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Galbraith = JKR

 
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:37 pm    Post subject: Galbraith = JKR Reply with quote

Thanks to aliantha for posting about this on FB.

This Detective Novel's Story Doesn't Add Up
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope someday I am famous enough to have to write under a fake name to get realistic reviews Smile

My three hideous novels sitting in my desk don't really point to that happening anytime soon though Sad
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, surely someone needs to point out that this strategy worked for Reed Stephens. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...

Quote:
“The Cuckoo’s Calling,” which has sold just 1,500 copies in Britain so far...


I wonder if they really discovered it, or if it was leaked. Because I would imagine that sales figure is about to skyrocket...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, it was definitely leaked, from the way I read the story.

Quote:
The story of how The Sunday Times uncovered the truth is an odd one that involves, as seems so often the case these days, Twitter. It started on Thursday, said Richard Brooks, the paper’s arts editor, after one of his colleagues happened to post a tweet mentioning that she had loved “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” and that it did not seem as if the book had been written by a novice.

“After midnight she got a tweet back from an anonymous person saying it’s not a first-time novel — it was written by J. K. Rowling,” Mr. Brooks said in an interview. “So my colleague tweeted back and said, ‘How do you know for sure?’ ”

The person replied, “I just know,” and then proceeded to delete all his (or her) tweets and to close down the Twitter account, Mr. Brooks said. “All traces of this person had been taken off, and we couldn’t find his name again.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odd. The stuff I had read was about a reporter having suspicions and getting a lit professor to compare a bunch of novels by word use.

And 1500 copies for an unknown author is quite a respectable number, you know. No one would have been disappointed with it. (The other number I've heard is nearly 400, which is still a good number for a hardback that's been out only a few months.)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
Odd. The stuff I had read was about a reporter having suspicions and getting a lit professor to compare a bunch of novels by word use.

That too. The NYT's article above, which I'm quoting from, goes on to say:

Quote:
It is, of course, possible that the anonymous tweets were part of a sneaky campaign by the publisher to get the story out. But The Sunday Times’s curiosity was piqued, and Mr. Brooks decided to work surreptitiously at first, not alerting Ms. Rowling’s publisher or agent for fear of having the possible news leak to a competitor.

First he did some Internet detective work, finding many similarities between “The Casual Vacancy” and “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” Both books shared the same agent, publisher and editor in Britain, for example. It seemed particularly odd, he said, that the editor, David Shelley, would be in charge of both someone as important as J. K. Rowling — a very big job, indeed — and someone as seemingly unimportant as Robert Galbraith.

He then started reading the book. “I said, ‘Nobody who was in the Army and now works in civilian security could write a book as good as this,’ ” he said. Next, he sent copies of “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” “The Casual Vacancy” and the last Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” to a pair of computer linguistic experts, who found significant similarities among them.

Mr. Brooks, too, noted that “The Cuckoo’s Calling” contained some Latin phrases, as the Harry Potter books do, and that it had scenes of drug taking, as “The Casual Vacancy” does.

Late on Friday night, Mr. Brooks said, he decided “to go for it.”

“I e-mailed a blunt question: ‘I believe that Robert Galbraith is in fact J. K. Rowling, and will you please come back with a straightforward answer?’ ” he related. On Saturday morning, he said he received a response from a Rowling spokeswoman, who said that she had “decided to ’fess up.’ ”

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
And 1500 copies for an unknown author is quite a respectable number, you know. No one would have been disappointed with it. (The other number I've heard is nearly 400, which is still a good number for a hardback that's been out only a few months.)


Haha, maybe you're right. I had no idea such low sales were considered good.

Still, I bet they're better now... Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The anonymous leaker has been identified now, btw. A lawyer told his wife who told her friend who tweeted a reporter.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is truly a sad commentary on the state of publishing.

Quote:
A better story than J.K. Rowling's

... Yet top-echelon executives at Rowling's publisher knew all along that she was Robert Galbraith -- that she had written the book. And they presumably knew that, once the word got out, they would have an enormous and profitable blockbuster on their hands.

But what if Robert Galbraith really had been Robert Galbraith? What if an unknown author by that name had tried to sell "The Cuckoo's Calling" to a publisher?

As good as the book is, would a publisher have taken a chance on it?

Before you answer "Of course," consider the case of Chuck Ross -- the protagonist of the most instructive, the most damning, and the most hilarious true story about publishing there ever has been.

I interviewed him and reported on his story almost 35 years ago. Ross, in the 1970s, was a young would-be author who was trying with no success to get his first novel published. He was receiving nothing but rejection slips.

He wondered whether his writing really was that unappealing, or if publishers were simply turning him down because he was an unknown.

So he decided upon a clever, if highly unconventional, way to find out. ...
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malcolm Jones of The Daily Beast wrote:
Speed Read: J.K. Rowling Pens Another Winner With ‘The Silkworm’
Under the pen name Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling delivers another absorbing mystery featuring Cormoran Strike, a detective who makes you think well of muggles.

Early in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling and her publishers decided that there would be no advanced review copies of her novels. Critics got their hands on the books at the same time readers did. For those of us in the reviewing racket, this resulted in a lot of all-nighters while we plowed through books that routinely topped out at 500 or more pages. I won’t pretend I didn’t whine about this, at least until I watched my 12-year-old daughter cheerfully pull all-nighters of her own to get through each new Potter novel as fast as she could. The fact that she read 500 page novels at all amazed me—and shamed me forever for daring to complain—since I don’t think I read a book that long until I got to high school, certainly never for pleasure.

Truth be told, the Potter books were worth losing a little sleep over. As I made my way through the series, I found myself envying young readers. They had no way of knowing it, but thanks to Rowling they were growing up with a very sophisticated idea of what constituted a good book.

After she was done with Harry, Rowling moved on to fiction for adults, first with The Casual Vacancy, and then with two detective novels written under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that there are still no advanced copies. Reviewers get the books maybe a day or so ahead of the public. So J.K. Rowling is still keeping me up all night.

Having just the better part of a day and a night making my way through the 455 pages of The Silkworm, her latest book, I must say, I don’t mind at all.

Whatever else may be said of The World’s Wealthiest Author, she crafts a plot as well as anyone alive. The murder mystery at the heart of The Silkworm is a genuine mystery with an altogether satisfying resolution. Rowling doesn’t cheat. She hides her clues to the killer’s identity like so many Easter eggs, but they are all there to be found if you’re clever enough. And even if, like me, you don’t read mysteries to solve the puzzle (that’s what crosswords are for as far as I’m concerned) but to keep company with the detective on the case, well, she’s not too shabby in the character department either.

The Silkworm brings back Cormoran Strike (yes, Potterish names still abound). The hulking one-legged ex-British army intelligence officer who first appeared in The Cuckoo’s Calling is a little more solvent than he was in the last book, but he’s still unlucky in love and now living alone in a shabby apartment above his office and dining on takeaway curry. It’s all very “down these mean streets a man must go” territory, and if Strike is not as funny or shrewd as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe or as nuanced as Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie, he’s still good company—good enough to claim a spot in the front lines of detective fiction’s gruff yet compassionate loners who are ready, at any hour of the day or night, to talk back to a cop or tell a rich man to go to hell.

This time, Strike is hobbling all over London searching for Owen Quine, an author gone with no warning and no word for 10 days. Quine’s a lot like Clyde Wynant, the missing inventor in The Thin Man and a character so nasty that almost anyone who knew him would happily do him in. But then, excepting Strike and his plucky assistant, Robin, almost no one in this story is particularly nice. By the time a murder is uncovered, about a quarter of the way in, the novel is lousy with suspects. And because it’s an author who’s the subject of the search, Rowling gets to have a lot of knives-out fun with her own profession: Writers “are a savage breed, Mr. Strike” a supercilious novelist tells the hero. “If you want lifelong friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.”

One of the things I’ve always admired about Rowling is her ability to work erudition into her books without looking like a pedant, a trait she shares with Strike (he even gets away with quoting Catullus—in Latin—without looking like a twit, and not just because he’s six three). In The Silkworm, Rowling deploys this knack with an almost perfect touch. Every chapter is headed with a brief quote from a Jacobean revenge tragedy by the likes of Webster, Kyd, or Jonson. This is not mere window dressing, and certainly not just a cheap way to buy some class: the murder that drives the whole plot (the victim bound, disemboweled, and defaced by acid) is executed by someone thoroughly acquainted with the Jacobean drama’s propensity for gore. Figuring out who knows the most about those blood-drenched Elizabethan plays—beside which pale the likes of Saw even today—is the key to solving the crime.

Rowling works best within the strictures of genre, whether it’s fantasy for young readers or the conventions of private eye fiction. Her one straight novel, The Casual Vacancy, was almost upended by her unchecked rage at the hypocritical middle-class people she was writing about. It was like a whole book filled with nothing but Dursleys. Genre checks her anger somehow. In the case of the Galbraith books, she’s forced to see things through the eyes of the easygoing yet plainly damaged psyche of Strike or from the perspective of the charming, resolute Robin, who’s less jaded than Strike but still no fool. The icy regard for witlessness and pomposity is still there (such that any time Matthew, Robin’s self-involved boyfriend, opens his mouth, “every sentence was angled, like a mirror, to show him in the best possible light”). But Strike and Robin are always there, too, reminding us that intelligence and decency do exist, and believably so.

If I have one complaint, it’s that this Galbraith novel, like its predecessor, teases us mercilessly with the sexual tension between Strike and Robin but leaves it unresolved, even though this is plainly a match made in Nick-and-Nora heaven.

I know what you’re thinking: the lack of resolution in their romance almost guarantees another installment (if it doesn’t, there are going to be a lot of pissed off fans). Frankly, I don’t care. I’m sick of Robin’s dreary boyfriend, who wore out his welcome somewhere back in the first novel, and I didn’t stay up until dawn just to read, “To be continued.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! I read and enjoyed Cuckoo's Calling last year, so I'll definitely be picking up The Silkworm and giving it a go soon.
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