First of all let me say that when I talk about books here I am only giving my “opinion” on how the book affected me and what I got out of it. It is in no way a critique on the book’s writing style or technique. Also, I promise not to give away any spoilers so if I’m vague about some things, that’s why.
Now, on with the show…
If someone were to tell me, “You can have lunch with any author alive today.” I would pick Ms. Rowling. Why? The woman fascinates me. From what we know of her she seems to be a very strong individual who didn’t just make lemonade out of the lemons life gave her, she made flippin’ Limoncello! I also like that when she chose to create the Harry Potter series she used a boy as her main character. I don’t know many female authors that would do that at first go. I would think most would try and start with a girl, because being female, it would be easier to get inside her head. (I know I did) The advantage, of course, is that it gave her the opportunity to write this book, under a male pseudonym, with the main character being a guy and the results were completely believable.
Even though her follow up to Potter, “The Casual Vacancy” didn’t do too well I never picked it up. Despite my love for Rowling, if I don’t think a book sounds interesting I’m not going to read it just because a certain author wrote it. That would be pointless because if it turns out I really don’t like it, then I may never read anything by that author again.
I think my all time favorite part of “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” is the way the city of London is portrayed as its own character. I’ve only been to London once, a long time ago, and it is the only place outside of the country I have ever been. Even though its been awhile and I am not familiar with any of the places she referenced in the story I still felt as though I was walking the streets along with the main character as a true Londoner instead of a tourist. It was delightful, however I never realized how much people in Britain smoke. I think almost every single character was puffing on something the entire book! (Also, here in the States, the word “cunt” is very rarely used as an insult. I think it is viewed as one of the worst, but over there, it doesn’t seem to be such a big deal.)
All in all, I really enjoyed the story from beginning to end. I especially love how, even though the main character had solved the big mystery half way through the book, he never let on as to who he thought “did it” until the very end. I really hope she writes more stories for this character and that they make a movie. I think Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies would be a shoe in for the role of Cormoran Strike, even if he’s a bit older. Also, I love her creativity with names, Cormoran Strike, is perfect for a private investigator.
Finally, the weirdest aspect of reading this story for me, was also the most interesting. It was as if my mind and Rowling’s have been following along the same wavelength lately. First, one of the main characters has bipolar disorder, and even though it is kind of the trendy topic, if you will, in stories lately, this is something that affects me personally. Second, one of her characters’ name is Ciara (an Irish name pronounced Kee-ra). I also have a character in my book with the same name (it probably isn’t an unusual name for her, but its one we don’t hear too often in the States). Third, she has her main character listen to Elbow (I just recently got introduced to the band and have been listening to them as I write. I also mention them in the current book I’m writing).
So, there you have it, my 5 star review, as it were. I honestly do recommend reading this one. Even though I typically don’t read mystery type books (I’m terrible at remembering names and dates) I loved this one. I’m thankful that Rowling took it easy on my addled brain and didn’t throw too much info at me that I needed to remember!