Thursday, August 22, 2013

Audiobook Review - The Cuckoo's Calling By Robert Galbraith [JK Rowling]

Note: The book written about in the following blog post was given to me by the publisher (Hachette Audio) in exchange for an honest review.
Check out the AUDIO!
First of all, I don't want you acting all shocked that I jumped right on The Cuckoo's Calling bandwagon the second I found out that Mr. Robert Galbraith was actually one of my great heroines, JK Rowling - you ALL knew that was going to happen. I'm not ashamed. I'm a fangirl. It was my duty to read this book.

Now that I finished it, I have to say, I loved it!

My Thoughts About The Story

It has been a really long time since I read a crime novel, so, on one hand, that was part of the fun for me. The second is that it was so well written. Galbraith [Rowling] paints each scene so vividly that it feels as though you are walking the streets of London, experiencing the seasons and talking to the characters. Our protagonist, Cormoran Strike, is well-developed with a rich history and an equally compelling present. His assistant, Robin, was a character I couldn't help but love and everyone else in the cast was full of life, humanity and some level of motive. Like any good crime novel, the ending makes all kinds of perfect sense on the last page, but was just out of reach throughout the rest of the book. I am elated that Cormoran Strike will be a recurring character. I will be back.

The Audiobook

I am so happy that I listened to this book instead of read the hardcover. This is not to say that I have some aversion to the printed word, it is simply that Robert Glenister did such an amazing job narrating this book.  I know I would never have been able to deliver these words to myself internally as fluidly, or in the right voice. Here's what I know: if I read this book in print, I would have "heard" a female narrator in my mind. Having gone through the book completely with Glenister as a narrator, I can't imagine it being anywhere nearly as powerful without him. The audiobook was not overproduced in anyway - it was just Glenister, changing his voice accordingly for the characters while disappearing seamlessly into the background like all awesome narrators can do!

My Response To A Couple of Strangers

Midway through my read I remembered to check into Goodreads to say that I was "currently reading" The Cuckoo's Calling. While there, I noticed that someone gave it a one star rating. Since I was enjoying the book so far I curiously delved in to read the criticisms. As one of the major criticisms was about the ending, I was ill-equipped to properly judge its merits until now. If you don't mind, I'd like to take a moment to speak my mind on one point of contention I now hold with this criticism having finished the book.

The reviewer (and I have read this same comment from a couple of reviewers now) said that the killer was "obvious" and that they "knew it all along." I promise not to spoil anything, but I am sorry, they did not "know" who the killer was. Every reader of this book, at one point, thought "maybe it's so-and-so," because that's how crime dramas work. If you don't experience this feeling at least once or twice during the reading, then, in my opinion, the author failed. The fantastic thing about this book is that I had that thought run through my brain about a number of different characters as the story unfolded. This does not mean that "I knew who the killer was all along" just because I had a sneaking suspicion early on. Throughout the story doubt surfaced and other suspects came to the forefront. That is how these stories work and, you know what? That's what makes them fun!

My Review

If you are a crime fan, I highly recommend this book. Of course, I'd like to extend it another step further and recommend the awesome audiobook - nothing makes house chores go faster than a mystery for you to unravel! For fans of JK Rowling, if you are being honest with yourselves, this is the same writing we all fell in love with - it is just as magical even though it is about the mundane. If you are looking for literal magic, however, she's hung up her sorting hat, so this isn't the book for you!

Are you a fan of crime novels? If so, recommend one - I think I'm back on the bandwagon!
Did you read The Cuckoo's Calling? If so, what is your opinion about its predictability?



  1. Morgan DragonwillowAugust 22, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    It is frustrating to have written a whole comment and then when you sign in it all disappears.

    I am going to check out this book because I love whodunnits. I love your new look here on your blog especially the tag line. Great job!

  2. Great review! I have heard some great things about the audio, though I haven't listened to it...yet. Maybe it should be my next listen.

  3. Great review, thanks a bunch. Now I kind of want to listen to the audio book.

  4. I am a mystery book addict, so I am seldom wrong about an ending- many
    writers, Patterson in particular, have resulted in formula writing-
    predictable characters and plots- so I welcome a new writer with a new
    character and a great ending. Pull up a chair, turn off the TV and
    Best Link to DFW Knee Doctor Dr Schnee