Monday, February 16, 2015

Book #11: Cuckoo's Calling

Amazon Link
I found this book while scrolling aimlessly through the library's available e-books. It didn't really stand out to me except that it was a mystery (the genre I've been trying to get into) and it was written by J.K. Rowling - under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. 

Let me just start my review with my confusion about her pseudonym. First of all, how very un-feminist of her to choose a male name. My feminist friends must surely be all up in arms over this. Secondly, what's the point of a pen name if the description next to the book says, "By Robert Galbraith: pseudonym for J.K. Rowling"?? I'm wondering if her pen name wasn't revealed until later? This book was published in 2013, and the first few Amazon reviews say nothing about J.K. Rowling.

Regardless, I wasn't that impressed. Granted, I've never read Harry Potter, but with all the acclaim it received, I figured Rowling must be an incredible author. I had a really hard time getting into Cuckoo's Calling. It didn't immediately draw me in. And then, even once I had read a good portion of it, I didn't feel that invested. I wasn't attached to the characters or compelled by the mystery. Of course, I wanted to know who did it, but I wasn't desperate to keep reading.

Part of the problem was there are so many characters. I had a hard time remembering who went with who and what their connections were. And Rowling spent way too much time describing every little detail. I don't need to know that the stairs were cast from ornate marble, with a gleaming, curving banister made from Oriental teak, accented by wrought iron spindles reminiscent of a lion's sharpened teeth. Just tell me that the people walked up the stairs. Maybe that's just my stylistic preference. But I do think the book as a whole could have used some editing. It was unnecessarily long.

There was also way more swearing than I'm used to/comfortable with. The "f" word was peppered liberally throughout every chapter and every dialogue. Yes, I'm such a prude that I won't even type it out, but that's how much I dislike it. You can imagine how I loved reading it so many times.

All that said, it wasn't a horrible book. The storyline was well researched and interesting. She tied up the loose ends and carefully explained the details of who the murderer was and how he/she carried out his/her plan. There's a sequel that I'm vaguely interested in reading simply because I did grow a bit more attached to the characters by the end, but I doubt I ever actually will.

Oh, one more thing: this was another stinking British book! I should've expected that, coming from Rowling, but I'm really getting sick of deciphering the Britishisms. Don't we have any good American authors with books set in America?? Haha.

Next up: I'm going to make myself finish Prayer by Yancey. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still rooting for you to read Harry Potter, fyi :D I haven't read this yet (it's on my list), but I know it's not been nearly as well-received as the HP books, so I'm not expecting much. I might be wrong, but I do think that she was initially not connected with the pen name, and the acclaim of the book rose quite a bit after the cat was let out of the bag. I think a lot of the initial reviews were very "meh", but sales went up a ton after it was revealed that it was her. Each HP book is a mystery too, if that's something you're interested in ... just sayin' ;)

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