“The Cuckoo’s Calling”—A Book Review

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The Cuckoo’s Calling…where to begin? Another disappointing attempt at an adult novel by my favorite author in the world, J.K. Rowling. This crime mystery novel was written by Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. My guess is that after her first crap crack at adult novel writing with The Casual Vacancy, she realized not many people would by another book by her that wasn’t Harry Potter related. And truthfully, it really does pain me that I don’t like her adult books, because the Harry Potter series is my all time favorite literary work of all time.

First off, let me state that The Cuckoo’s Calling was better than The Casual Vacancy. The characters were definitely a lot more interesting, possibly because there were a lot less of them, so you could actually follow what was happening .But I believe this novel took a wrong turn with her choice to use omniscient narration. It prevented me from getting to close to the characters. I couldn’t bond with them because she always kept me at arm’s length.

So the plot…

Lula Landry is a famous model who may or may not have committed suicide at the beginning of the tale by jumping off her balcony. The story opens up with police, paparazzi, and reporters trying to get a look at the crumpled body on the snowy pavement.

Next we are introduced to a, seemingly, smart and happy young women who is newly engaged, trying to find a job in London, having just moved there to be with her fiancé. In the mean time she is taking temp jobs, which is how she ends up at the private detective’s office.

Detective Cormoran Strike is a military veteran who lost his leg on a recent tour in Afghanistan. He is basically pitiful personified, but somehow he prevents you from ever actually feeling sorry for him. He’s a proud man who holds his own, despite the fact that he recently broke up with his fiancé (that he was cohabitating with in a very nice apartment she paid for), rendering him homeless. So not only is he having to live in his office now, but he has mounting piles of debt to boot.

Enter John Bristow, Lula’s brother (by adoption). He is convinced that Lula did not kill herself and since the police want to put her death to bed, he offers to pay Detective Strike a handsome sum of money to investigate her death and find her murderer.

Well, with rising piles of debt, how can Strike refuse?

And so the story continues with Strike investigating and digging up leads, in spite of the fact that he initially believed Lula’s death to be a cut and dry suicide.

Really, the book could have been amazing. But it was SO SLOW. The writing was much too descriptive, to the point of being insanely tedious. I just couldn’t do it. If Rowling could have told this story in half the pages (and perhaps in first person or limited third person point of view) it probably would have been fabulous. However, since it is so long and descriptive, I honestly couldn’t even finish it, because it felt like nothing was happening. So I jumped to the end to see who the killer was (something I NEVER do and even consider a blasphemous act). But I just COULDN’T read 300 more pages of descriptive motions.  

All in all, I think J.K. Rowling should stick to writing children’s books. Straight up, she rocks at it. Sadly I can only give this book two out of five stars. I could stretch and give it three because the characters were interesting, but the droning on and on and on just put me off. So I’m sticking with two.

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What’s your story?

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“Every story starts somewhere.” Such simple words, but resounding with so much power and truth.

I think it’s safe to say that every booknerd out there has, at some point, drooled over the library Beast gives Belle in the Disney animated classic, Beauty & the Beast. And what are the books in the library filled with? Stories. And who wrote these vast stories? Somebody.

That’s all it really boils down to, isn’t it? That somebody got an idea and took the time to write it down. And inspiration can strike you anywhere at any moment, if only your mind is open to it. Whether it be a realistic notion or something completely out of this world, all stories start from that one little brain spark.

And I recognize that not everyone has the creativity to be a writer—we can’t all be gifted with awesome right brain activity levels—but even the simple act of journaling can give you such an amazing outlet.

One of my favorite sayings that came out of the mass hysteria that is Harry Potter is: “It all started with a book.” Even Walt Disney’s insane world has the slogan, “It all started with a mouse.” All it took was someone to take the glimmer of an idea and water it until it blew up and grew into a worldwide phenomenon.

It is success stories like J.k. Rowling, Walt Disney, Stephen King and John Green, which give me the inspiration to keep at it. Because my story matters. And so does yours.

#portkeyproblems

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So, I’m listening to the 4th Harry Potter audiobook (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and I’m at the part where they are getting ready to go to the Quidditch World Cup, gathering around the portkey.

While the portkey is being described to Harry about how it’s always some old ordinary and uninteresting looking object so that a muggle won’t come and pick it up, that’s when my Sarah brain takes over.

In my head, I keep seeing those road side crews who pick up trash along the highway coming along with their pokey stick thingys and stabbing a portkey, which thrusts them unknowingly into some crazy ass location, such as the inside of a pyramid, or a dragon’s lair.

Needless to say this image has been cracking me up all morning, so I thought I would share 🙂