Shortlisted for: UK Author of the year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, 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 facade 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.
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Don't have expectations!
Rowling excels at providing the reader with complex characters - almost as if you are first looking at the shadow from a cardboard cut-out, a shallow cliche that slowly grows in complexity for good or ill. I came into the story with few pre-conceived ideas as to what I would find - other than there would be no magic.
Indeed, there was none. There was life, in all its hard brutal reality, starkly painted and unforgiving.
A book to enjoy for its difference.
Tom Hollander provides an even pace and warm tones that do not distract from the story.
Reality - and exceptional insight
Yes. I can't wait for more people to read this. It's a very true portrayal of marginalization and the light and shadow of intimate relationships.
Both Crystal and Andrew haunt me. Their circumstances, vulnerability and strength evoke empathy and hope for their happiness. Rowling understands duality in humans where the good and the bad sit alongside each other. She shows the irrefutable reasoning behind life choices we otherwise criticize.
Great reader! He easily moves between the accents to embody the characters.
I can't forget the final scene.
I wonder if the reason for negative reader reviews is due to their expectation of fantasy based literature. The very realist style of this book is its strength.