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The Casual Vacancy

By J. K. Rowling | Hardback | 5 Review(s)

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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 facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents,... read more

Format
Hardback
Release Date
27 Sep 2012
Author(s)
J. K. Rowling
Publisher
Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN-13
9781408704202
Dimensions
161mm x 235mm x 43mm
Pages
512
Format
Hardback
Release Date
27 Sep 2012
Author(s)
J. K. Rowling
Publisher
Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN-13
9781408704202
Dimensions
161mm x 235mm x 43mm
Pages
512

Ships in 7-11 days
Local Version

View variations of this book >

$49.99
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Add to Cart

Reviews

Reviews

I don’t know how any book could possibly live up to the hype generated by J.K. Rowling’s first attempt at an adult novel so when my highly prized review copy arrived, I opened the cover without any expectations. And from page one, I found myself enthralled. The plot is relatively straight forward: when Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly, he leaves a vacant seat on the council. The village of Pagford is divided into two factions - those who are determined to keep Pagford a postcard perfect English village and do away with the council estate and the drug rehab centre, and those who are convinced Pagford is a town for everyone - the poor, the unemployed and the unlovely. It’s Rowling’s characters who make this novel. As with the hugely successful Harry Potter series, there are goodies and baddies, although none of them are what they seem. Her teenage characters are spot on too. It’s a gritty, thought-provoking read and one I couldn’t put down ‘til I’d finished it.

Review comments:


I've heard really mixed reviews about this book and it is interesting to see what JK Rowling can do away from the world of Harry Potter with different characters and storylines.
06 Oct 2012 17:02:04 | Natalie O'Brien

I agree with Kerre. I am currently reading this book and can't put it down! The characters are so true to life too. Roll on her next book!
09 Oct 2012 11:21:54 | jude porter

Kerre, usually love your reviews but I can't agree with this one. Don't think J K Rowling has made the move from children's fiction to adults at all well. Didn't feel the book drew me into the story, struggled to finish it ( and I never give up on a book ) there were too many characters, unoriginal plot and it was really boring.The setting was very "English small town" has this hurt the story - possibly. Being a huge Harry Potter fan I was so excited and one of the first to buy a Casual Vacancy. Will I buy the next one she writes - no !!! Can't bring myself to recommend it to anyone.
09 Oct 2012 11:34:20 | Judith Barker

Great review Kerre and a definite must-read for me!!
09 Oct 2012 11:45:53 | Colleen Gallagher

Good on you, Kerre. You have captured the intrigue and excitement around this new book, without giving anything away - except that it's a must-read!
09 Oct 2012 12:44:20 | Emma McGeorge

Thanks for the review - I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.
09 Oct 2012 12:53:08 | Simonne Goodall

Thanks Kerry am looking forward to checking this out. Sounds a great read.
09 Oct 2012 13:13:18 | Karla Byrnes

Can't wait to read it! Probably one I would've passed on but haven't been disappointed with your reviews yet Kerre so might have to try this one!
09 Oct 2012 13:18:59 | Robynne Nunan

Can't wait to read, thanks Kerre for the great review !
09 Oct 2012 14:52:13 | Louise Hartstonge

Sounds great, can't wait to see what JK Rowling produces for adults with this book.
09 Oct 2012 18:32:03 | Julia Bell

The hype surrounding the release of this book had pretty much made me doubt if I would bother reading it ..... Kerre's review however has made me now want to give it a try!
09 Oct 2012 18:48:36 | John Power

Sounds like it's worth taking the time to read. It's not always easy to go in with an open mind when reading something by an author you have read before, and they are writing something completely different. I have been disappointed before.
09 Oct 2012 19:37:35 | Carolyn Cave

Having watched my 10 year old zip through the Harry Potter books and then read them again,all since last Easter, I would absolutely love to read this!
09 Oct 2012 20:10:07 | Andrea Hendy

So different to Harry Potter, sounds just as rivetting though!
09 Oct 2012 20:30:39 | Christine Philp

This book sounds awesome from the review. Not attracted by the cover of the book but Kerre has enticed me.
10 Oct 2012 22:45:41 | Alison Murray

Sounds like I'll be buying this one, wasn't sure if it would be as good as Harry Potter.
12 Oct 2012 17:01:53 | Maria Boyd

I have heard differing opinions of this book - must read it myself to satisfy my curiosity!
17 Oct 2012 21:18:51 | Vicki Olsen

Cannot wait to get my hands on this.
27 Nov 2012 19:24:57 | Tracey Pinny

I saw an interview with J.K. Rowling on The Daily Show about this book, she is an amazing woman, and from the way she talked about the book, it is definitely one that is on my wishlist.
14 Dec 2012 17:12:19 | Ceara Prout

Was wondering how this would be after the success of her other books. Plsed to hear it is good.
14 Dec 2012 17:59:01 | Linda Gordon

Thanks, was a bit like yourself and tentative about reading this, will definately be grabbing a copy and reading.
14 Dec 2012 18:16:54 | Marie McNaught

I thought the last 100 pages of this book included some of the best storytelling I've read for a long time.
14 Dec 2012 18:19:52 | Tim Saunders

You've got me intrigued now Kerre :) Thank you! :) xx
14 Dec 2012 19:53:00 | Anna Killick

Cover does not appeal, but your review makes me want to give it a go.
14 Dec 2012 21:02:41 | Natalie Towler

I love Harry Potter but have heard such mixed opinions about this book (and, more to the point, enjoyed the first few pages so little) that I don't think I'll be buying it. At least not before I've got around to reading the whole thing from the library first... and I'm not even keen enough to bother reserving it.
14 Dec 2012 21:20:19 | Heather Smith

This is the most positive review I've read on this book. Athough Ms Rowling's Potter books were extremely readable, for adults too - I feel she's lost some of her 'magic' by condensing another epic story into only one book
14 Dec 2012 21:24:20 | Cathy Leov

Interesting review, I may give this one a go, not quite sure just yet. Thank you!
15 Dec 2012 00:16:53 | Laurel Connell

I agree 100%. I am not a Harry Potter fan, but had to read this to see what all the fuss was about. The language was coarse in places, but it worked with the characters. I felt like one of the villagers when reading this and almost felt like I was watching this as a film.
15 Dec 2012 19:55:45 | Anne Jay

Have been wondering if I should read this book, I loved Harry Potter, would an adult book be as captivating? Will definitely give it a go after reading Kerre's review.
09 Feb 2013 10:15:30 | Jacqui Duthie

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10 Mar 2013
By Melissa Reynolds
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The Casual Vacancy

My children have read and re read Rowlings other books until they are in tatters and need replacing. Although this book has been written for adults, I can't wait to read it

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10 Mar 2013
By Melissa Reynolds
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15 Dec 2012
By Robyn Smith
Comment
The Casual Vacancy

Having never read the Harry Potter series, I didn't know what to expect from this book. My neighbour lent it to me, saying that you really needed to understand English village life to get to grips with it. I've read other books about English villages, but none like this! Most of the characters are horrible, some more than others, but virtually none are likeable, with the possible exceptions of Kate, the social worker and her teenage client. Yet I found myself wanting to read on to find out if the particularly nasty ones got their comeuppance. Rowling paints a rather bleak picture of relationships in this book, positing that anybody trying to care for people in a positive way is bound for disaster and tragedy. Her portrayal of Simon and his violence is uncomfortably reminiscent of some NZ literature and movies. All in all a good read; I look forward to her next one.

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15 Dec 2012
By Robyn Smith
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14 Dec 2012
By Shani Kowalczyk
Comment
The Casual Vacancy

Im not a big novel reader, but having loved the Happy Potter ones, I am wanting to give this one a go. Thanks for the review, it has cemented my idea to buy it for Christmas :-)

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14 Dec 2012
By Shani Kowalczyk
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14 Dec 2012
By Maryn Cameron
Comment
Kerre's top 5

Regarding Kerre's reviews - I want to read them all now!!! So I have forwarded the email to my childeren and said "Any of them will do for Christmas!!!"

Review comments:


14 Dec 2012
By Maryn Cameron
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