Saturday, October 11, 2014


     But first, a cycling report.  On a much smaller scale, I am experiencing why the pros say you cannot get "up" for multiple races without significant down-time.  When doing two grand tours, they normally only go 100% in one of them; and Tinkoff aside, doing three in a year is asking for serious problems.  Anyhow, following my effort at Fort Hood, I'm finding very little life in the legs.  I'm still riding, but without much "pop."  Not today, it's raining.
     When not cycling or any outdoor activity for that matter, I occasionally read.  This blog post is about the new series by Robert Galbraith about a private detective named Cormoran Strike.  What follows is why I picked up on this in the first place.
     Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling.  Just as Harry Potter was becoming popular, my wife, an elementary school administrator at the time, had her curiosity piqued when seeing really young boys, who should have been out running around the schoolyard, in the halls reading or clutching a book.  Further investigation revealed Harry Potter as the instigator.  Anything that could induce such rabid reading required additional scrutiny.  She procured a copy and read it.   Then she brought it home and insisted I read it.  Let me tell you, it took a bit of convincing to get me to read a "kids" book.
     The rest is history.  Like the rest of the world, I became hooked, eagerly awaiting each new release.  And, like the rest of the world, felt a void when the series came to an end.  When the news came several years later that she had written an adult book, The Casual Vacancy, we bought a copy and I settled down to continue my association with Ms. Rowling.  I tell you now, it was very adult and very dark.  I waded through in order to give my wife a heads-up.  My take: I liked the story and character development, but she was 'way too tedious in describing everything.  About 200 pages, in my estimation.  That rocked her pedestal a bit.
     Enter Cormoran Strike and The Cuckoo's Calling, the first book in the series.  The release of the second book, The Silkworm, is what got my attention.  There was a tie-in between Robert Galbraith and J.K. Rowling, so naturally I wanted to see if she had gotten any better.  Marilane did the research and got the first book for me.  Also, I read the reviews; especially the one promising better development in the second and ongoing books.  Again, in The Cuckoo's Calling, excess verbosity in location descriptions marred an otherwise well-put-together mystery plot.  But it was much less than her first book.  I've just finished The Silkworm.  The major characters are being nicely developed, which bodes well for future installments.  I'm becoming pretty good at skipping extraneous paragraphs, and there weren't too many this time.  Hopefully, she, or her editor, will continue to excise gratuitous descriptions and pare down the pages.
     Just like in Harry Potter, she drops enough tidbits along the way to make you not want to put the book down.  Enjoy.

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