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Description

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, 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 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 at 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?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking, and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults.

©2012 J.K. Rowling (P)2012 Hachette Audio

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Notations

Global

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Performance

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Histoire

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Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Great audiobook

This audiobook is great, J.K. Rowling shows again how she's good to write good stories, Tom Hollander is not the beast narrator ever but he's good enough, get this one and you'll have a good time!

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cristina
  • 14/01/2014

I was surprised by how much I liked it

I read Rowling's other non-Potter book (the one she wrote under a pseudonym) and found it entertaining but mediocre. I expected the same reaction to this one and had therefore put off listening to it. When I did, I was totally surprised by how much I liked it. So much so that I laid in bed until well past two in the morning listening to the end (something I rarely do)--ergo the five stars even though this is not 'high' literature.

The Casual Vacancy is a story about the dark hidden lives of the inhabitants of a small country town. (Yes, not a very original theme but so very well done by Rowling.) The characters are dark, Very dark. Sometimes their meanness astounds you. In fact, they are all mean, except in varying degrees -- the only 'solid' good guy appears to be the character who dies in the first few pages of the book, leaving "the casual vacancy" in the town's council. (Had he lived, no doubt we would have found he had his secrets as well. Nobody is blameless here.)

The things that happen as a result of the characters inner flaws and demons are catastrophic, but easy to believe. In fact, Rowling makes them seem inevitable. A train without brakes going downhill.

I hope she writes more novels like this. And I hope Tom Hollander reads them. I will be sure to listen.

77 sur 84 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 27/09/2012

Pagford upon Avon

Or perhaps a better title for my review would be: You don’t have S3X near unicorns. In some ways this novel seems like a more middleweight 21st century counterpoint to Martin Amis' novel 'Money'. J.K. Rowling's new "adult" novel could just as easily been titled 'Poverty' or 'Mortality' (sorry J.K., but Hitch beat you to that title), both of which are themes that play throughout this novel.

It is weird for me, as a reader of all her juvenile fiction, to think of her in the same way with 'Casual Vacancy'. It appears it is hard for J.K. too. Rowling clearly is strongly connected to young adults, because the best parts of 'The Casual Vacancy' orbit the novel's younger characters.

In 'Casual Vacancy', Rowling falls back into writing about factions and tribalism in communities. Instead of a sorting hat, Pagford's tribes are sorted by money, by politics, by class, and in the case of those around Barry Fairweather -- by luck. It really seems like you can't write about England's poverty or class struggles without a little bit of dark humor and tragicomedy.

But, there is a real danger in writing a novel your loyal readers might not be ready for. We are creatures of habit and expectation. Go back and ask Melville how his loyal followers liked Moby Dick. I am positive that there will be scores of readers that will be upset, disenchanted, and disallusioned with Rowling's new book. But that is OK. In a greater way that is probably just what JK wants and expects (obviously on top of being read).

The British actor Tom Hollander's participation in the audiobook was a brilliant (seriously brillaint) move. The tecture of his voice is easy, lyrical and clear. He is able to subtly voice the many shades and variations of English class (Ruth and her husband Simon are good examples of his deft reading). The clarity and crispness of his voice also makes this an audiobook that you can listen to ALMOST as easily at 2x speed as 1x speed (although as an American, I didn't dare listen to it for long at 3x speed).

I'm not sure I would call it a great book (sorry folks, it isn't 'Bleak House' or 'Les Miserables'), but neither my money/credit nor my time was wasted listening to it.

323 sur 368 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rob Settle
  • 03/08/2014

One very weird book!

I can't identify a single, admirable character in the entire cast. Everyone was flawed, and most, fatally. Yet the author takes the reader into their lives so deftly, I was enthralled. Felt a bit like the proverbially bird watching a snake. Narrator Tom Hollander did a superb job, especially with the voicing of different characters. So much so, that I will search his name for other books he has narrated. Following a narrator, rather than only the author, is something I rarely do. All in all, a very, very good book, but if you're looking for something cheery and uplifting, do pass on this one.

12 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CBDC
  • 18/05/2015

The author is truly a genius

It's the minutia of small town life in Britain, the struggles of middle schoolers everywhere: sex, parents, dysfunction; of parents - relationships, appearances. There's a lot of truth and understanding and humanity in her writing. Given some of the reviews, I didn't expect to find the power and insights I did. It starts with high level quarrels and slowly descends beneath the surface to anger, revenge, and deeper still.

18 sur 20 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Penny Carol
  • 09/10/2012

This is not a magical book, it can't be.

Oscar Wilde's famous line "The good end happily and the bad unhappily, that is what fiction means" sums up the hero's journey that is the Harry Potter series. Inventive and imaginative, the reader enters a world that could never be, and encounters characters full of the greatest attributes of mankind: kindness, loyalty and courage prime among them. Goodness inevitably triumphs over evil, and the victory is won by not a single hero, but a band of friends exhibiting humanity at its best.

Humanity is not at its best in "The Casual Vacancy", far from it. Readers who found it exhilarating to imagine themselves soaring through the air on a broomstick or a hippogriff are rudely dropped onto the hard asphalt of contemporary class and racial bias. It is not a pretty sight or enjoyable experience. It is not meant to be.

I responded the same way many readers did by realizing that there isn't a single character that is not deeply flawed, and in many ways, unlikeable. The one person we would actually like to have as a friend dies at the outset of the book, and even he has imperfect relationships with those closest to him. His presence created equilibrium between warring factions driven by prejudice and mistrust. His death upsets the balance and begins a cascade of events which ends in tragedy. A more hopeful book would have the characters experience epiphanies which would change them internally and the world around them externally.

But this is not a hopeful book. I don't think it was meant to be. The author masterfully weaves the strands of the plot until all the characters have to look at themselves deeply if they are capable of it. Many of them are not, and are not changed by the losses they experience. This is where fantasy and reality collide, good is not going to triumph over evil, and that is depressing and heartbreaking.

The point, I believe, is that complex problems do not have easy answers, and sometimes have no answers at all. The Potter series is about finding the hidden power within you. This book is about the hidden powerlessness we feel as a society when confronted by the fear of those who are not like us. While we have best of intentions, our fear triumphs over our desire to do the right thing.

I believe Ms. Rowling's intent was to make us think deeply about intractable problems, and I think she was successful in doing so. It is not an enjoyable read, but it is an important one. It makes us uncomfortable, this time she didn't want to entertain us with fantasy, but to give us a big dose of reality as seen by a skilled storyteller.

76 sur 88 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • connie
  • 02/10/2012

Skippy Dies in Marriage Plot on Coronation St

I mean that in a good way. I've never read or seen a Potter, but love witty light Brit lit. This IS a fun listen, though some of the characters and observations are mean-spirited. This also does a novel's job - observes and comments on the human condition, so although light, it is in the tradition (though not same fighting class) of a Trollope or Austen - keen observation of daily life beyond the surface, and well-expressed. Rowling makes even a journey across a parking lot interesting, and the narrator is A+

I downloaded this only out of curiosity and lost a night's sleep because I couldn't stop listening. If you like story-telling and don't need a happy -ever-after resolution, this may be for you. If you like sparse, taught prose and postmodern-y novels, maybe skip it.

I usually avoid novels with adolescent characters and their concerns, but. like Paul Murray, Rowling makes even that age group interesting for me. (Sorry if that sounds ageist; I'm a self-absorbed babyboomer - and we're in the novel too)

89 sur 104 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • katelyn
  • 31/10/2012

Rowling can create despicable as well as loveable

When I finished listening to this book I immediately wanted to talk about it. My initial feeling was one of bafflement, mostly because, while this book was not what I consider "enjoyable" by most of the definitions I use for that word - I did enjoy it.

I tend to be drawn to books that will allow me to disappear into them. I want to escape from reality and inhabit a different world for a while, fall in love, have grand adventures, make new friends. This was not the book for any of that. Instead The Casual Vacancy keeps you right here in "the real world". More than that, it shines an unforgiving light into all of the dingiest, ugliest, saddest and most tragic corners of the world and introduces you to a whole town full of despicable, ugly and tragic characters and it does it in a gorgeous way. The world is painted with the skilled brushes of JK Rowlings fantastic command of language and brilliant story-telling.

This is the first Tom Hollander narration that I have listened to. I have listened to A Lot of audiobooks though, and have experienced that a narrator can make or break a book in audio format. I enjoyed Tom Hollander very much.

Like the rest of the world, I became a fan of the author through the charming and magical world she created with Harry Potter. Those audiobooks are some of my absolute favorites. I have listened to them over and over - they are a great thing to just throw on when I am bored and have nothing new to listen to. It has been my experience that JK Rowling's books have many and unexpected layers, so I WILL be listening to this book again once it has had a bit more time to digest in my head, though I don't see it going onto my list of often repeated files.

Because I do enjoy that world so much I really wanted to support the author in this newest endeavor. I went in knowing that this was an adult book, not a fantasy/sci-fi book and most definitely NOT HP. Even so, it was difficult to divorce myself from those preconceived notions and just give this book a shot on it's own merits. There were a few spots in the book where I found myself pulled out of the story a bit by the swearing. I found myself wondering how much of it was necessary to the story and how much of it was an artifice to break from the HP mold. I do not have an issue with swearing, and it is clear that some measure of it is completely appropriate, and perhaps even necessary to illustrate the world created in The Casual Vacancy. There were still a few spots where it seemed - contrived almost - and reminded me that I was reading a JK Rowling book rather than getting me to forget about the author and immerse into the story.

I don't want to live in this world (even though I am aware that I do). All in all though, I am glad I made the purchase, and though this book had a lot of hurdles to jump - I think that it was worth the effort to experience what I view as a piece of art. The characters in this book are not the loveable oddballs of HP, but they do show that Rowling can create the rainbow of despicable humanity just as well.

I don't feel like I have said a whole lot to really encourage anyone towards this story, but I do think that any book that makes you think, makes you want to talk about it, makes you pause and reassess the way you view the world, is a good book. The Casual Vacancy did all of those things for me. Instead of wanting to escape into it's world it made me relieved to return to my own. Instead of falling in love with the characters, it made me recall why I love the people in my own. Instead of making me want to escape, it actually made me want to take action.

44 sur 54 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cris
  • 19/12/2012

This Woman Can Write!

I don't usually rate books so late, but I had to add my two cents to the reviews about this book. It is not a easy read, but Rowling has great insight into the teenage psyche. That said, this book is for adults. Not an easy or fun read but worth the trauma for the beauty of a story well told.

19 sur 23 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 24/11/2012

I wanted to like this but didn't.

Wow this book was hard to finish. The only likeable charecture dies within the first few paragraphs. Everybody else is so self involved that they can't see the damage they are doing to all those around them. The narration is excellent but does not make up for the general meanness on display here. Also I found some of the charectures motivations to be a little weak.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Meg
  • 30/01/2016

Stellar

I wasn't sure what to expect of this book before I started it. From reading the summary it sounded like it might be a fun and entertaining story and it is. However, it is also so much more than that.

JK Rowling excels at character development. Her capacity to create characters who are so complex and relatable has always amazed me. This book is primarily about relationships. But it is also about identity, about friendship, judgement, hate, loathing, and love. It's about people. It's also an incredibly engaging story that captured me from beginning to end.
I realize that this sort of book may not appeal to everyone. But if you are the type of reader who is interested in rich character development and the complexity of human relationships in all their forms, you might enjoy this gem.

5 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dani S
  • 23/11/2012

Durchhalten!

Meine Kollegin empfahl mir das Buch. Ausserdem war ich natürlich darauf gespannt, was J.K. Rowling ausser Harry Potter sonst noch so drauf hat. Als ich angefangen habe zu hören, dachte ich erst: Mann, diese Geschichten von fremden Menschen interessieren mich doch gar nicht...! Meine Kollegin trat wieder auf den Plan und riet mir, einfach noch ein bisschen durchzuhalten. Und genau das rate ich jetzt allen Lesern dieser Rezension. Kauft das Hörbuch und "beisst" Euch durch das erste Drittel durch. Der Schreibstil ist toll und sobald man mal "drin" ist und diese fremden Leute kennen gelernt hat, sind einem deren Schicksale nicht mehr egal und man leidet mit den einen und entwickelt leidenschaftlichen Hass gegenüber den anderen. Das macht dann wirklich Spass. Und ich verrate nicht zuviel wenn ich sage: Der Schluss ist ein Knüller!

15 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angelika
  • 11/11/2012

meisterhaft

J.K. Rowling versteht es geradezu meisterhaft, die innersten Gedanken und Gefühle ihrer Protagonisten zu ergründen und zu beschreiben. Es ist garadezu unheimlich, wie genau sie die Menschen analysiert. Der Roman ist allerdings ziemlich düster und nicht gerade ermutigend, in dem was er schildert.
Ich fand das Buch sehr sehr spannend und konnte es immer kaum erwarten, wieder ins Auto zu steigen, wo ich meine Hörbücher höre. Und ich bedauere es immer noch sehr, dass ich mit dem Buch jetzt fertig bin.
Auf das nächste freue ich mich schon.

8 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Birte
  • 20/04/2013

Noch besser als "Die Korrekturen"!

Ich mag am liebsten Bücher, bei denen man in eine andere Welt eintauchen kann, in dem die Charaktere quasi zum Bekanntenkreis werden und man nicht abwarten kann, bis man wieder in die Welt eintauchen darf. Genauso ein Buch ist "The casual vacancy". Manche Litaraturkritiker haben die holzschnittartigen, stereotypen Figuren kritisiert. Da das Buch ein bisschen satirisch ist, muss das ja auch so sein. Die Figuren sind aber trotzdem komplex. Zuerst verabscheut man einige Figuren einfach nur und fragt sich, wen man da überhaupt sympatisch findet. Aber im Verlaufe der Geschichte wird dann klarer, warum die Personen so geworden sind. Dann tun sie einem schon fast ein bisschen leid. Das Schöne an dem Buch ist auch, dass man so viele schlechte Eigenschaften von Menschen vor Augen geführt bekommt und als Hörer denkt man sich dann: "Ja ja, so ist der Mensch. Gott sei Dank bin ich nicht so! ... Oder doch?" :-) Wer Jonathan Franzen's "Die Korrekturen" mag, wird dieses Buch auch mögen.
Der Sprecher ist übrigens absolute Spitzenklasse: Er spricht fast astreines RP, die Figuren aus der middle class haben allenfalls einen leichten, die aus der working class einen stärkeren Akzent, der aber trotzdem noch gut zu verstehen ist. Das kriegt Tom Hollander wirklich toll hin. Ich würde gerne wieder ein Hörbuch hören, das von ihm gesprochen wird.
In einer der Rezensionen hier klingt es so, als kämen alle paar Sekunden irgendwelche schmutzigen Wörter vor. In der Geschichte kommt gelegentlich eine sozialschwache Familie vor, die nun mal häufiger f***ing sagt und in den Fantasien eines Teenagers kommt auch einmal das Wort c**** vor. Das ist alles! Das muss ein sehr empfindlicher Mensch auf diesem Gebiet sein, der sich daran stört, finde ich.
Ich finde nicht, dass er so schwer ist, sich die Namen zu merken. Das mag vielleicht in den allerersten Kapiteln so sein, aber dann geht's. Selbst wenn man sich fragt: War Ruth jetzt die Frau von Collin oder von Simon, dann wird die Frage in den nächsten Sekunden quasi beantwortet.
Fazit: Ein unterhaltsames Buch, kein Kitsch aber auch nicht zu anspruchsvoll. Genau richtig eben!

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gabi S.
  • 07/10/2013

Absolute Empfehlung ...

Ich habe mich für dieses Audiobook nur entschieden, weil es von J.K. Rowling stammt. Die Inhaltsangabe und die teilweise wenig euphorischen Bewertungen hatten mich nicht sonderlich angesprochen. Dem entsprechend war meine Erwartungshaltung nicht hoch.

Aber: Diese Autorin hat einfach einen mitreißenden, genialen Schreibstil! Ausgehend vom Tod der Titelfigur Barry Fairbrother lässt J.K. Rowling eine Handlung entstehen, die völlig anders ist, als erwartet. Das Alltägliche, fast trist erscheinende Leben in Pagford wird im Zuge der Handlung immer tiefsinniger, lebendiger und schräger. Man wird hineingezogen in die Lebensweise der einzelnen Handlungsfiguren, ist berührt und traurig und manchmal auch erschreckt, weil die Figuren so nah am echten Leben sind!

Die tiefe Einfühlung in ihre Handlungsfiguren, der intelligente Humor, das ist es, was ich an dieser Autorin herausragend finde! Wenn man zum Ende eines Romans Mühe hat, in die Wirklichkeit zurückzukehren, dann handelt es sich um einen guten Roman! Und genau so war es!!!

Die Vertonung durch den Sprecher Tom Hollander ist übrigens ein absoluter Hörgenuss!

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nadia Morlion
  • 21/11/2015

wonderful

it was tricky at the beginning to place all the different characters, aber the effort was worth it. I loved it.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CRoth1964
  • 03/12/2013

Unusual book

I have listened to this unusual book from beginning to end. I was very curious to read Ms. Rowling's acclaimed novel. All in all, I found the book a bit too long and even though I fully enjoy and cherish Ms. Rowlings excellent writing skills and metaphors, it read a bit like a very detailed and tedious social study. Interesting, but a tad too much for my taste.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frederik Gesswein
  • 27/09/2018

Interessant, vielschichtig, tiefsinnig

Tolle Geschichte, die zum Nachdenken und reflektieren anregt. Im Prinzip können alle Personen und Ereignisse jederzeit überall so vorkommen.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carsten Führmann
  • 18/02/2017

Best surprise in years

I liked Rowling's Harry Potter series, but it was far from my favorite fantasy fiction. "The Casual Vacancy" is a different genre, gritty real-life stuff; however, the key change is not in the genre, but in the vastly improved writing. The characters are diverse and interesting, and among the most well-written I have ever seen. Rowling masterfully and effortlessly presents deep psychological issues. The story in the small-town setting is as entertaining as it is harrowing. Rowling clearly is a great observer of real people, and obviously enjoyed herself while she let her characters inner workings - or abysses - drive the plot. This book is a must read.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18/02/2016

Troubling yet great

Not a light reading but a captivating story with complex structure and characters.
Performance and language are great too!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • K-ReineOC
  • 15/11/2014

Unzensiertes Englisch / Spiegel der Gesellschaft

Was hat Ihnen das Hörerlebnis von The Casual Vacancy besonders unterhaltsam gemacht?

Die verschiedenen Stimmdifferenzierungen.

Wie hat Ihnen Tom Hollander als Sprecher gefallen? Warum?

Super gut, da er es einem erleichtert hat, der doch schwierigen Geschichte zu folgen, indem er so gut die Stimmen differenziert hat.

Hat dieses Hörbuch Sie emotional stark bewegt? Mussten Sie laut z.B. lachen, weinen, zweifeln, etc.?

Ich fühlte mich teilweise so hilflos wie die Teenagerin aus armen Verhältnissen.