Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Read-a-thon 2014 Part 1: Day 5

Day 5 updates are upon us dear reader! As many of you know, I'm in the midst of my Summer Read-a-thon 2014 challenge and today marks the beginning of the final stretch to meet my page goal. Luckily, at the end of yesterday I only had to read 3 more pages to reach my 1,500 page goal.  Obviously I managed to reach my overall goal today with a little bit extra. As a result, I did less reading today than any of the previous days during this challenge. The book that I spent a little bit of time perusing was The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling).

In the few hours that I did devote to this challenge I managed to read a total of 141 pages. After adding the Day 5 total to my overall page count, I've now read a total of 1,588 pages. With 88 pages and two days to spare I've met my challenge goal!!

Since I don't want to leave you with such a short post, I've decided to talk about my experiences with the book so far. None of these opinions are set in stone as of yet because I'm not even halfway through the book and as with life, things change. 

As you could probably tell from the low amount of pages that I read today, this book was really difficult to get into. Nothing particularly suspenseful happens in the first 200 pages, which is kind of a problem. I'm decently interested in Cormoran's investigation into Lulu's death, but the entirety of this book so far has been composed of conversation after conversation. Yes, the foundation of every crime/mystery novel is interrogating suspects, but unlike...let's say Agatha Christie novels...this novel has dry, stilted dialogue and the conversations Cormoran has with people affiliated with Lulu don't really encourage readers to try to figure out the solution to the suspected murder on their own. I want some red herrings or a couple lines of dialogue that sound suspicious. 

Additionally, even though Cormoran is the center of The Cuckoo's Calling, I don't feel a real connection to his character. The main problem is the reader is told about events that have happened to Cormoran, but there is no encouragement to sympathize with him or an effort to really get to know what essentially makes him tick. If someone asked me to briefly summarize what I've learned about him so far in the narrative, I'd have to say: "He lost part of his leg in a war and complains about his prosthesis incessantly to the point of real annoyance." I'm also having a huge problem connecting with the secondary character, Robin, who is Cormoran's secretary. She's a pretty flat character and even with a 3rd person, omniscient narration, nothing significant about her is presented to readers. All we know is that she's engaged, she's an organized person, and she likes working for Cormoran (at least so far in the book anyway).

I'm desperately hoping that this story picks up the pace soon because I might just be tempted to stop reading it and grab one of the many Agatha Christie books in my TBR pile to get a better experience in the mystery genre. Since I would like to finish at least one more book after The Cuckoo's Calling to round out the challenge, I'm slightly determined to finish this book by tomorrow. You should stick around to find out if I do so on this auspicious beginning to Day 6 (since it is after midnight already). Instead of cheerfully telling you to do some reading again, please enjoy this fantastic gif of Helen Mirren in the movie Inkheart (which is adapted from an incredible book/series that I would highly recommend). Best Wishes!!