Holly: If you think that all Amanda and I do all day is read and blog about books, you are incorrect. We also spend a great deal of time gchatting/texting/facebooking about all the books to read and blog about. Seriously. Oh, and Amanda is also making me tweet. I still don’t know what to do there.
Anyway, in one of these conversations, we talked about reading a book together, and discussing as we read. Amanda suggested The Cuckoo’s Calling, by J.K. Rowling’s alter-ego Robert Galbraith. It was an Amazon deal-of-the-day, which was obviously all the convincing I needed.
I had briefly seen the story about how this book was written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym*, but I hadn’t read any details about the book. I haven’t yet read The Casual Vacancy, so I wasn’t sure what to think about a non-Harry Potter Rowling book.
*Now that I just read that story in more detail, WTF? “It was frankly too good for a book by an unknown first-time author”? That may be the more depressing statement I’ve ever read.
This feels very strange. I keep wondering how anyone figured out this was Rowling.** I’m looking for some giveaway, like for Robin to get on Platform 9 and ¾ at King’s Cross. No such luck.
There was a line about Strike’s beer: “The Cornish beer tasted of home, peace and long-gone security” which made me wonder about butterbeer and what that’s supposed to taste like. Is that the giveaway?! I checked: “Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.” (Prisoner of Azkaban) And now, I want a drink.
Anyway, I’m still not sure what to think. The story feels worn – down-on-his-luck detective working on a (seemingly) dead-end case with a beautiful secretary hanging on his every word. And it feels like it could have been set 40 years ago just as easily as today. Yet, I totally buy it, and I am invested in the characters, and I’m excited to see what happens next…even if I probably would not have picked up this book if I didn’t know that Robert Galbraith was actually JK Rowling.
**Google just told me that it’s because her lawyer spilled the beans. But apparently before the story was broken, the London Sunday Times did analyze the writing style with a software program. This is kind of an interesting story.
I of course had read every story I could see about this being a new Rowling book because: A) I am a huge nerd. B) I miss Harry Potter and even if I cannot have HP back I want more from Rowling’s mind. I did try The Casual Vacancy, but I did not finish it. I liked the style and thought it was well written, but honestly it was just too dark for me at the time. I tried to read it during the holidays and it was just the wrong book. I need to go back and try it again in the right mindset.
Like Holly, I am also looking constantly for an indication this is J.K. Rowling writing, but I’m not really seeing it. I have found myself checking a definition or two on my kindle-certainly not something you have to do in Harry Potter! I do love a well written mystery so I was really excited with this was an amazon deal of the day.
I liked Robin right away, though I suppose she’s a pretty stock character-pretty young thing from a small town following her boyfriend to the big city. I was worried she was going have a run in with our murderer right after she was introduced. I like Strike and I’m intrigued as hell about Charlotte, Strike’s newly exed ex-fiance. I hope we get more of Strike’s backstory as the book continues, he’s an interesting guy.
We’ll check back another third of the way through!
Click here for part 2 of our discussion: https://guninactone.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/still-reading-the-cuckoos-calling/