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The Casual Vacancy

Language: English
Length: 512 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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The Casual Vacancy (Hardcover) Price: Rs.468

The Casual Vacancy reveals human frailty and weakness is more pronounced in a community that is split by social and political issues.

Summary Of The Book

The Casual Vacancy occurs in the Parish Council when the popular Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly of an aneurism. The small village of Pagford is torn apart by petty jealousies and rivalries, and social and political ambitions.

The main issue driving the election campaign concerns the public housing community, The Fields. The high class citizens of the village want nothing to do with the council estate. They believe the inhabitants of The Fields to be an idle group, who live off the state and pass through addiction centers.

Barry Fairbrother had himself come from The Fields and shared a bond with the people there. He wanted to bring the council estate into the mainstream of the Parish Council and had been working on many programmes to help the people of The Field.

One of his favorite proteges was Krystal Weedon, the daughter of a heroin addict mother. He includes her in a rowing team at the school and tries in other ways to bring her of her tough shell and fit into the larger community. After Barry’s death, the undercurrent in the community rise to the surface. The online parish community becomes a hotbed for rumor and accusations as someone under the name The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother reveals secrets about those who are contesting for the council seat.

As secrets are revealed and hidden passions come to the surface, the contest over The Casual Vacancy peels off the idyllic veneer of the attractive village. The petty warring and factionalism in the village community affects many families and leads to tragedies and some final resolutions.

The village and the story are inhabited by complex characters. There is the doctor Parminder Jawanda, a caring member of the community. Yet, she’s not so understanding towards her underachieving youngest child, Sukhvinder, and drives her unmercifully. There is Fats Wall, the school bully who picks on Sukhvinder and harries her beyond endurance. But he too is troubled, as he was adopted and this fact affects his behavior to a great extent.

The Casual Vacancy is mostly a dark tale, peeling off facades to reveal the ugliness of human nature underneath. It also shows many of the characters redeeming themselves after a tragedy that affects the whole community.

About J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling is a British author.

Other books by this author include Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

J. K. Rowling is best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. She graduated with a degree in French and the Classics from the University of Exeter. She worked as a bilingual secretary at Amnesty International. She later taught English as a Foreign Language in Portugal, where she met and married her first husband. She has a daughter by her first marriage and two children by her second marriage.

Specifications of The Casual Vacancy (Hardcover)

Book Details
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint Little, Brown
Publication Year 2012
ISBN-13 9781408704202
ISBN-10 140870420X
Language English
Edition 1st Edition
Binding Hardcover
Number of Pages 512 Pages
Height 235.0 inch
Weight 800.0 g
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Book Reviews of The Casual Vacancy

Average Rating
Based on 209 ratings
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 61)

30 September 12
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Just. Great.

The fact that there wasn't a speck of Rowling's style in the dark-humored literary volume dearly anticipated by many, suggests one of having done an exceptional job at being an author. And to know that the fiction itself didn't disappoint; being put mildly, I absolutely adored every instance, character, scene and the final outcome gathered. Hats off to you, Jo.

My first badge of gratitude: our dear Flipkart. I received my order ON the date of release, which was more than I'd dared to expect.

Well, it might not be easy to lay down precise words to summarize all of which one can garner out of the terrific and colossal novel; ranged with a deep scrutiny into the life of not one but many characters. There's a deep insight into their lives and minds, which is an incredulous achievement in itself. To portray that many people with unperturbed justice....
And to top all of that, you know you've fallen in love with it WHILST reading, when you're dreading that it'll after all, come to an end.

One can only serve it with much deserved credit by reading it with absolute cognition. I can't begin to spell out how much I've been inspired and in so many ways. It's not Harry Potter, it's an entirely different bittersweet piece of art. Just read it.

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81% of 16 users found this review helpful.
10 October 12
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Not upto the expectation

When JKR said this book is for adults she really meant it. Full of drugs, sex, child abuse and politics, this book can give nightmares to her usual Harry Potter fans.

But whats disappointing in this book is not the adult content, but the insufficient or late description of the characters which doesn't help a reader in visualizing the character properly. Also the story has too many sub plots of people trying to screw each other.

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83% of 12 users found this review helpful.
30 October 12
good & bad

well... lets face it. The only reason I'll pick up a 700 page drama on the backdrop of a council election in a dreamy English hamlet is because its written by her. and so i did.
I started the book with no biases and no expectations however, and was prepared to treat it as what it was.
I must say, the book was not disappointing.I loved the way she develops the characters, builds up the plot and slowly plunges into the story. She follows it up with some steamy suspense and drama and finishes with a whirlwind of climax, joining all the lose ends at the end - not very different from her classic Potter style. Most of all I loved the characters. Each character was given a deep, distinct personality, and each of them were developed really well over the entire novel, and were given fitting conclusions to take home. In the interplay between the various characters and shuttling between their viewpoints along the storyline, she's portayed the frailiy of human nature and the misgivings and insecurities of human lives very beautifully. In all their imperfections and failings, they have all come alive and become very very credible. Full credits for that.
The pace of the story is really good after the first 40% and there wont be a dull moment once it gets going.
Now comes the but.
All things considered, I think, the story was a little over dramatic. the plot reeked of a soap opera in a lot of places and there were quite a few "Aw! not that!" moments for me. The story gets really rushed towards the end and things were happening before you knew. the last hundred pages or so take you thru the climax at a giddy pace and towards the end u're gasping for breath. She moves over a scene before it has properly developed and takes you to the next. Didn't work too well for me.
All and all, its a reasonably interesting book with a lot of interesting characters, but the story is definitely a little over the top and unreal for me.
Verdict - Definitely worth Reading, but don't expect Pulitzer quality stuff on this
3 stars from me, mostly for the characters and how they describe human nature.

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8 of 8 users found this review helpful.
28 November 12
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No wand to wave the magic of hope!

THE CASUAL VACANCY, the much talked about novel of the renowned author J.K. Rowling, is nowhere similar to Harry Potter except the naming of one of the character - Barry Fairbrother (whose name Harry had taken in HP7 during the wedding), around whom the story of the fictional town of Pagford revolves.
The novel is a 503 pages of tormented lifestyles, drugs, abuse and adulteration. When J.K. Rowling said that she was writing a novel for adults, what she actually meant was, she is writing an Adult Novel - a novel full of sex and life. Not a single character in the novel could be called as a role model for anyone. You may relate to one or more character (you just do!) but you do not really connect to any one particular character throughout. The irritating nature of the novel is that every time the story reaches exciting point, the novel pulls you down to dullness by beginning another character's story. First half of the novel is credibly boring with the story talking only about Barry - a dead character. As the second half begins, the voltage increases. The politics and drama's voltage keeps on rising and in the last 150 pages, it just leaves you awestruck! The novel gains the Harry-Potter-like addiction in these last few pages.

There are moments when you will laugh at the Western Culture and sob at how Indians are treated there.

The novel begins with a death and ends with another. It doesn't talk about the other characters and how they really cope up with their problems. The ending seems hollow!

Overall, read the novel if you are a fan of J.K. Rowling's writing style, which is again the catchy point here. Read for the drama in the last 150 pages. Strictly avoid if you are not-so-mature for this is full of adult contents.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will be entertain, but you can't remember it forever.

Besides, it also doesn't offer any basic strong ending. Its too vague.

3/5 (Little generous for J.K.'s first attempt in adult world)

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4 of 4 users found this review helpful.
27 November 12
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Expected more from Rowling! Received less !

I bought this book by October 25th,2012 after almost 90% of the people completed it. I mean both the so-called-Rowling fans as well as the adult fiction lovers, with me being the second one.

I wanted to know why it has been given quite a mixed review. So I bought it and read it.
It took me a week to complete it as my office timings were tight.

I would like to tell you that the book has no story at all!!! No Story!! Trust me!!

I am the kind of reader who loves screenplay very much and it is quite good in this book up and until Part five. After that, it becomes a huge disaster!

Not to mention that the story had an abrupt ending also! There was nothing! It was like falling from the edge of a cliff onto an abyss!

I expected a lot from Rowling and I would like to say that I am disappointed.

If you are the kind of person who has started reading newly and have been looking to venture which book to buy, my strict advice is don't get this!

For others, yes you can go on! Read it! It is a one time experience! Not to be cherished! Not to be remembered!

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4 of 5 users found this review helpful.

Most Recent Reviews

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Book Review

The books are of good quality. Also it was delivered in time. Try to give more discount on books..Or atleast try to start some...

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01 April 14
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Flattened Narration

i never studied Harry potter series of J.K.Rowling, but the movies were wonders, so i decided to read her book, and this was my...

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26 March 14
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Disappointing after the Harry Potter series

JK Rowling's writing has become increasingly serious as Harry Potter books progressed and this book is supposed to be her first...

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14 February 14
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Easily abandon-able

If you like exhaustive back stories of every character before plunging into the plot head on, go for it. Beautiful narrative an...

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29 January 14
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Never got past the first 2 or 3 chapters. Don't know why. Wont recommend. Will try again later I guess - since I have spent the...

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13 January 14
    Book: The Casual Vacancy by
    ISBN Number: 140870420X, 9781408704202, 978-1408704202


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