Reviews for Casual Vacancy


AudioFile Reviews 2012 November
We knew she had it in her--the dark side that invented Voldemort and an unspeakable evil to torment the heroic youths at Hogwarts. And now J.K. Rowling has turned that side to a new genre--psychological suspense for adults. When a town councilman dies unexpectedly, the ensuing election pits warring factions against each other. Rowling punctures the quaint facade of the pastoral town of Pagford as she delves deeply into a class-conscious spectrum of characters--their emotions, cultural imprints, and self-centered motivations. Tom Hollander deploys many memorable British accents, male and female voices, and tones of youthful angst in an array of internal and verbalized dialogues. His thoughtful pacing contributes shrewdly to the building tension and the harsh realities of poverty and powerlessness. A.W. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

What secrets lurk in the hearts of the residents of Pagford? This is the central question in Rowling's dark novel that charts the cutthroat competition for an empty seat on the town council. In this audio edition, the challenge for narrator Tom Hollander is the book's varied cast, which features a dozen main characters and many minor ones--all requiring unique voices and accents. Additionally challenging is the fact that Rowling's characters often act one way in public and another way--a rather horrid way--in private. Much to his credit, Hollander handles all of this with great aplomb, whether he's voicing the boozy Samantha, her pompous father-in-law, or Fats, a skinny teenager who very well might be a sociopath. Hollander exhibits particular skill creating a full range of voices for the book's male characters, e.g., the timid squeaks of the commitment-phobic Gavin and the curt, deep grunts of duplicitous Simon Price. Hollander's narration captures the sardonic wit of the novel, animating the author's acerbic observations of human weakness with intelligence and style. Hollander even sings, offering a solid rendition of "Morning Has Broken" in a pivotal funeral scene. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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