Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Book group links - things to think about - for JK Rowling's first Cormoran Strike novel
Wikipedia - Lots on the plot, plus characters and more. JK's fans are very committed!
A review published in April before the JK was revealed as the author
"The puzzle they had to solve developed in a great way. There are a lot of different characters involved in this suicide/murder mystery they need to solve and all have their own secrets to hide. There was a nice tension surrounding most of them making all of them suspects. Some of the quests Cormoran solved where not that clear for the puzzler though. Indications that he found something where not always clear making it hard in some situation to put the puzzle together. The end was a surprise which I liked a lot. "
& another one
"Just once in a while a new private detective emerges who captures the public imagination in a flash; and here is one who might well do that - Cormoran Strike, a bear-like ex-soldier with a prosthetic lower leg and a gloomy outlook, who also happens to be the son of a Seventies rock star.
The last time I remember one quite as interesting was the wonderful Eddie Ginley, nightclub-comedian and wannabe private eye, in director Stephen Frears’ debut film Gumshoe. Strike has exactly that dark fascination, just as he has debts, a home life so hopeless that he has to sleep in his office, and an unlikely temporary assistant he cannot afford."
A 4 star review
"For the plot alone I would give three stars. It became rather difficult to follow towards the end, thanks in no small part to the increasing withdrawal of the narrative from Cormoran Strike's deducting mind - something that I suppose was intended to keep the reader in suspense, but still affected my degree of immersion in the story. The big reveal at the end felt, if not contrived, then predictable in its total unpredictability, and relied on the staple monologue from the protagonist to explain how exactly the event that the book revolves around happened.
It's the characters that make The Cuckoo's Calling. Strike himself is sympathetic, but Robin, his secretary temp, is the easiest to warm to. They both feel real, and as a result the world they inhabit feels real (apart from said slightly-contrived thriller elements). It helps that JK Rowling writes about London like a long-time resident. Special mention should go to the prose as well. The balance is just right - not too florid, and vivid enough to elevate it above the usual gently-paced crime story."
A 2 star review
"I was greatly anticipating reading this book and it was given to me as a Christmas present. How disappointing then to discover a long series of suspect interviews and unnecessary descriptive prose.
I can now see why the author's identity was made known because if any other writer had put this together it would never have seen the "light of day".
A major disappointment of a book. J. K. Rowling stick to childrens' fiction!!."
Should be a good discussion!