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Synopsis

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.

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The Casual Vacancy
Average rating
3.6 / 5
The Casual Vacancy
March 28th, 2015
Stark, flawed, bleak view of life in a villege. No one was a winner. Showed the hidden hierarchy of such sequestered groups.
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1 review
The casual vacancy
March 27th, 2015
Very well written,I could not put it down. The characters are believable, and the story line keeps you wondering what comes next.
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1 review
The Casual Vacancy!
October 29th, 2014
This story starts slow and draws you in! Before you know it, you are at the last chapter of the last page! You are left wanting more of this small village!
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1 review
A Casual Vacancy
April 22nd, 2014
A reasonably well written novel with a storyline which seemed to just touch on the personalities of the characters. I was left with no great knowledge or understanding of who some of these people were. The characters were all a little unsavory. In this lovely little town every family had a grubby little secret. Just too much gloom, underhandedness and sorrow!
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1 review
Casual Vacancy
April 5th, 2014
Small town politics and drama, not my thing.
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1 review
Very impressive!
February 26th, 2014
A truthful and incredibly rich tale of the disparity between comfortable and poor, this story highlights the fact that one can never really know what goes on inside someone else's existence. This book will be going on my list of all-time favorites.
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1 review
Not your usual J.K. Rowlings
February 23rd, 2014
I have just finished this book....I have not read any of her previous books, which would be entirely different then this one. This was a hard book to finish....it did not hold my attention, and I found there were too many characters and very hard to keep the straight.
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1 review
February 13th, 2014
As a big Harry Potter fan I was unsure what to expect from J.K. Rowling in her first adult novel. Although The Casual Vacancy was very different to the adventures at Hogwarts, the vividness of Rowling's writing and the characters she weaves together in the small town of Pagford kept me hooked and still thinking about the novel after I was 100% complete. The story brings to life characters who you may wish you had never met but as the book progresses you begin to see into the thoughts and the reasons behind the many actions that have teens rebelling against their parents and the system. I was transported to a small town in England in a way I had never been before and although there were painful moments, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
January 29th, 2014
This was not the magic stuff of Harry Potter, but I was captivated by her writing nonetheless. Despite the characters being wholly unlikeable, they were so vivid, as JK Rowling seems to excel at. The plot left me feeling often awkward and uncomfortable, however, I was still intrigued to read on all the time and I was satisfied with the ending.
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1 review
The Casual Vacancy
January 26th, 2014
This was a good book but had many upsetting turns and deaths, which isn't my style of book. A nice and welcome change was the non plot base and that it was almost like everyday life.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
This book was a decent read. JK Rowling is indeed a good writer. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It was a tale of a small town's people and how they all end up intertwining with each other in some way. Definitely an adult read (40+).
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Initially the premise of the story sounds a little far fetched - 2 towns that have been fighting over council borders for more than 50 years, however J.K. Rowling weaves her particular magic as the story progresses to draw the reader in. The story is less about the political argument and more a commentary on modern day England and how people can fall through the cracks of a society. Her empathy for the characters and how people can end up in particular circumstances is also insightful. The story continues to gather momentum with an ending that is both expected and unexpected. It also raises the question about the value of local councils and what they actually contribute to the growth and development of communities. A definite recommended read and without a trace of fantasy or make believe in it.
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1 review
1 of 2 people found this helpful
January 23rd, 2014
Very interesting novel. I like the way that J.K. was able to write such a riveting by getting into the lives of regular folks in a small town. Her analysis of human nature is very sophisticated. This book doesn't have spells or wizards and witches, but it's magic is in the complexity of the characters and their tangled lives.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Not an easy read, nor a particularly happy one, but an apt study in selfishness and weakness and its impact on those affected by it, particularly the young.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Rowling writes about real people - people with complicated traits and motives and real desires and aspirations. Her insight into these characters introduces us and asks us to examine our own motivations and take a closer look at interactions with our own friends and acquaintances.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I found the book very slow to start but after that I really enjoyed it. Lots of twists and turns - great read.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Often ugly and raw, The Casual Vacancy is not what I expected. Thank goodness. Life in the little town of Pagford and its ugly neighbour, Yarvil, is examined with an uncomfortably close focus. The characters are flawed and generally unlikable, and are presented in an almost documentary style manner. Their interweaving lives are messy and a there is a palpable sense of desperation. A gripping and rewarding read.
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1 review
January 22nd, 2014
An entertaining tale of small town politics , skulduggery and passion; Stereotypical class friction and the angst of adolescence.
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1 review
January 18th, 2014
I was looking forward to reading this book but had a hard time really getting into it because of the many characters and how they related to each other. Once I got through this part of the book, I couldn't put it down.
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1 review
Not impressed
January 1st, 2014
No matter how much I want to like this book it just feels like its dragging on & on...
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1 review

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