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The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (not really)


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Ann is a devotee of crime fiction, and when she read a review of this book, she ordered a copy, read it in an evening, and enjoyed it although she found many of the reviews a bit too effusive. Many reviews said the the book was particularly accomplished for a first novel. I'm now having a go at it. The rest of the story is below:

http://www.nytimes.c...masked.html?hpw

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I very much doubt she was involved in breaking the story. OK, she now stands to make megabucks from the new book, but she's already rolling (sorry, pun not intended). When she says it was liberating to write under a totally different persona, with no public expectations or preconceptions, I believe her, because I'm in a very faintly similar boat. Don't for a moment think I'm another Rowling - I'm emphatically not. But I do lead two utterly different lives, in both of which I write. In one I have a certain academic standing. Nobody in that world knows about my other life here, and nobody here, except my closest friends, knows about my life there. And JKR is right - it is liberating to have two personas. I'm sorry for her sake she's been busted.

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I think this says a great deal, and not much good, about the literary world. The book was well-received by critics, respected, admired... and sold 1,500 copies. Now, simply and for no other reason than because J.K. Rowling wrote it, sales will go through the roof.

I grieve for the gifted writers who struggle each day, but are ignored by the great conglomerates because their last name isn't King or Brown or Patterson. I grieve for the independent film maker whose creations never see the light of day because their last name isn't Spielberg or Weinstein. I grieve for the boy who blows everyone away in a television talent show, but is ignored because he isn't Justin Bieber.

Superficiality rules. There is a story, possibly an urban myth, that someone had a monkey throw paint at a canvas and the glitterati of the New York art word acclaimed it as genius until they learned the truth. In the meantime, how many great and brilliant artists languish in nothing-jobs because someone else is better able to kiss-ass.

I'm not critical of Ms Rowling. I admire her. It is, however, a sad commentary on the superficiality of society.

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