Oooh la laa. Isn’t this brilliant! The muggles are going rampant upon discovering that J.K. Rowling has been secretly writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith! Ah, scandal! Ever the more brilliant isn’t it when an invisibility cloak falls off your shoulder and we see what we should be seeing for the first time.
Why Rowling, why?
Well, “[b]eing Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience… It has been wonderful to publish without hype and expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name” says Rowling in one of her always elegantly eloquent responses.
Hence why I’ve been telling the world, since the dawn of the cupboard under the stairs, strip away that billion dollar glittery hype of the wizarding universe and in her writing you will find that of pure literary mettle.
So how did we find out?
Well, Times arts editor Richard Brooks receives the credit. The editor’s friend tweeted about the book, voicing out her astonishment that a debut could be this good. To her surprise she received a mysterious re-tweet telling her it was not a debut but written by an existing author. When she replied asking “who?” a one tweet reply said: J.K. Rowling. (!)
Richard Brooks upon hearing the tale did a little investigation of his own, ending in having two linguistic analysts scrambling after the truth and diving into a comparative analysis of the existing literature of Rowling and this one piece of Galbraith. Both concluded that the styles had similar traits, in the use of punctuation and choice of vocabulary, resulting in a validated match.
But I ask you, before this was revealed, what did reviewers say of the book? Brilliant. Writing. And why am I not surprised. Amazon’s featured reviews section describes it as:
“Combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime…A stellar debut.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“Instantly absorbing, featuring a detective facing crumbling circumstances with resolve instead of clichéd self-destruction and a lovable sidekick with contagious enthusiasm for detection. Strike bears little resemblance to Jackson Brodie, but Kate Atkinson’s fans will appreciate his reliance on deduction and observation along with Galbraith’s skilled storytelling.” (Booklist)
“Plenty of twists…Totally engrossing…Galbraith’s take on contemporary celebrity obsession makes for a grand beach read.” (Library Journal, starred review (Mystery Debut of the Month))
“THE CUCKOO’S CALLING reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place.” (Val McDermid, bestselling author of The Vanishing Point)
“Cormoran Strike is an amazing creation and I can’t wait for his next outing. Strike is so instantly compelling that it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. I hope there are plenty more Cormoran Strike adventures to come. A beautifully written debut novel introducing one of the most unique and compelling detectives I’ve come across in years.” (Mark Billingham, author of The Demands)
“Robert Galbraith’s debut is as hardbitten and hard-driving as its battered hero. CUCKOO’S CALLING scales the glittering heights of society even as it plumbs the dark depths of the human heart. A riveting read from an author to watch.” (Mike Cooper, Shamus Award-winning author of Clawback)
“The private eye novel is not dead. It was merely waiting for Robert Galbraith to give it a firm squeeze, goosing it back to bold, new life. Hardboiled crime fans are going to go cuckoo for this one. I haven’t had this much with a detective novel in years.” (Duane Swierczynski, Shamus and Anthony Award-winning author of FUN & GAMES)
“A remarkably assured debut. Robert Galbraith’s portrayal of celebrity-obsessed modern London is at once beautifully written and utterly engrossing, his characters so real you could eat dinner with them, his ever-coiling plot guaranteed to keep you up past your bedtime. I couldn’t put it down.” (Owen Laukkanen, author of The Professionals)
I wonder what these superficial gits might have said if they knew it was Rowling they were reading. Would their biases and judgments of the perceptions of Harry Potter-like writing affect their reviews? Was Rowling’s ‘A Casual Vacancy’ one such example, the crucified scapegoat of high expectations mandating mixed reviews for the sake of criticism flirting with cynicism? What do you think?
Either way, guess I know what I’m ordering next from Amazon after finishing up Book 5 of a Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones). This is like Christmas came freaking 5 months earlier. Click and ship people. Sales for the book since the secret came out of the closet has sky rocketed to 1500% for a best seller that is about to become an even better seller. Now is that magic or just plain cuckoo? Adieu!