Skip to main content

Book Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Reading an author at the peak of his/her career is like getting access to unrivalled pleasure. Especially when you have somebody like Rowling, though as a ghost writer, writing about the detective Cormoran Strike and his young assistant Robin, the fun just doubles. Readers will burst with sheer exuberance.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith is a murder mystery. The book stands firm with the aspects like smoothness of writing, relaxed tone, and the interesting detailing of a city. Reminiscent of terrific speakers, who would take you on the wings of their words and transport you to a place which is the nearest kind of bliss one can experience. This book doles out the similar feelings.

In the story there is a deliciously gory murder, and a slew of abominable characters, any of whom the reader would have loved to be the murderer. But the fun lies elsewhere. Rowling gives an almost insider view of the self-serving navel-watching self-loving world of publishing. And all the characters that move in that circle - the established authors, the fledgling ones, the agents, the editors, the owners, the rivals - and all of them fighting for authors, attention, promotion, women, men, and the delightful viciousness of it all.

It's quite cleverly done, like a film within a film, with the murdered author being the author of a book full of poisoned portraits of a host of industry characters. One can literally see Rowling chuckling as she penned this inside story.

Rowling treats each chapter as a set-piece, as she unravels the intricate threads of the murder. There is a classical English family dinner, where the hostess considers it her entitlement to know the inside story of an affair; the absolutely hilarious scene of a couple with two painful kids, who to the absolute horror of Cormoran, want a third; a lovingly described lunch at a quintessential English pub; a road trip which almost proves to be fatal; a drunken, gossipy party celebrating a publishing house's coup of getting an author; and so on and so forth. Each piece moves the story forward, whilst allowing Rowling to lovingly create ambience.  London has been featured extensively. It is in the agony of its coldest winter, and there is treacherous snow and treachery out in the streets: one gets chilled to the bones.

And then there are two parallel and subtexual tracks, which add considerably to the heft and charm of the book. One is of reminiscence and endings, of Cormoran's abortive love affair with a heartbreakingly beautiful girl. In a short passage, she is shown to be getting married, and there is a SMS and there's a photograph. Suffice to say, there is an incredible amount of despair and grit written in with ideal skill.

And the second track is the ever on-the- edge relationship between Cormoran and his young assistant Robin, who is, regrettably, betrothed and soon to be married. The exasperation and the exhilaration of the relationship have a scrumptious balance.

Following the success of Rowling's Harry Potter books; she took up writing detective series under a pen name starting with Cuckoo's Calling and now this. She is a brave writer, unflinching in her dissection of sorrow and purpose, and the frailties of strong men, and the self-centeredness of despairing women. It is expected that Cormoran Strike will be featured in seven more books, indeed a treat for detective genre lover and her fans.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blueumbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a small …

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Sparrows by K. A. Abbas – A Story about Hidden Kindness

K. A. Abbas was a master at writing short stories, presumably influenced by O. Henry. His work presents a different picture of India and is mainly based on humanity. He was the contemporary writer of that colonial India when the cinema used to run in black and white. Reading K.A. Abbas means exploring the old culture of India.
‘Sparrows’ is a brilliant short story. Once, the story ‘Sparrows’ was conscripted in the world’s best stories along with ‘The Lost Child’, written by Mulk Raj Anand.
A bit about Sparrows
Rahim Khan, the protagonist, is a stolid figure, almost devoid of emotions. He lives alone and the whole village is fearful of him because he brutally beats children and men on slightest pretexts. With time, he has grown so obtrusive and rough that streaks of humanity have left him. Why is he like that?
During the magnificence of his youth there was no one who could compete with him in the wrestling and other sports. It's his deepest desire to join Circus folk. In addition …