The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy

Audiobook CD - 2012
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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 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 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?
Publisher: [New York] : Hachette Audio, p2012
Edition: Unabridged
Description: 15 sound discs (ca. 1080 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
ISBN: 9781619695009
Branch Call Number: SWCD Rowl

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 03, 2018

Pagford, England. A community away from the hustle & bustle of London. Just another small town on the map to outsiders, but to the people of the town, it is home. But home is not as perfect as some may like to believe it to be. It shares all of the same problems & struggles that other towns & cities do, only there are no such things as "secrets" in a small town. Life, death, infidelity, commitment, drugs, recovery....Pagford has it all. And it's up to the town council to vote to change things for the better. One of the town council seats has recently become available after the untimely death of Barry Fairweather. We spend the rest of the book following a few character's bids to become the newest member of the town council. But a "ghost's" entries on the town's website throws the town's normal, mundane activity completely off kilter. All of the ugly aspects of the town's life are thrown into the light, & people's lives are destroyed.

The famous author of the Harry Potter series scripts what feels like a real-life play that is being performed in your mind. Of course I had to read this book considering how much I loved Rowling's writings in the HP series. I knew from the synopsis that this was no Harry Potter. I imagine this was Rowling's attempt to expand readers' perception of her authorship into something other than young reader's fantasy books. Well, I'd say she achieved that goal. This book contained SO MUCH foul language, sexual content between adults & minors, drug use & abuse, child neglect, infidelity, & other similar topics that I had NO PROBLEM seeing Rowling in a different light. I really didn't care for this book most of the way through & had contemplated abandoning it. However, I am glad that I followed it through to the end. Although I still maintain my dismal opinion of this story, I appreciate the honest, blunt picture it paints of real-life struggles & consequences that go on around us every day. My heart quickly developed a love for Crystal because of the parallel I was able to draw between her & a woman (I'll call her A) that I am connected to in my life. I saw so many things in Crystal's life that I've witnessed in A's life. And while so many people write Crystal off as a "bad girl" because of her behavior, only one person, Barry Fairweather, saw the potential in her & took the time to show her that he cared for & believed in her. The kindness of one, as it did in this story, is never forgotten. By the end, I was driven to reach out, yet again, to A if only to show her that I care for & believe in her.

Age recommendation: 18 & up (strong profanity, sexual content between adults & minors, drug use & abuse, child neglect, infidelity)

On a scale of 1-10 stars, I give it 5.

u
unexpressed
Sep 22, 2016

Depressing. Much prefer the world of Hogwarts.

2
21288003766819
Jun 01, 2015

unbelievably insightful, amazing well written. I was emotionally drained after reading this book and it stays with you long after you have finished reading it.

f
FVReader
May 10, 2015

A story about the importance of a communal safety net and community coming together.
Barry Fairbrother dies and out of this comes "a casual vacancy" on the Council seat. We're in for all the infighting, the causes & reasons of Council business, lies, suspicions. There's also teenage angst and rebellion. Then, under that all, are those without a voice and who Society is happy to ignore and brush aside.

a
agibitz
Oct 15, 2014

I did not enjoy this book, mainly because of the misogynistic thoughts of one of the characters. I simply could not get past the vulgar language. I'm sure there is some literary value in the book, but I simply could not wade through the muck to get there.

s
Sewnsew
Mar 06, 2014

What a disappointment. I listened to the Audiobook and was disgusted with the gratuitous use of the "F" word. The storyline was depressing and, having grown up in UK, consider it rather overdone. Stick to children's books please.

k
kwehner1987
Nov 08, 2013

I hated this book. I found it depressing, which can be fine with some books, but it just didn't let up with the grimness and was also boring in general. It had a few redeeming moments, but I wouldn't recommend this at all.

o
Octillion
Sep 15, 2013

I don't recommend this book in the Playaway format if you plan on casually listening to the book. The chapters aren't broken down into a smaller number of tracks so one chapter is one track. Normally I don't find this to be an issue, but each chapter is broken down into several sub-chapters and told from the POV of different characters so it's pretty easy to get lost. Regardless of the format, the story isn't bad. It reminds me of a dark BBC drama - like Luther. I recommend the book.

h
HilarySquires
Sep 03, 2013

A great book! I read the audio version and only had to skip ahead once when I sensed a graphic scene coming. It was definitely dark, but based on the comments that I read I expected much moreso.

s
sandsbrown
Aug 05, 2013

As was stated below just too many characters doing too many things. I found it hard to follow and eventually just gave up, which I normally dont do. A disappointment but I can see how some could enjoy it, just not me.

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Notices

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 03, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: drug use & abuse

j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 03, 2018

Sexual Content: sexual content between adults & minors, infidelity

j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 03, 2018

Violence: child neglect & abuse

j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 03, 2018

Coarse Language: profanity

Age Suitability

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 03, 2018

jandt_mcmurray thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

b
BlacknWriteReviews
May 21, 2013

BlacknWriteReviews thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over

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