The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy

Large Print - 2012
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A big novel about a small town...

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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown & Co., c2012.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780316228541
Characteristics: 738 p. ;,25 cm.

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diesellibrarian Apr 14, 2013

On the surface a commentary on race and class relations in the UK, but more profoundly deep and unflinching look into human society and the many and varied ways we hurt and love and touch each other. Impressively consistent in tone, with a measured and well-paced plot and character development. N... Read More »

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UniqueSnowflake Jan 08, 2013

An excellent book by an excellent author. It's best read without prior expectations.


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andreabilyeu
Mar 02, 2020

Lots of characters to keep track of, but once I got into it I could track them. I found it interesting how she told the teens' stories parallel to the adults' stories and how they intertwined.

CCPL_Theresa Jan 10, 2020

Known for her Harry Potter Series, this is J.K. Rowling’s first adult fiction novel. Readers should be aware that there is no magic to be found here. Subjects delved into include poverty, drugs, and broken families. This book has the familiar character development Rowling’s readers have come to enjoy, but with a darker, more gritty feel. Some would even say that the characters in The Casual Vacancy can be described as unlikable. Readers who enjoy interconnectedness of characters and relationships between both adults and teenagers may find this novel appealing.

r
RebelBelle13
Aug 08, 2019

If you've read any of Rowling's other books (The Harry Potter series) the first 20 pages of The Casual Vacancy is like shell-shock. I felt betrayed and harshly pulled back to reality by the language, blatant sex, domestic abuse, and rape. Then I read more. I committed myself to the town of Pagford- its secrets, lies and manipulations- and I became addicted to its flawed inhabitants. The multitude of characters held my attention raptly as I devoured the pages. I didn't care much for the local politics- or the battle for the Fields and the clinic. It was the people themselves that had me entranced. Yes, this is NO Harry Potter. There is no Hagrid, coming to interrupt their pitiful lives and whisk them off to Hogwarts. And perhaps, that's the purpose of this novel- to bring us out of the clouds, and back from the land of magic. It sits in stark contrast from the novels we grew up with. Rowling has made her statement loud and clear with this book. However, this novel isn't just a statement. It's too well written and the characters too real to exist merely as a 'point'. I honestly hope she writes more. If you are a fan of Rowling's writing, do yourself a favor. Try to get through the first hundred pages, and then make your decision about the story. I'm glad a hung on to the end. Some of the characters changed, which is what made the journey really worthwhile.

a
altybiz
Mar 21, 2019

Couldn't find a single main character that I cared about. All totally unlikable except for a few peripheral characters.

ArapahoeTiegan May 03, 2018

Enter a small town in a which a member of the council dies and an uproar begins over who will take the empty seat. It was very interesting to figure out how everyone was connected and get glimpses into each of the runner's lives, as well as the lives of their children, who end up involved in their own ways. Very intriguing characters and somehow some mundane days are made exciting simply through J.K. Rowling's superb writing.

d
davidp3
Jan 25, 2017

Loved it! Rowling can write! I read that this was turned into a mini-series in the UK. Enjoy!

b
bunnayy
Nov 30, 2016

Remember when Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera/ Miley Cyrus etc tried to rebrand themselves from the teeny-bopper to something more "sophisticated" by becoming excessively sexual and vulgar?? Same thing here, plus the characters embody some of the worst qualities in people to make the overall tone of the book very negative.

d
dprodrig
Sep 06, 2016

I just couldn't get into it at all (and no, I've never read Potter before). Just too much gossip and wondering, and circular happenings and I will admit I didn't have the patience for it.

t
thomqui
Jan 26, 2016

A richly detailed look at the politics and more of English country life. A satisfying read

cals_flss Sep 29, 2015

If you enjoy reading stories about scheming, backstabbing, hateful, violent, depressing, and morally bankrupt characters with no redeeming qualities and a very unhappy and dissatisfying ending, this book is for you. If you hated the Harry Potter Series and prefer your fiction more true to life and grittier, this book may be for you. If you dislike books with happy endings, this may be the book for you. If, however, you like happy endings, and at least one decent human being in your fiction, don't even open this one.

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cedarblood
May 15, 2013

cedarblood thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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toby65
May 13, 2013

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PramandTenar
May 04, 2013

PramandTenar thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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CupertinoJay
Apr 24, 2013

CupertinoJay thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Stephen M Kellat Mar 28, 2013

Stephen M Kellat thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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Keep_On_Rockin
Nov 28, 2012

Keep_On_Rockin thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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beardedcanuck
Nov 08, 2012

beardedcanuck thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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jennyfarl
Jul 09, 2016

This book highlights the challenges facing a British village when poverty, elitism, and competition meet adultery, abuse, death, and mental illness.

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Methinks
Feb 04, 2013

How awful it was, though Tessa, remembering Fats the toddler, way tiny ghosts of your living children haunted your heart; they could never know, and would hate it if they did, how their growing was a constant bereavement.

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