Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
Like so many others, I originally skipped this book when I thought it was by an unknown author. Then, seeing it was J. K. Rowling, I snapped it up. I've never read the Harry Potter books -- I'm not much into wizards and magic, nor do I have much interest in young people's literature, but having said that, I had no doubt whatever the lady is a masterful storyteller, so I thought this would be interesting.
And? It's okay. Not worthy of all the hype, I don't think. It took a long time to hook me into the story, and it only happened, finally, when I became interested in the budding relationship between the one-legged Cormoran Strike and his temporary, allegedly, amanuensis, Robin. Strike is admittedly a compelling character -- his history, his painful disability, his keen mind. But Robin -- here playing this seriously secondary role, comes across as a far more fascinating person. The whole thing reminds me a little of the relationship between Elizabeth George's Tommy Lynley and his side kick, Barbara Havers. In that relationship as in this, there's no question that Barbara Havers has the more interesting role -- she's smarter, more dedicated, has a far more complex life and compelling background. Much more interesting than the endlessly lovesick Lynley, ever pining after his really-not-worth-it Helen. Yet the series clearly belongs to Lynley -- he's the "main" character, even though Barbara is by far the more interesting. I think Strike and Robin are in the same position here -- I'd like to hear more about Robin.
One of the biggest treats of the book was Robert Glenister's narration, which was absolutely superb. There were a lot of diverse and odd characters in this book -- the gay designer "Guy", the street people, cops, the rock stars, their families, the whole range of black characters -- and Glenister made each of them come alive. Listening, I think I could sit down and draw a picture of each of them -- even though no such detailed descriptions were written in. Glenister just did a magnificent job of interpreting each of them, male and female. I will most definitely be looking for more books that he's narrating.
So the main question is, will I also look for a second book by "Robert Galbraith"? Good question. Maybe. But there are many, many series l like much better. A second "Strike" book wouldn't be my first choice of reading material. .
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