Customer Reviews for

The Casual Vacancy

Average Rating 3
( 1103 )
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(308)

4 Star

(201)

3 Star

(142)

2 Star

(182)

1 Star

(270)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

400 out of 469 people found this review helpful.

Readers missing the point

I see a lot of readers giving this a book a bad review because of the language the writer used. They believe she does this to make a profit. These readers a totally missing the point. This writer doesn't need the money. She has made a fortune off of the Harry Potter...
I see a lot of readers giving this a book a bad review because of the language the writer used. They believe she does this to make a profit. These readers a totally missing the point. This writer doesn't need the money. She has made a fortune off of the Harry Potter series. She is now free to write about something for herself. She is giving you a glimpse into the world she has experienced growing up and into her adulthood. She doesn't care what the critics think; this book is for her. She shares the pain, anger, frustration, cynicism, sadness, and hopelessness, of the past she has experienced and risen above. I suspect it to be cathartic for her. It has made her the determined, driven person she is. Positive outcomes can come from negative experiences. Yeah for you J.K, you did it!

posted by eire11 on September 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

114 out of 510 people found this review helpful.

Lost All Respect

I have lost almost all respect I had for J.K. Rowling. Unfortunately I didn't read the sample before buying the Nook book, expecting innovative and engaging storytelling. What a waste of $20. It's sad that authors feel they have to use sex, drugs and swearing to succeed...
I have lost almost all respect I had for J.K. Rowling. Unfortunately I didn't read the sample before buying the Nook book, expecting innovative and engaging storytelling. What a waste of $20. It's sad that authors feel they have to use sex, drugs and swearing to succeed in the world today. It doesn't make for a great story, all it does is make those of us with morals uncomfortable, and perpetuates the idea that sex sells, so we must need more out there. I'll stick to books that are intellectual, not degrading, thanks.

posted by 1927985 on September 28, 2012

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Page 1 of 56
  • Posted September 29, 2012

    Readers missing the point

    I see a lot of readers giving this a book a bad review because of the language the writer used. They believe she does this to make a profit. These readers a totally missing the point. This writer doesn't need the money. She has made a fortune off of the Harry Potter series. She is now free to write about something for herself. She is giving you a glimpse into the world she has experienced growing up and into her adulthood. She doesn't care what the critics think; this book is for her. She shares the pain, anger, frustration, cynicism, sadness, and hopelessness, of the past she has experienced and risen above. I suspect it to be cathartic for her. It has made her the determined, driven person she is. Positive outcomes can come from negative experiences. Yeah for you J.K, you did it!

    400 out of 469 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Incredible read.

    To bind J.K. Rowling to her success as the author of the Harry Potter series severely restricts opinion of this subsequent work. Opening this book and expecting a magical work of art similar to what she was able to create with Potter is like searching for the toy in the cereal because it was advertised on the box. Seeing Rowley's name printed on the cover no longer indicates wands and wizards. Readers of this particular novel must understand that before reading the first few pages. Rowling proves, brilliantly, that she is not just a children's author.

    The Casual Vacancy pulls the reader into the lives and homes of a small English town in the midst of underlying political and personal turmoil. There are quite a few characters to keep up with, but they are each presented in a way that the reader shouldn't have much difficulty recalling them through the early stages of the book. The lives of these characters, along with particular delayed revelations about their pasts, allows for rich development. Nearly every character is presented as both protagonist and antagonist at some point within the pages.

    Many readers will undoubtedly notice that Rowling gives light to certain problems within today's society. These problems revolve around her character's lives and affect them in ways that drive the novel through to the end.

    The most interesting aspect of this novel, and possibly the most shocking to Potter fans, is Rowling's use of language. Both dialect and word choice are raw and true to the characters they come from. Rowling also presents a clear distinction between what characters say and what they think - allowing for variables within their lives and their interactions with others.

    I highly recommend this novel as both an involving read as well as a wonderful example of modern/contemporary literature.

    187 out of 209 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Dark & wonderful

    Its exactly as the author has decribed. Completely for adults. And she has done beautiful job of writting this. You would think she has always written like this. Dont except friendly happy fairy land. This is human nature, so raw and true. Love this book.

    135 out of 159 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Lost All Respect

    I have lost almost all respect I had for J.K. Rowling. Unfortunately I didn't read the sample before buying the Nook book, expecting innovative and engaging storytelling. What a waste of $20. It's sad that authors feel they have to use sex, drugs and swearing to succeed in the world today. It doesn't make for a great story, all it does is make those of us with morals uncomfortable, and perpetuates the idea that sex sells, so we must need more out there. I'll stick to books that are intellectual, not degrading, thanks.

    114 out of 510 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Not going to buy it

    I was looking forward to this book but won' t be buying it or reading it for that matter. Couldn't get through the sample without the vulgarity of the language turning me off. Believe it or don't, but there are plenty of us who do not curse and find it offensive. Sorry JK but if I suppose if want to read your stuff I wiil have to stick with HP.

    110 out of 385 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    J.K is an amazing writer!

    I am only on page 9 and she already has me pulled in! I highly praise Rowlling's writing skills. I have been a fan of her writing since I was 13! I now aspire to work harder on my own writing. J.K. you are queen.

    103 out of 168 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    The Queen Has Done It Again

    In all honesty, I was hesitant to read this. I've always connected JK Rowling to children's books but she proved that she's a universal writer. Not only did she captivate my heart with the Harry Potter series but she actually pulled me in to this book as well. I really can't wait to see if she comes up anything else.

    89 out of 109 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Awesome book!

    Again, as has been stated numerous times: this is an adult book! That said, I began reading it last night in bed----should not have done that, because I was up way too late reading! I can not put it down! She grabs your attention from the first page! I read a lot of British authors so I understand some of the odd wordings,but I can see where some people cannot grasp or visualize what dhe is writing about. Being an Eastenders fan also helps with the wording and visuals! Awesome book!

    87 out of 105 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Dear "DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS READ! HARRY POTTER THIS IS NOT!!"

    The description states that this is an ADULT book! How smart do you have to be too see that it? Please use your common sense next time and leave your stupidity behind! Some, like me, enjoy a different taste from the Harry Potter author, vulgar lanaguage or not!

    79 out of 103 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Disappointing

    I will not finish this book because of the vulgarity. I preordered and wish I had read a sample first. I dont mind a little profanity or sex but I find this offensive.

    74 out of 299 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Dismal

    In "Casual Vacancy," Rowling intriduces us to the grim and decaying society of a small town inhabited by wretched, struggling characters. Events touched on include (spoliers ahead) rape, child abuse of every description, neglect, cruelty, and self absorption at every turn.

    The humor and humanity that fill the Harry Potter series are thin on the ground here.

    Sadly, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

    66 out of 177 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Down right disappointed in Rowling

    I like many of you if not 99% of you, bought this book because you enjoyed the Potter books. Now, I was not expecting another Potter series. Now I am a bit biased towards science fiction or even fantasy type books, but I can still enjoy a good action, thriller, horror, or even a cuddle by the fire comedy book just like the next person. However, I am not sure if Rowling was trying to do a complete opposite from the fantasy style books or what here. Maybe she didn't like when you went to Barnes and Noble and looked for the Harry Potter series, you found them in the child's section near the stage where the grown ups would read to the kids.

    My review is short - I was completely disappointed in this book. Rowling writes well and you can tell with her very descriptive words of rape, sex and more sex and child abuse all through this book. That is one thing Rowling is good at, is drawing the reader in. Ya she draws you in alright, but you find yourself needing to take a shower after reading.

    I do not think I can look at her anymore and think of Potter anymore. It has left a bad taste in my mouth. The books on tape (ipod in my case) of the Potter series with Jim Dale makes it more bearable.

    I guess I am going to have to wait for another author to come around that will match the Potter books. Until then, I would highly suggest you stay away from this one. Keep your mind pure. You do not need a book to tell you that their are problems in this world with poverty. I can watch the news, or even go down to the corner and chat with people on the streets on Privet drive Thank you very much!

    64 out of 163 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2012

    Fails to meet expectations.

    I'm glad that Rowling has chosen to continue writing, and that she has attempted to experiment with her voice as an author. I cannot recommend this book to anyone however as I did not enjoy it in the least.
    First the elephant in the room seems to be the book's language and sexuality. There isn't anything wrong with making use of vulgarity or sex as long as it serves some narrative purpose. In "The Casual Vacancy" however this simply isn't the case in 99% of the instances where it occurs. Quite frankly I found Rowling's depictions of sexuality and her various character's obsessions with sex to be immature and juvenile in the extreme.
    Another important consideration is the transition between characters who serve as the narrative viewpoint. Rowling clearly has a lot to learn on this front since even at the end of the book I was still having difficulty identifying when the narrative perspective had shifted until several paragraphs after it happened. More than anything else it's the lack of clear transition that makes it almost impossible to keep the various characters and their relationships to one another straight.
    Dialogue is nearly non-existent. Most of the text is devoted to meaningless private musings of the various characters which almost exclusively focus on how a single event affects them to the exclusion of all else, or alternately how much they despise/dislike/or disapprove of something. When that's not the case their thoughts are often on how to turn a piece of gossip to their own benefit. I don't think it's unfair to say that for every page of dialogue the reader is forced to endure about 10 pages of puerile rumination from whichever character is center stage at the moment.
    Furthermore in regards to dialogue any time that some conversation might be pertinent to the narrative it is often interrupted and kept from the reader for the simple fact that whatever character is currently driving the story doesn't want to participate in the conversation or disagrees with the views being put forth, which prompts another mind numbing descent into the character's own vapid self-obsession. This prevents any of the characters from ever seeming to actually interact with each other and inhibits them from developing relationships which the reader might care about.
    Finally pooling the entire cast of characters together you'd be hard pressed to find a single redeeming value amongst them. They are unequivocally horrible, small-minded, mean-spirited, vapid, puerile, unsympathetic people. The only way that they could have a positive impact between them on the town they all inhabit would be they were all killed in a train crash.
    I genuinely wanted to enjoy this book, I read it. But the simple fact is that all else aside the book is billed as a black comedy and I didn't laugh once throughout. My contention is that anyone who for some reason does find humor in the book needs to seriously reexamine themselves and their behavior because between the child-abuse, both physical and sexual, the self-obsession to exclusion of all else, blatant self-aggrandizing, casual alcoholism, drug abuse and psychologically stunted views on sexuality presented in the book there just isn't anything that a well-adjusted person should find funny. That isn't to say that there aren't people who will enjoy the book for it's purported social agenda or even the simple fact that J.K. Rowling wrote it. I'm simply not among them and wouldn't want to

    63 out of 93 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Could be better

    I just purchased my print copy and I have to say, it is not as good as I hoped it would be. Also, $17 for the eBook is far to expensive.

    60 out of 148 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Ick...Beware!

    I wouldn't even give it one star if it would let me. Very offensive. Total waste of money. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS READ IT. Harry Potter this is not. I am very disappointed in the lack if intelligence or creativity in this book. It almost seems like JK Rowling was trying so hard NOT to write a children's book that she threw out any writing talent she possessed and just threw ignorant and vulgar crap at her readers. I will be looking into getting my money back.

    59 out of 273 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Dissappointed

    I hated this book. I read everything. ALL KINDS OF BOOKS! I dont have a problem with sex, language or any of the other things that sooo bothered other people. I just couldnt find anything worthwhile in these characters. It is a hard read. Mostly, I feel like this was 3 days of my life that I will never get back!

    57 out of 101 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    New book, new Rowling.

    As I read the reviews, I recalled an interview that J.R. Rowling gave in regards to this book. She said that it was meant to be very different from the Harry Potter series, along with being darker and with a more English and personal edge to it. I understand that the language and vulgarity may be an issue, but I don't believe she's using it for her own entertainment. I believe that she's just writing about what she's familiar with.

    48 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    A PITY

    Ms. Rowling, my congratulations on proving yourself to be simply another 21st century novelist who uses sex, language, and violence to become "successful" in the adult world.

    42 out of 209 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Great!

    Worth it

    31 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Ugh

    I wanted to like the book. After 50 pages, I find it quite difficult to want to continue reading. I was not put off by the vulgarity, or sexuality. It was the entire storyline.

    30 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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