What’s in a Name?

jk-rowling-the-cuckoos-callingSo there are now two books by J.K. Rowling that I have not read: The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling.

How did I not know about The Cuckoo’s Calling? Well, as you can see on the cover above, the novel was published under the name Robert Galbraith.

I found out it was actually by Rowling after a quick Google search and the wikipedia page. But what’s interesting is that pre-identification, the book was sitting at 4,709th on Amazon’s list—and shot up to 1st once the true author was revealed.

Is this right?

I admire Rowling for trying to cover her name, and it’s unfortunate that she couldn’t do that with her writing style, which is how they found her out. Admittedly, it probably wouldn’t be the book she meant it to be if she didn’t use her regular writing style.

But success of a book should be based on the content itself, not necessarily the author. One easy example of this (for me anyways) is the Kane Chronicle Series by Rick Riordan. While I’ve read the story and enjoyed it, it’s not going up on my favourite book lists because I loved Riordan’s other series, Percy Jackson. In fact, I’m not especially fond of the Kane Chronicle Series because of the parallels to Percy Jackson.

Which is why I think it’s smart that Rowling tried to cover her name as a new series got going. Everyone may love these new books, but they will never be Harry Potter. And people will always think of Harry Potter because they know these other books are also written by Rowling.

It does make me think about all the books I’ve read because I liked the author’s previous works. And in reality it is hit or miss. I love the Leviathan series but didn’t really like the Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld. I liked The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which prompted me to read one of my favourite books, I am the Messenger. 

But what do i think of The Cuckoo’s Calling? I have yet to read it, but I will soon.

“I suggest to my students that they write under a pseudonym for a week. That allows young men to write as women, and women as men. It allows them a lot of freedom they don’t have ordinarily.” ― Joyce Carol Oates

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