- Publisher: Little Brown & Co; First edition (2012)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009KPGIJI
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5,696 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,568,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By Rowling, J.K. : The Casual Vacancy (The Casual Vacancy) Hardcover Hardcover – 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, "The Casual Vacancy" is a disturbing character study. It is written in third-person omniscient point of view. It does require some effort to handle a story with some 18 or so viewpoint characters, so this book will be at too high a reading level for some. I normally don't like the omniscient POV, but this story had to be told that way and Rowling handles it with expertise.
So, what is this book about? It is about pain and cruelty and why people become cruel. There are no traditional protagonists or antagonists, just people going through life. Rowling explores the various ways that people become cruel, angry, or jaded with each main character showing a different form of cruelty and a different reason for it. And, this book is about the people that get hurt by other people's pain and anger.
This isn't an easy book to read, probably the reason so many have reviewed it negatively. But, this is a brilliantly written book, just not for everyone.
This novel is written with a seldom-seen narrative structure. In this structure the story begins with a simple, perhaps commonplace, connection between a group of people (in this case, someone dies, which has some effect on each of these characters).Read more ›
The first thing is that even when people are saying that they are not comparing this novel to Harry Potter, they clearly are. Harry Potter is a fantasy series that is heavily plot driven and was originally targeted at children. The Casual Vacancy is a book based on several months in one setting focusing on the lives of a group of people. So my first piece of advice is read the blurb. J. K. Rowling clearly defined what this book was about from the very beginning; so if you are not someone who will enjoy this genre of novel, even if you do love Rowling, don't read it. It is not comparable in anyway to Harry Potter, so why are people who obviously do not like books dealing with current issues and want to read about some hero overcoming evil bothering to read it at all.
Secondly I have read a lot of people complaining about the characters because they are not likeable. I, however, found them very entertaining and am sad to have parted with them. They are not likeable in the sense that I approve of their actions and I think they are good people, but they are extremely vivid characters that you feel like you know and can envisage perfectly. The characters are all quite self-centred and fail to think about anything other than their own betterment. Why is everyone whining about this? Am I the only person who has had any experience with people in the real world? Many, many people are like this.Read more ›
Rowling is a terrifically strong writer; you can't fault her on craft, and I like that she doesn't feel the need to do any acrobatics or post a billboard - THIS WAY TO THE BRILLIANT WRITER - on every page, as is the irritating case in a lot of literary fiction. If you're able to set aside the JK ROWLING of it all, you'll love or hate this book on the strength of what it says about people. Folks. Relationships that are the opposite of magic. Politics that are petty. The youthful compulsion to crusade - at any age - and the crusty compulsion to squash the crusading of others.
Early on, it's noted that Samantha "enjoyed [Miles'] pomposity with precisely the same spirit as she liked, on formal occasions, to wear a hat," and Rowling is able to enjoy the faults of these characters the same way. These are the characters Franzen would write if he had more tenderness and less literary dyspepsia. Observations about resonant, everyday dynamics - conversational currency, backhanded charity, the lie of self-sacrifice - are made with more wry than sly and not a whiff of self-righteousness.
This is a quiet book; some will say cozy, but I think there's enough edge to prevent that. I loved the dry Britcom humor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. REALLY loved it. It's not something I would normally read; the description didn't sell it very well for me, but I made myself start it because I thought there... Read morePublished 1 day ago by A Hendricks
-In this story of a small town in England, we follow the interconnecting lives of about a half dozen families, as their insecurities, and family secrets slowly are revealed. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ezra Josef
As I suspect from many people who are fans of Rowling, I guess I expected family friendly - this was not. I would NOT recommend this to Harry Potter fans. Read morePublished 5 days ago by D. Karty
Great "character" book. Realistic plot. Thorough understanding of the machinations of a small town.Published 6 days ago by David Richards
Had a hard time finishing this book. I wasn't expecting anything similar to Harry Potter in terms of genre or anything like that. I will say that book is well written... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Joy
I have been a fan of JK Rowling since I first picked up the Sorceror's Stone. I also loved her Cormoran Strike series, so I was excited to read this book. Read morePublished 7 days ago by SMM3
I don't know why anyone would want to read this book. Rowling has a nice ensemble cast and weaves the different stories together well, although at first it was difficult to keep up... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kathryn Parker
I love the Harry Potter books and was more than pleasantly surprised by this book. The writing style and story are VERY different from the HP books, and I think the reviews here... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Natalie