by Robert Galbraith
2015 Mulholland Books (Little, Brown)
Method of selection: Wanted to pick on a MALE author for a change. It backfired.
First sentence: He had not managed to scrub off all her blood.
When you put “evil” in the title of a book, it makes it instantly shitty. It is the fastest 0-shitty track time possible. And the library had a lot of copies of this book. There will be a lot of opioid addicts trying to pawn this book so they need a lot of copies. Obviously shitty, right?
I did not know who Robert Galbraith was when I picked it up, but I quickly noticed the absence of any prologue, and dropped my opioid-taking device right there in the library among the other addicts. The publisher may have been jerking off while on opioids the day he was supposed to read it. Or someone tore all the prologues out to pawn them for opioids. But I checked all 1,100 copies on the shelf. No prologue (and someone stole my opioid-taking device while I wasn’t looking). Which means the author and the publisher both decided this book was good enough to start with the first chapter. Confused, and a little high, I turned to the first page, and to my complete surprise, it’s well-written, and that’s not just the opioids talking.
My confusion turned into insanity turned into cancer and they prescribed me more opioids. This is how addiction begins, and also how not shitty books should begin.
Every shitty book begins with a murder, an upcoming wedding, or a car ride. This book begins with a murder, an upcoming wedding, and a bus ride. Nearly a hat trick of shittiness. But the writing doesn’t fit. It’s good. So I looked up the author.
And…it’s JK Rowling, in case you didn’t already know. Talent can’t hide behind a shitty title and a shitty sexism-apologist pen name. And Rowling tried hard to make it shitty and failed. So in a way, it’s a failure, but in another way, it’s not shitty.
But why hide behind the pen name? Harry Potter fans are by now all in their 50’s, and they’ve experienced dozens of cancelled weddings and murders (often for similar reasons). Most of them have stalked people on a bus before (in hopes of interrupting their wedding and stealing their opioids). I think the fans can handle it (even if they can’t handle their opioids).
I’m still not going to read it. But if I saw you reading it on a bus I would not try to murder you and stop your wedding.
(Support this site by purchasing this shitty book through one of the links below.)