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The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling

Hardcover

Published: 27th September 2012
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RRP $39.99
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When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the 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 parish 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?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

About the Author

J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, translated into 74 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films. She has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry’s schoolbooks within the novels. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages were published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. In December 2008, The Tales of Beedle the Bard was published in aid of the Children’s High Level Group, and quickly became the fastest selling book of the year

As well as an OBE for services to children’s literature, J.K. Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees including the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, France’s Légion d’Honneur, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and she has been a Commencement Speaker at Harvard University USA. She supports a wide number of charitable causes through her charitable trust Volant, and is the founder of Lumos, a charity working to transform the lives of disadvantaged children.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Casual Vacancy
 
2.8

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

59%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (10)
  • Well written (8)
  • Page turner (3)

Cons

  • Disappointing (9)
  • Not the author's best (7)
  • Not what I expected (7)
  • Difficult to follow (3)

Best Uses

  • Gift (6)
  • Older readers (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (9), Everyday reader (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The Magic of Something Different.

It took a while to work out who was who for the first 50 pages, but then it gained momentum and was a good read to the end.
JK Rowling can certainly get...Read complete review

It took a while to work out who was who for the first 50 pages, but then it gained momentum and was a good read to the end.
JK Rowling can certainly get into the mechanations of the teenage brain and the way that they relate to one another, their families and the world.
The harsh realities of bias and condescension in a community with mixed values and standards of living are layed open within the realities of modern day life, social security & drug addiction.
No magic in this novel, just the reality that the world is moving so fast and people are so self absorbed that they can fail to see the crisis before their own eyes.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Where did the magic go?

I am quite disappointed with this book as I am a big fan of the Harry Potter novels. In truth I am so underwhelmed that I am still struggling to finish it two weeks...Read complete review

I am quite disappointed with this book as I am a big fan of the Harry Potter novels. In truth I am so underwhelmed that I am still struggling to finish it two weeks after starting it. My biggest problem are the characters who fail to engage my interest.

One of the things I loved about the Potter novels was watching the characters grow and Rowling's sensitive treatment of their strengths and weaknesses. The characters in Casual Vacancy seem to me to be one dimensional and unlikeable and overall I am not sure that it is worth the effort to finish reading this book

Reviewed by 18 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

This is reality.

By CrowJane

from Brisbane

About Me Bookworm

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift

    Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

    Great book

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    The Magic of Something Different.

    By gumbootsgirl

    from Northern Rivers NSW

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Captivating
    • Engaging Characters
    • Well Written

    Cons

    • Not the Author's Best

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

    It took a while to work out who was who for the first 50 pages, but then it gained momentum and was a good read to the end.
    JK Rowling can certainly get into the mechanations of the teenage brain and the way that they relate to one another, their families and the world.
    The harsh realities of bias and condescension in a community with mixed values and standards of living are layed open within the realities of modern day life, social security & drug addiction.
    No magic in this novel, just the reality that the world is moving so fast and people are so self absorbed that they can fail to see the crisis before their own eyes.

    Comment on this review

     
    1.0

    What a shame!

    By Min

    from Cairns

    Pros

      Cons

      • Disappointing
      • Not the Author's Best
      • Not What I expected

      Best Uses

        Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

        I received this as a gift for Christmas and I am still trying to finish it. There are too many characters and you just don't care. At least we have the Harry Potter novels we can re-read.

        Comment on this review

         
        2.0

        not so good

        By Trish

        from Geelong

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Difficult To Follow
          • Disappointing
          • Not the Author's Best
          • Not What I expected

          Best Uses

            Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

            I found this book very difficult to get into to and also to follow....so I have to admit I havent' even got a quarter of the way through the book.. I have put it down and maybe will pick it up and have another go at it later on.

            Comment on this review

             
            1.0

            Disappointing,

            By Hadnerb

            from Mission Beach N. Queensland

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Difficult To Follow
              • Disappointing
              • Not As Good As Predicted
              • Not What I expected

              Best Uses

                Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

                Bought as a gift, but unable to finish in time!
                Very disappointed

                Comment on this review

                 
                1.0

                didnt enjoy this book

                By lonie

                from wa

                About Me Casual Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Average

                Cons

                • Disappointing
                • Not What I expected

                Best Uses

                  Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

                  I was expecting an exciting read which this certainly wasn't. Reading about ho hum dysfunctional people is not my idea of a good read. I see this in everyday life I don't want to read about it too unless it's the reason I bought it for that reason. The really big words shows she is intelligent but for me I woul rather well written everyday vernacular.

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  2.0

                  Slow

                  By DKC

                  from Sydney

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Engaging Characters

                  Cons

                  • Disappointing
                  • Not the Author's Best

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift

                  Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

                  I was interested to see how JKRowling would write this book. I found it slow going and could have possibly been half the size. A little too descriptive. After about 150 pages I started to get into it and enjoyed it at the end.

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  1.0

                  KEEP TO WHAT YOU DO WELL

                  By MOTHER OF MANY

                  from BRISBANE

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Pros

                  • Dull Pointless Reade

                  Cons

                  • Disappointing
                  • Not the Author's Best
                  • Not What I expected

                  Best Uses

                  • The bin

                  Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

                  I SAW THE AUTHOR INTERVIEWED ON TV. I WAS GENUINELY
                  INTERESTED IN HER 'SWING' TO BOOKS WRITTEN FOR ADULTS. THE STORY LINE IS 'FLAT', THE CHARACTERS VERY SIMILAR, AND SEVERAL HAVE MORE THAN ONE NAME. IT IS HARD TO FIND THE 'GENRE' OF THIS BOOK. IT WILL BE A SELLER, NOT A BEST SELLER. THE BOOK WILL SELL BORNE OF READERS CURIOSITY. IT IS AN ORDINARY WORK.

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  2.0

                  A Writer Trying to Find Her Audience

                  By Supermum312

                  from New South Wales

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Disappointing

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

                      A disappointment from a usually great writer. It felt like the author was trying too hard to shed her image as a childrens' writer by including every possible adult theme she could think of. There was not one appealing character in the book. A simpler storyline with fewer, better developed characters would have been better.

                      Comment on this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Had me by the end of the first page

                      By Marie

                      from Perth

                      About Me Everyday Reader

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Engaging Characters

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Gift

                        Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

                        Arrived quickly and in good condition

                        Comment on this review

                        Displaying reviews 1-10

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                        This is a wonderful novel. JK Rowling's skills as a storyteller are on a par with RL Stevenson, Conan Doyle and PD James. Here, they are combined with her ability to create memorable and moving characters to produce a state-of-England novel driven by tenderness and fury Melvyn Bragg, The Observer A needle-sharp and darkly comic expose of today's class-ridden society ... A highly readable morality tale for our times Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express The Casual Vacancy is a stunning, brilliant, outrageously gripping and entertaining evocation of British society today. [J.K. Rowling] has done a rather brave thing and pulled it off magnificently Henry Sutton, The Mirror One marvels at the skill with which Rowling weaves such vivid characters in and out of each other's lives Christopher Brookmyre, The Daily Telegraph Heartbreaking - turning the page seems unbearable, but not as much as putting down the book would be Deepti Hajela, Associated Press An exquisite and occasionally moving black comedy ... The acid test - I suspect it would do well even if its author's name weren't J.K. Rowling David Robinson, Scotsman A big, ambitious, brilliant, profane, funny, deeply upsetting and magnificently eloquent novel of contemporary England ... This is a deeply moving book by somebody who understands both human beings and novels very, very deeply Lev Grossman, Time Magazine Insightful, meaningful, daring and resolutely challenging to tabloid assumptions regarding the moral worth of individuals Scotland on Sunday The action bowls along compellingly, most of the characters are vividly drawn and there are some sharp - often very sharp - observations about their social pretensions ... a bold and distinctive effort The Sunday Telegraph 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 The Economist The Casual Vacancy is a brilliant novel, entertaining, intelligent, moving, passionate and hard-hitting; touching on familiar subjects but approaching them with great originality and skill. Moreover, it's unputdownable ... The novel is a triumph Irish Times Rowling is a great storyteller with a clear eye and a warm heart, and The Casual Vacancy is a moving and immensely pleasurable novel Sunday Business Post Ireland

                        ISBN: 9781408704202
                        ISBN-10: 140870420X
                        Audience: General
                        Format: Hardcover
                        Language: English
                        Number Of Pages: 512
                        Published: 27th September 2012
                        Dimensions (cm): 24.5 x 16.7  x 4.5
                        Weight (kg): 0.8