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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
4,3193581,145 (3.44)2 / 232
Member:ST0MPY
Title:The Casual Vacancy
Authors:J.K. Rowling
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Read - finished, Your Library - eBook
Rating:***
Tags:BG, fiction

Work details

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

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English (329)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (358)
Showing 1-5 of 329 (next | show all)
This novel is so good it make me squeak with pleasure. Rowling's so cheeky she deserves a good spanking and I'm the man to give it to her. She mercilessly takes the mick out of us (the English) through the medium of social class. The description of of Howard and Shirley's house, closed off with the comment about the room they call the lounge is beautifully and subtly done. There's some really funny scenes and also some that are really horrific. This is a classic novel. I'm glad I discovered it so soon after publication. We're lucky to have Rowling. ( )
  Lukerik | May 20, 2015 |
The Casual Vacancy was better than I thought it was going to be when I first started reading it. I didn't think the subject would be interesting enough but it was. It focuses on the drama in a small town and it's politics, it's always a hot topic there but becomes worse when a well liked chair member dies and they need to fill in the seat. I liked how the book jumped characters and all the small plots that went along with the major plot. So why did it get 3 stars and not more? If I could rate the beginning and middle of the book they would get 4 stars but the last 3 parts of the book felt like they belonged to a different plot. It felt rushed and a left a feeling of reading something that was incomplete. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 14, 2015 |
This book is absolutely phenomenal.

The descriptions are excellent. The character development is fantastic. The depth of each person in the text is truly amazing.

While the book starts out a bit slow as it introduces the many, many characters that come alive in its pages, it picks up fairly quickly and will leave you wondering, "How did I love a book so much that contains a cast of some of the most awful people?" Rowling has such an amazing talent for writing. I love the ways she tries all the ends together and creates multiple storylines.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this book solely because Rowling wrote Harry Potter, then you're reading it for the wrong reason. This book has no ties to the wizarding world and is completely different. So don't think about Harry Potter at all while reading it. Just enjoy if for the piece of perfection that it is all on its own. ( )
  CareBear36 | May 13, 2015 |
This book is probably better than my rating, but I felt like I had a hangover after reading it and really can't give a higher rating to a book that was so painful to read. It was surprisingly well written (loved the HP books but thought they were carried by imagination and heart, not writing prowess) and I could not put down the last 150 pages or so. However, the combination of bad decisions and bad luck that causes some characters to spiral to their seemingly inevitable doom had a positively Shakespearean tragedy feeling. That capital F Fate feeling is what drives me crazy about Romeo and Juliet despite so much gorgeous poetic verse, so I'm afraid JKR just stumbled on one of my buttons. I was impressed by the depth she was able to achieve in so many characters of such varied backgrounds and would definitely read another book (adult or otherwise) written by her. ( )
  judykwalker | Apr 25, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 329 (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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First words
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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