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The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling

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Published: 27th September 2012
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Published: 27th September 2012
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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 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

58%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (11)
  • Well written (9)
  • Page turner (3)

Cons

  • Disappointing (10)
  • Not the author's best (7)
  • Not what I expected (7)
  • Difficult to follow (3)

Best Uses

  • Older readers (7)
  • Gift (6)
  • Travel reading (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (10), Everyday reader (6), Casual reader (3)

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 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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1.0

Disappointing

By 

from Narrandera NSW

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Disappointing

    Best Uses

    • Travel Reading

    Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

    Hardcover book is heavy and a boring read, pace too slow

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    The Casual Vacancy

    By 

    from Perth, AU

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Suspenseful
    • Well Written

    Cons

    • Hard To Follow At Times

    Best Uses

    • Older Readers
    • Younger Readers

    Comments about The Casual Vacancy:

    A nice deviation from the Harry Potter series. The last 100 pages make the book a worthwhile read.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    This is reality.

    By 

    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 reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      The Magic of Something Different.

      By 

      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 reviewHelp Icon

       
      1.0

      What a shame!

      By 

      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 reviewHelp Icon

           
          2.0

          not so good

          By 

          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 reviewHelp Icon

               
              1.0

              Disappointing,

              By 

              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 reviewHelp Icon

                   
                  1.0

                  didnt enjoy this book

                  By 

                  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 reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    2.0

                    Slow

                    By 

                    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 reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    1.0

                    KEEP TO WHAT YOU DO WELL

                    By 

                    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 reviewHelp Icon

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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                    Previous | Next »

                    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 G

                    J. K. Rowling

                    J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in July 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive.

                    Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, her course including one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London and worked as a researcher at Amnesty International among other jobs. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a delayed Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel.

                    Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to a daughter Jessica in 1993. When the marriage ended, she and Jessica returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone was eventually completed.

                    Jo married Dr. Neil Murray in 2001, and a brother for Jessica, David, was born in 2003. A sister, Mackenzie, followed in 2005.

                    Visit J. K. Rowling's Booktopia Author Page


                    ISBN: 9781408704202
                    ISBN-10: 140870420X
                    Audience: General
                    Format: Hardcover
                    Language: English
                    Number Of Pages: 512
                    Published: 27th September 2012
                    Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
                    Country of Publication: GB
                    Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.1  x 4.3
                    Weight (kg): 0.79
                    Edition Number: 1