J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, have been translated into 73 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films. As well as an Order of the British Empire for services to children's literature, J.K. Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, France's Legion d'honneur, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and she has been a commencement speaker at Harvard University. She supports a wide range of causes and is the founder of Lumos, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children."
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for THE CASUAL VACANCY: "A positively propulsive read."-- Wall Street Journal "I had come under the spell of a great novel....A big, ambitious, brilliant, profane, funny, deeply upsetting and magnificently eloquent novel of contemporary England, rich with literary intelligence....This is a deeply moving book by somebody who understands both human beings and novels very, very deeply." Lev Grossman, "Time"" "A vivid read with great, memorable characters and a truly emotional payoff....Rowling captures the humanity in everyone, even if that humanity is not always a pretty sight." "People""" "This book represents a truckload of shrewdness.... There were sentences I underlined for the sheer purpose of figuring out how English words could be combined so delightfully....genuinely moving." "Washington Post"" "A positively propulsive read." "Wall Street Journal"" "An insanely compelling page-turner....The Casual Vacancy" is a comedy, but a comedy of the blackest sort, etched with acid and drawn with pitch....Rowling proves ever dexterous at launching multiple plot lines that roar along simultaneously, never entangling them except when she means to. She did not become the world's bestselling author by accident. She knows down in her bones how to make you keep turning the pages." "The Daily Beast"" "Rowling knows how to write a twisty, involving plot....She is clearly a skilled writer." "The Huffington Post"" "The Casual Vacancy" is a complete joy to read....a stunning, brilliant, outrageously gripping and entertaining evocation of British society today." "The Mirror" (UK)"" "Rowling has written a grand novel...a very brave book." "The Bookseller" (UK)"" "A study of provincial life, with a large cast and multiple, interlocking plots, drawing inspiration from Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot...The Casual Vacancy" immerses the reader in a richly peopled, densely imagined world...intelligent, workmanlike, and often funny." "The Guardian" (UK)"" "The Casual Vacancy", JK Rowling's first adult novel, is sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed....Jane Austen herself would admire the way [Rowling] shows the news of Barry's death spreading like a virus round Pagford." "Telegraph" (UK)"" "There are plenty of pleasures to be had in The Casual Vacancy."...Parts of the story would be tonally of a piece with any Richard Price or Dennis Lehane novel, or an episode of The Wire."" "Parade"" "The Casual Vacancy," JK Rowling's first adult novel, is sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed....Jane Austen herself would admire the way [Rowling] shows the news of Barry's death spreading like a virus round Pagford." "Telegraph" (UK)""