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The Casual Vacancy
Anyone read it?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 kezball

Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:22 PM

I'm about to start reading JK Rowling's new book The Casual Vacancy...
Anyone read it? Share your thoughts....have heard mixed reviews so far.


#2 *LiMa*

Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:44 PM

It's different.  There's domestic violence, drugs, child neglect, rape, corruption, self harm, death and a whole lot of b**chy, unlikable characters.  

I didn't love it.

Edited by *LiMa*, 13 October 2012 - 06:45 PM.


#3 gemgirl

Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:57 PM

I have heard it's hard to put down? It's on my Christmas list, so I'll read it late...

#4 LifesGood

Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:03 PM

Have read the first two chapters and so far so good. Suffice to say its not meant to be a feel-good chick-lit tale.

#5 PatG

Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:08 PM

QUOTE (*LiMa* @ 13/10/2012, 06:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's different.  There's domestic violence, drugs, child neglect, rape, corruption, self harm, death and a whole lot of b**chy, unlikable characters.  

I didn't love it.


Pretty much sums it up, does not even get to heart tepidness let alone heart warming at any point.  Most novels/films etc. tend to have some sort of slightly uplifting resolution from the depths of despair, not this one.

#6 Fanny McPhail

Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:13 PM

I've read about 90% of it.

I'm finding it to be a very enjoyable read.

It might be because I am originally from rural england but I can conquer up a really clear imagine of the town that it is set in. I can also feel the almost claustrophobic interconnected relationship of all the characters, where everybody knows everybody and local matters are the centre of the universe.

It is dark and gritty but the characters are likeable and seem very real.

Edited by Fanny McPhail, 15 October 2012 - 08:14 PM.


#7 cattyrae

Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:05 PM

my mum read 5 chapters and refuses to read anymore. i will read it when she gives it to me.

we are both big HP fans so i can understand why she cant finish it. its nothing like hp.

#8 kadoodle

Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

QUOTE (*LiMa* @ 13/10/2012, 07:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's different.  There's domestic violence, drugs, child neglect, rape, corruption, self harm, death and a whole lot of b**chy, unlikable characters.  

I didn't love it.


I've heard it's a modern take on Vanity Fair.  Does this seem correct?

#9 Madnesscraves

Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:54 PM



What I wish she'd done however, was have another pen name for that book. Just so a child who's a fan of HP doesn't accidentally read the book due to its nature.

#10 bees-knees

Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:58 PM

I am a BIG Harry Potter fan, and absolutely did not expect to enjoy it, but I really am. I'm about 3/4 way through it, and I keep thinking about it in between reading (listening actually, as I have it on audiobook), wondering what's going to happen.

I agree with the pp who said there's lots if unlikeable characters, but they're very real. I have met these people, I've worked with them.

Big (and surprised) thumbs up from me!

#11 kezball

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

Have now finished this book and I didn't mind it, but if you are looking for a book like HP you won't get it.
I must say "LiMa"'s take is exactly what I thought. Add swearing to the mix and that's the whole book.
With JK Rowling, you know how when actors get typecast, and then try to do something completely different to what they are known for? This is the book that is like that.
The characters really irked me, possibly because of the whole "country town" thing where everyone knows everyone.


#12 71Cath

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

I didn't mind it, although it took ages to get all the characters and their relationships straight in my head.  Maybe it needed one of those "Cast of Characters" lists at the beginning?

#13 Guest_Marquise_*

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:05 AM

love love loved it.
very p[leased to hear that the BBC are going to adapt it for TV.

#14 Tea~for~two

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

Late on the bandwagon but oh well...

I really enjoyed it. Took a couple if chapters for me to get into it, but I loved the way the characters were all so complex - neither wholly good or wholly bad. I loved the issues she dealt with, the rawness of it all, the underlying empathy for characters such as Terri, without patronising her, or excusing her behaviour and choices. I was fascinated by the issues examined, seeing them exposed to the light, so to speak rather than hidden away, too 'nasty' to acknowledge.



#15 LifesGood

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

I thought it was superb, agree the characters were all multi-faceted which was why it was so good.

Looking forward to anything else J.K. Rowling cares to write.

If you thought 50 Shades was a good read then you may not find Casual Vacancy to be right for you.

#16 Phoenix Blue

Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:50 PM

On the late bus with this, just read it this week and couldn't put it down. Loved it! But I am not really a Harry Potter fan so this is more my style.  I actually found it very Maeve Binchey but harder and less rosy. The interconnectedness (word?) of all the characters and how they all had different layers to their personalities.  Not a happy read, and the end did actually surprise me. I guess I kept waiting for the happy ending...?

Definitely recommend it.

#17 Ruby Victoria

Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:56 PM

I haven't finished it but think JKR did the right thing, making her first book after Harry Potter totally and utterly different.

At least she won't be stereotyped as an author.

#18 Maple Leaf

Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:14 PM

I liked it.

Just read it with an open mind and didn't expect anything so was pleasantly surprised.






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