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Casual Contemplation on The Cuckoo’s Calling

2013 July 16
tags: ,
by pam artiaga

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I know I’ve already made a review on The Cuckoo’s Calling, but there were passages in the novel that I particularly liked and I couldn’t fit them in my review. I can’t not talk about them.

Character descriptions that stood out to me

Strike’s thought on Robin the first day they met:

“… he, Strike, appeared to have been sent a temp with more initiative, and better punctuation, than any he had ever met.”

That was funny and fitting of both Strike’s and Robin’s characters. “A lot of initiative” is a perfect description of Robin as Strike’s secretary. And I loved the extra bit about punctuation.

 

A conversation between John Bristow and Strike:

“‘All I want, Strike,’ said Bristow hoarsely, the color high in his thin face, ‘is justice.’

He might have struck a divine tuning fork; the word rang through the shabby office, calling forth an inaudible but plangent note in Strike’s breast. Bristow had located the pilot light Strike shielded when everything else had been blown to ashes.”

That last sentence was what defined Cormoran Strike for me. It perfectly summed up his whole character and history.

 

Reflections on society and/or life in general

Even though this book is a detective novel, the reflections on society is still present, as with all of J.K. Rowling’s other novels. With the plot of this book, the commentaries are naturally about fame and how people deal with it.

“The death of his girlfriend had fixed Duffield more securely than ever in that firmament of the idolized, the vilified, the diefied.”

I love the last part of that sentence. There is something poetic about it.

Fame somehow trivializes tragedy. I can’t help but compare the events in this book to the biggest news in show business this week.

 

“That was the only part of her story that rang with authenticity, an authenticity that shone a garish light on the fakery with which she garnished it.”

I just really like that sentence. Full of opposites and metaphors.

 

“Children absorbed the views of their relatives at some deep, visceral level.”

This is true to a certain extent. The people who raised us certainly have an influence on our points of view. I’m glad my parents were sensible people.

 

“In the inverted food chain of fame, it was the big beasts who were stalked and hunted; they were receiving their due.”

This, and a lot of other passages besides, makes one wonder about how much the British media’s scrutiny of her life influenced J.K. Rowling to choose the death of a famous celebrity as the focus of this novel.

 

Technicalities

I found one mistake. There was a sentence that used “his” but the correct word should be “him”. Pretty minor, but rather disconcerting to find in a J.K. Rowling novel. They’ll probably correct it in later editions.

J.K. Rowling once again shows her love of semicolons and parentheses in this novel. I have nothing against them (unlike some people; ha! this is inside a parenthesis and that is probably a wrongly-used semicolon). I just wanted to point that out as one of the things that convince me, before she issued a statement about it, that this novel really is written by J.K. Rowling.

 

Sequel!

I want a sequel to this novel. J.K. Rowling has said that “Robert [Galbraith] fully intends to keep writing”, but a new Cormoran Strike novel can’t come soon enough for me. I have never wanted a sequel this much since Abhorsen. I want to read more about Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott’s crime-busting adventures. I hope a new book comes out soon.

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