Extended Audio Sample

The Casual Vacancy Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00017106444853 out of 53.00017106444853 out of 53.00017106444853 out of 53.00017106444853 out of 53.00017106444853 out of 5 3.00 (70,139 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. K. Rowling Narrator: Tom Hollander Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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J.K. Rowling's first grown-up novel is an impressive foray by the author into the world of contemporary adult literature. An intriguing departure for the world-famous author who recently completed the beloved Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy is the entertaining and captivating tale of the tiny English town of Pagford whose peaceful appearance hides a dark secret unknown to outsiders - that the town is in fact in a state of perpetual war with itself with multiple factions comprising the warring parties - husbands versus wives, brothers fighting with brothers, teachers battling with their students, and children fighting with their parents.

And when Barry Fairweather, a prominent town council member and local rowing team coach, unexpectedly dies from an aneurism, his now-vacant position on the council sets the stage for the most explosive and widespread conflict that the small, tightly-wound town of Pagford has ever experienced anytime in its history. With the small town's peaceful veneer stripped away none of the town's citizens are safe in the ensuing battle that arises from this tragic and unexpectedly controversial event.

Darkly humorous, constantly intriguing, and filled with surprises, The Casual Vacancy is an unexpectedly thought-provoking novel and an outstanding display of J.K. Rowling's skill and talent as a novelist.

A big novel about a small town

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, 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. The rich at war with the poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils—Pagford is not what it first appears. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war Pagford has seen yet. 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. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rowling captures the humanity in everyone, even if that humanity is not always a pretty sight. And—though creating Harry Potter was more than enough—if Rowling wants to convince the world that she can cast other spells, she has succeeded.”

    People

  • “[Tom Hollander] voices the many characters with remarkable consistency, and he distinguishes gender and age with aplomb. His dialects are especially excellent.”

    SoundCommentary.com (starred review)

  • “Rowling is relentlessly competent…The book rolls toward its awful, logical climax with aplomb.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rowling is a master at fleshing out characters and describing their world, and she takes her time, examining moral dilemmas and town gossip from multiple points of view. Though it does not include spells and sparks, the climax of The Casual Vacancy is wrenching. We have come to know these characters and to root for them. Even though they are flawed—and some are repulsive—it is painful to watch them fall. Readers often want stories that ‘transport’ them. The Casual Vacancy is a difficult read because it transports us to a sad and serious reality. The only fantasy here is the characters’ wish for a better life.”

    BookPage

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2012 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 iTunes Best Audiobook
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • Recipient of the 2012 Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award
  • A #1 San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A #1 Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Listener Reviews

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Vera T. | 5/21/2014

    " Not Rowling's best work by far but fairly enjoyable nonetheless. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Jessica Roberts | 2/19/2014

    " Little underwhelmed by this book. I think it was alright but all in all it's easier for me to find things I didn't like about then than things I did. Good 'casual' read kind of book if you're not expecting much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Rohit | 2/11/2014

    " A side of Rowling which I thought never existed. Really amazing read. A complex tale of intermingled lives "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Review by Beatriz Barrera | 2/5/2014

    " This book was terrible. I am an avid fan of Harry Potter but I just couldn't get into this book. I was very excited to read it but ended up being disappointed in the lack of interest. It was dull, I didn't even finish reading it. "

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About the Author

J. K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter novels, which have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide in more than two hundred territories and have been translated into seventy-four languages and made into eight blockbuster films. She has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry’s schoolbooks within the novels: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and Quidditch through the Ages. Her Tales of Beedle the Bard quickly became the fastest selling book of 2008. As well as an OBE for services to children’s literature, Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, the French Legion of Honor, and the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award, and she has been a commencement speaker at Harvard University. She supports a wide number of causes through her charitable trust Volant and is the founder of Lumos, a charity working to transform the lives of disadvantaged children.

About the Narrator

Tom Hollander is an English actor with a stunning array of film, television, theater, and audiobook credits to his name. After graduating from Cambridge University, he continued his career in theater before moving into film and television. He is perhaps best known for the role that brought him to the attention of mainstream movie audiences, that of petty tyrant Lord Cutler Beckett in the second and third installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.