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Group Read Discussions > The Casual Vacancy

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9618 comments Mod
**Remember to mark your spoilers using the html code listed in the (some html is ok) link**


message 2: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments Just picked up my copy on Saturday. I was returning a book at my local library and saw it sitting on the new arrival shelf. The librarian said she had just put it out only a few minutes earlier before I snagged it!


message 3: by Jane (new)

Jane | 221 comments I'm on the waiting list at 3 libraries. I'm 64th at one - 40th at another and the tird still has it on order ---


message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 610 comments that isn't a valid link - in fact from what I can tell, it is a pirated copy


message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (Islandmichy) Im reading it on my nook :-)


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris | 1 comments I finished my copy in 2 days. I could not put it down. I know there is going to be a lot off buzz about this book, both positive and negative, but I loved it. It is nothing like Harry Potter. It's not meant to be. The characters are so incredibly real I could picture them in front of me. The plot certainly had me thinking about life and how it isn't always what tit seems. I wish I could read it over and over again as if for the first time, but with more attention and depth.


message 8: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Do want to read it but as I'm 264th in line at the library I don't think I will get the chance this month!


message 9: by Mercedes (new)

Mercedes (MercysBookishMusings) | 3 comments I loved it! I also read it in 2 days!! Whenever I had to put it down to do something else I was itching to get back to it. I am surprised by my feelings towards it as I thought I would find it difficult not to compare it to HP whilst reading (as i'm a massive HP fan) but I didn't at all. JK succeeded in making them so separate that I don't even feel like the same author wrote it!


message 10: by Riley (new)

Riley Dawson I'm so excited!! I don't have it yet (poor college student, grumble grumble) but the reviews are looking excellent and I LOVE character study......omg. dying.


message 11: by Julie (new)

Julie | 12 comments Hayley wrote: "Do want to read it but as I'm 264th in line at the library I don't think I will get the chance this month!"

haha:D


message 12: by Yuliya (last edited Oct 03, 2012 10:05PM) (new)

Yuliya (Yuliyalovestoread) | 1685 comments Hayley wrote: "Do want to read it but as I'm 264th in line at the library I don't think I will get the chance this month!"

264 ;) I'm waiting on book from library from March..... wonder which I'm number


message 13: by Awot (new)

Awot Araya | 1 comments I stumbled upon a copy at the library; so far, I am enjoying it. The writing style is very different that it makes you think this is can't be from J.k! The character's and plot has started picking up, and I find myself being able to imagine the tiny town of Pagford and its inhabitants. I am enjoying the dry British humor, as well. Hope everyone gets a chance to read it.


message 14: by Varsha (new)

Varsha (vforvarsha) | 1 comments I just bought the book yesterday. Can't wait to sink my teeth into it! =)


message 15: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments Finished it last night and have very mixed thoughts on the story. Can't say that I was a big fan but it felt very authentic (ha, ha to Fats)! Would love to see a continuation of the characters of Gaia and her mother in London, also meeting up with Arf (Andrew)again.


message 16: by Heather L (new)

Heather L (WordTrix) | 8330 comments Finished it over the weekend. It was a little slow-going at the beginning, and I had some difficulty at first keeping the extensive cast of characters straight, but by the end I did not want to put it down. I think people are more likely to enjoy this one if they go in with an open mind and don't expect the magical realms of Harry Potter.


message 17: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Heather L wrote: "Finished it over the weekend. It was a little slow-going at the beginning, and I had some difficulty at first keeping the extensive cast of characters straight, but by the end I did not want to put..."
I really am enjoying this maybe because I haven't read Harry Potter yet.I love the soap opera feel of the novel.


message 18: by Jane (new)

Jane | 221 comments Finished this last night and was not too sorry I was done. There is a huge number of characters to keep track of and all are definitley unpleasant and unlikable. You know you're in trouble when a 3 year old is not all that lovable and cute. But the story is interesting and kept me hooked until the end.


message 19: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (pearlady) | 45 comments I still think the author is better at the YA genre, and find myself nodding along with many of the above observations. Indeed, all the characters are flawed; then again, has anyone met a perfect human? (aside from religious figures) The story does pick up thankfully at about the halfway point, though the pace becomes a bit frenzied at the end. All in all, an okay read.


message 20: by Marie (new)

Marie (fyeahmarie) | 18 comments I read it and enjoyed it since it's character driven and I love stories like those. I gave it four stars, actually.


message 21: by Hans (new)

Hans  (HansErik) | 6 comments I just loved it. Great characters in typical British environment. Just hoping for further visits to Pagford. If anyone wants to read my comments of the book, do so here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 22: by Hans (new)

Hans  (HansErik) | 6 comments Jac wrote: "I've been looking for a good thread of reviews on this everywhere. After browsing through your thread I'm definitely going to borrow or buy it.

Do you think it is a borrow-and-read or buy-and-kee..."


For me the quality of this book makes it a buy and keep.

I understand that BBC has bought the TV rights to The Casual Vacancy. I do not know if or when they will air it, (anyone out there who knows?) but if the TV show becomes a reality it would most definetly become a "must have".


message 23: by Dani (new)

Dani (The Pluviophile Writer) (PluviophileWriter) | 237 comments I would like to start off by saying that I came to this novel fully expecting it to be nothing like Harry Potter and was prepared for what I was going to be reading.

Having said that I didn't really enjoy it but I did change my rating to slightly more positive. The reason being was because right after after I finished reading it I was just so appalled with how tragic and awful the characters and story line were! However after giving it some time I can somewhat understand Rowling's approach. I believe she wanted to depict the masks that we all wear as individuals, the personal struggles that everyone has but hides and what sort of freedom we can have by shedding these facades. I also think that the story is also a statement about selflessness and authentically connecting with others, which can't be accomplished if you are not honest with yourself. I feel that Fats summarized the novel perfectly:

"The mistake ninety-nine percent of humanity made, as far as Fats could see, was being ashamed of what they were, lying about it, trying to be somebody else. Honesty was Fats' currency, his weapon and defense. It frightened people when you were honest; it shocked them. Other people, Fats had discovered, were mired in embarrassment and pretense, terrified that their truths might leak out, but Fats was attracted by rawness, by everything that was ugly but honest, by the dirty things about which the likes of his father felt humiliated and disgusted. Fats thought a lot about messiahs and pariahs; about men labeled mad or criminal; noble misfits shunned by the sleepy masses."

Having said that I don't know if Fats fulfilled his philosophy as he suffered the most near the books end. The teenagers in the book were truly the largest victims as they had their parent's baggage, politics and facades thrown upon them making it impossible for them to be authentic to themselves. Krystal being the largest victim.

What drove me mad about this novel was how much I disliked most of the characters. Their actions and thoughts were just so despicable and negative making it hard to want to pursue the story because ultimately I didn't care about these shallow individuals whose lives were solely based on small town politics. There were very few characters with redeeming qualities that I cared about, exceptions being Krystal and Barry. Obviously what I know about Barry is all third-party but I believe that these two characters were the only ones that were able to step outside of their own ego and care about someone else. For Barry, he saw something in Krystal and wanted to do what he could to bring her out of the awful slum she was living in. For Krystal, she would do anything for her brother Robbie. However, they still both had their faults. Barry neglected (view spoiler).

What I did appreciate about the end is that everyone was shown for what and who they were. I think I gained the most satisfaction (view spoiler).

Overall, I wouldn't deter people from reading the book by any means but I wouldn't read it if you're feeling down in the dumps or have a hate on against the world as it won't do much to restore your mood or faith in humanity.


message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris Peel | 37 comments The novel for me is too much like social satire. Coming from Britain it seems too obvious that Rowling wrote this book and directed at certain debates that are going on within British society. Welfare is been questioned as many seek to portray those on it as undeserving hence you get Rowling trying to show the selfishness of rich and middle-class.

(Spoiler) One of the problems that Rowling highlights is that we stigmatize drunk addicts because they damage and cost our society (particularly the NHS in Britain) and yet we accept a rich fat guy, who costs the NHS much more, as been entirely acceptable.

The novel is a good read if you want some of the arguements that are going on in contemporary Britain, but it could have been done a lot better, in not such an obvious manner.


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