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The Casual Vacancy
 
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The Casual Vacancy [Kindle Edition]

J.K. Rowling
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 20.00
Kindle Price: CDN$ 9.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: CDN$ 10.01 (50%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
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Review

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 Wrestles honourably and intelligently with big moral and political questions ... a study of provincial life, with a large cast and multiple, interlocking plots, drawing inspiration from such writers as Trollope, Gaskell and, perhaps most of all, George Elliot ... [the plot] is big, engrossing, and runs like clockwork Guardian Rowling weaves a web of connections that resonate long after the book ends Daily Express This is a book with a social conscience ... Much lurks behind Pagford's idyllic facade The Times Rowling once again shows her skill at laying bare the best and (more often) worst of human nature Star Magazine A perfect holiday read Best Magazine JK's first grown-up novel is an eminently-readable tale of small minds in small-town England Bella

Product Description

When Barry Fairweather 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?

Photo credit: © Wall to Wall Media Ltd. Photographer: Andrew Montgomery.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1136 KB
  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316228532
  • Publisher: Little Brown; 1 edition (Sept. 26 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007THA4FI
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,763 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, heart-wrenching and memorable Oct. 14 2012
By VCR
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can understand why a lot of people either dislike or don't know what to make of this book. Rowling presents a set of deeply flawed, complex, and (in my opinion) all-too-real characters; none of whom are easily or completely likeable, just like people in real life. For me, this has always been the core strength of her writing (granted that the Harry Potter series was slightly and understandably more black-and-white in this regard). It took me two weeks to finish The Casual Vacancy because, for the first hundred or so pages, I also did not know what to make of this book. I felt uncomfortable being confronted with situation after situation where the injustices of life and the unpleasantness of the human condition screamed at me for pages on end. I recognized pieces of myself and the people I've known in these characters. And then as the days pressed on and I read a few more chapters each night, I gradually found myself eager to come home and spend more time getting to know these characters; not because I was expecting some thrilling, suspenseful narrative climax (there is none), but because Rowling is a master of capturing the complexities of what it means to be human in all its many forms.

Is this book fantastic literature? That is debatable. The strength of the prose comes and goes and there were only a few passages so eloquently worded and I stopped to really soak them in. But for me, Rowling has accomplished in this text what I have come to know her for; she has created a set of rounded and complex characters that will continue to linger with me long after I have finished reading the book (which, for me, is rare when I read fiction).
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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very dark departure Sept. 29 2012
By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Do you remember when Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe did that play where he was nude and smoked to distance himself from the kid-friendly HP series? Well, this is the literary equivalent for JK Rowling. This book IS NOT HARRY POTTER, or anything like it. It's a dark view of the lives of "ordinary" citizens in a British town. A parish council leader dies suddenly, leaving a "casual vacancy" to be filled. This story is about how that happens, but really, it's more about the people who it happens to. The parents as well as their adolescent children. In that regard, we see some of the old JK Rowling as she spends a lot of time looking at the lives of teenagers.

Only this book is completely R-rated. Violence, abuse, nudity, drugs, crime, and severely adult language are found throughout the book. This is most certainly not something you'd want your child to be reading. So I get the impression that, like so many famous actors or writers, this is Rowling's attempt to show that she can do more than just the series that made her famous.

So does it work? I think so. It's not the best modern fiction that I've read, but it's not the worst. If you know what you're getting, a dark, sometimes satirical look into modern family lives, then yes, the book works. I found the teenagers to be at least as interesting as their parents, if not more so. While it was hard to find a lot of sympathetic characters in this book, at least the characters are generally interesting. The story does tend to drag on a little in the middle parts, but it then whips forward to a satisfying conclusion.

So should you buy it? Well, that depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for anything similar to Harry Potter, take a pass.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book To Live In Oct. 3 2012
Format:Hardcover
Welcome to Pagford.
It is a picture perfect little town: rolling hills, ancient abbey, cobbled streets, charming houses and colourful inhabitants. However, like everything that looks perfect, secrets run rampant through Pagford’s streets, waiting for the moment to be set free.

That moment arrives in the death of Barry Fairbrother. After suffering an aneurism on the night of his wedding anniversary, the town of Pagford becomes torn. With Barry’s death, a Casual Vacancy arises, a seat left vacant on the Parish Council due to death.

There are a few hopefuls vying for the coveted seat: Howard Mollison wants his son Miles to take the seat so that Miles can help Howard rid Pagford of The Fields, a rundown part of town home to a methadone clinic. Howard is thrilled at Barry’s death as Howard may finally rid Pagford of an eyesore. Miles’ wife Samantha, however, is less than thrilled and begins to fantasize about much younger boys.

Collin Wall, Deputy Head minister of the local high school, also wants to run for the vacant seat. As Barry’s former best friend, Collin thinks Barry would have wanted him to carry on his work, bringing The Fields and Pagford together, instead of tearing them apart.

Tessa Wall, who is the school guidance counselor, is more concerned over the antics of their son Stuart “Fats” and his association with Krystal Weedon and the mental state of her husband if he actually wins the seat; Collin hides a secret that could ruin him if exposed.

Simon Price also wants to run, despite having isolated himself from the community. His wife, Ruth, approves of him running because she is used to agreeing. It is the only way to keep him from getting angry.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One star for the last 100 pages...
This book could be reasonable if they weren't the first 400 pages. Nothing happens and you can develop a pretty bad rash reading a communist manifesto from Mrs Rollins. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Customer from Quebec
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Very disappointing... I was too depressed by the story to finish the book. I wish it sould have been better...
Published 25 days ago by Lily
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
There is not a positive character in the book except the one that is dead at the beginning of the novel
Published 2 months ago by Diane Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, entertaining, good message for all ages
Really enjoyed this book. First time I've read anything from J.K. Rowling, and I was impressed with her humor and realism of characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by scoobie
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
Great book very different from what people are used to from her definitely going to recommend it to my friends
Published 4 months ago by Jamie
3.0 out of 5 stars Casual Vacancy
The contents of the book are what determines one's enjoyment of the read. Much more profane language than I expected. Delivery time of the book was excellent.
Published 4 months ago by Ron Harwood
2.0 out of 5 stars Jk Rowling disappointment
Jk Rowling should stick to writing fiction for children. The politics and small town gossip of an English village don't have universal appeal
Published 6 months ago by cheryl wright
5.0 out of 5 stars The prose princess
JK Rowling shows her diversity. I loved this total taking leave of all things Harry Potter - this was an intelligent, intellectual read. Excellent character depiction. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Judes
5.0 out of 5 stars Book purchase
The book arrived in the condition described in the time indicated. I was very happy with the purchase and it totally met my expectations.
Published 7 months ago by Mary Douglas
4.0 out of 5 stars good story
Great story, lots of characters, almost needed a playlist. There is no reader's guide for bookclubs. I would still recommend it.
Published 7 months ago by Meredith Ford
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