me squirm, but this felt like "I can curse cause this is an adult book" type of release.

Too many characters, some of which were similar enough to get confused.
It didn't help that not a single character was likeable or redeemable. They were all pointless, selfish pricks.
NO discernable plot. Just a thinly veiled connecting thread.

Just... no. ( )
2 vote gilroy | Mar 11, 2015 |
As long as you do not have your mind set on Harry Potter....This is a good read! ( )
  Jjean7 | Mar 10, 2015 |
this ain't your childhood's Harry Potter, folks! Rowling has finally dropped the pretense of being a YA novelist and revealed her true storytelling powers.

Effused with the dark humor that crouches within tragedy, this book is a spot-on, scathing evisceration of smalltown politics, social goings-on, and society in general. like Death at a Funeral meets Picket Fences (anyone remember that show?), the western world’s modern life suffused with small-mindedness, cruelty, and attempts "to cover everything up with a frilly little tablecloth of polite fiction" is laid bare for our inspection, sympathy, embarrassment, and horror.

the hole left by one man's death in a small English town starts a melee of politics on townwide, family, and interpersonal scales. intimate details about several individuals and their families are brought into sharp relief but for the notable exception of the family of the dead man. we only get a far-away glimpse of them through the rose-colored grief of people that knew him and knew of him thus leaving the reader with an uncomfortable emptiness that mourns for more from the book. brilliant.

Rowling is outstanding at making words on paper into pock-marked, cigarette-smoking, overly-loud, flesh-inhabiting persons that you genuinely care about. Then she uses them to punch you in the gut and leave you for dead.

But we mustn’t talk about such things, improper and scandalous as they are.

"and the congregation averted its eyes."
( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
I did not finish reading this book. After getting through about 2 hours of reading I found it vulgar. Having enjoyed the Harry Potter serious enough to have read them multiple times with my children I would not have believed J.K. Rowling could write something I would find so base that it was not worth reading. Still that is how I felt and I never did finish reading this book. ( )
1 vote jlsimon7 | Mar 1, 2015 |
A great book! I didn't think this the entire way through, but now that I've learned what has become of everyone, I think well of this story! This should make for interesting book club conversation!

Don't spent your time reading reviews that compare this book to her series ... they are different stories. Being written by the same author does not mean it is appropriate to compare the stories. Ms. Rowling can write realistic fiction and fantasy. She writes well for YA as well as adults. I've reached this conclusion after having read the HP series multiple times, having read The Cuckoo's Calling and having read The Casual Vacancy. ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 325 (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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