When I started this blog my focus was on book reviews but now that it has grown, I want to share some stuff other than book reviews. Ramblings Keep Me sane is essentially about, well, ramblings. It could be book-related ramblings… or not. It’ll be like a discussion post where readers can share their opinion about anything under the sun.
J.K. Rowling Post-Harry Potter
When the Harry Potter series ended in 2007 I felt like it was the end of the world for me. I was and still am a huge fan of Harry Potter. I even named my pet dog Potter, which has to count for something, right? After the Harry Potter series ended, I wondered which path Rowling’s career would turn next. I knew she was going to write another book. That was for sure. It would be a total waste of her talent if she wouldn’t. And so it begs the question, what kind of book would she write next?
And it took us five years to find out.
Her first post-HP book is an adult fiction book containing prevalent themes of drugs, prostitution, rape and all the other things kids should not know about. Yeah, somehow I knew she’s not going to take the Middle Grade route again. Been there, done that.
Casual Vacancy got a lot of mixed reviews. Some says it was a great and well-written book, the naysayers however, think that it is sloppy and she shouldn’t have ventured into adult fiction writing. And then there are these people who compare Casual Vacancy to her older works which is totally silly because in case you missed the memo, Casual Vacancy is an adult fiction. Definitely not like Harry Potter. So there’s no use comparing.
And then in April 2013 The Cuckoo’s Calling was published. At first most of us were blissfully unaware of its existence until The Sunday Times revealed her pseudonym—Robert Galbraith.
I remember seeing a review of The Cuckoo’s Calling on someone’s blog before I heard the news of Rowling’s secret book. I thought the cover of the book (the US version) was average—not awfully designed but not that memorable, but the thing that captured my attention was the title of the book which was quite unusual. That same day I found out through Bookriot about her book written under a pseudonym.
J.K. Rowling’s choice of writing under a pseudonym is completely understandable, well at least that is my opinion. I didn’t even blink when the news came out. She was very well-known for her Harry Potter novels and the adult fiction novel she wrote under “J.K. Rowling” didn’t seem to impress her Harry Potter fans. And so using a pseudonym seem a logical option. She explains she was “yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer”. And after the reveal she stated, “The situation was becoming increasingly complicated largely because Robert was doing rather better than we had expected … but we all still hoped to keep the secret a little longer.
The Cuckoo’s Calling got outstanding reviews from professional critics even before it was revealed as Rowling’s book. Publisher’s Weekly praised The Cuckoo’s Calling for its “host of vividly drawn suspects and witnesses” and ““elegant solution”. Library Journal describes this book as “like a mash-up of Charles Dickens and Penny Vincenzi”. Marcel Berlins of the Times compliments its “sparkling dialogue” and Galbraith’s critique of celebrity culture.
So why did The Cuckoo’s Calling only sold a few thousand copies before the big reveal? Probably because readers do not pick up a debut novel if the author is unfamiliar or if the book doesn’t receive much hype. I guess because crime fiction novel readers are afraid to try books from authors they haven’t heard before.
But now that the secret is out, everyone’s racing to get a copy. The copies in our local bookstores sells out just less than a week after restocking the shelves. Because J.K. Rowling is one of the greatest writer of this era and she’s written a new book and everyone’s got to have a copy of her book.
And with the success of The Cuckoo’s Calling comes the sequel, The Silkworm which is set to come out in June 24 of this year. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives–meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
Now that Robert Galbraith’s secret identity is out, people will receive The Silkworm with great excitement and enthusiasm compared to its preceding book. And that’s great! I’m happy that JK Rowling is writing books again. I don’t want her to stop writing after Harry Potter. She has so much talent it would be a crime not to use it. And if this is the kind of novels she is writing then I’ll support her all the way!