ROBERT GALBRAITH — CAREER OF EVIL — 2015
This third novel is becoming an addiction to J.K. Rowling, under her alias Robert Galbraith. Cormoran Strike is becoming a haunting ghost to her, like some ghost of some opera. And then he is becoming so slow on his prosthetic leg that the novel that is supposed to be a thriller becomes anything but a thriller because there is no thrill in the social exploration the author gets involved in, and deep social exploration it is and you will get some stomach ache if you do not take some soothing drug to prevent an ulcer.
The very first social element you will encounter is of pedophilia, and there, J.K Rowling is as heavy as a sledge hammer on a pigeon egg. We all know pedophilia is a crime against childhood, against humanity, against certainly not nature but definitely the mental cosmos and the spiritual universe. Nature is cruel and all that we call barbarity, barbarousness in this human world is nothing but natural violence and inhumanity rejected by humanity in its recent history. It is of course by definition inhumane since it is natural and man is in no way natural. Man is a man-made or even man-warped and man-distorted species. But instead of nicely taking this historical approach, the author is just using that pedophilia to shock the reader, to attach him or her to the pages, to make her novel ethical and perverse at the same time, ethical since it rejects pedophilia and perverse since it encourages the reader’s voyeurism.
But there is something a lot more perverse in this pedophilia.
It exclusively concerns one character who is not even the killer, and this character only attacks girls when we know or we are in the process of discovering that pedophilia is not in any way concerning only girls but in a proportion we do not even know since we do not study something that is hardly reported, boys and what’s more we should take into account the pedophilia of women who play with boys at an ever earlier age but the boys — or is it society — consider it is normal that a woman initiates them to sex at the earliest possible age. And Of course we could also consider homosexual pedophilia for boys, but also for girls. But the author reduces her discourse to an older man and little girls. That’s simply easy but I do not accept the idea that girls are special victims and that this pedophilia which is rape is only to be mentioned for girls as if the pedophiliac virginity of girls had to be specially considered and concerned. You will thus discover in this novel there are NO, ABSOLUTELY NO underage boys except the recollection of Cormoran himself about his childhood with a mother who was altogether nothing but a dissolute woman and with a stepfather that was absolutely horrific and is one suspect in the novel. But we have here only the hatred of Cormoran for this stepfather who manhandled him, at times brutalized him but never sexually. Apart from this Cormoran boy whose history justifies his hatred for his stepfather and his decision to consider him as one of the three suspects as a vengeful decision, totally unjustified by the way, apart from him there is NO OTHER boy. Not even Matthew, the future husband or eternal fiancé of Robin, the eternal secretary cum associate cum partner maybe eventually of our Cormoran. Not even the three suspects who strangely enough did not have any really seriously described childhood.
Then the second social problem that is examined through and through is the vision the financial upper middle class in London develops about society reduced to themselves: social climbing, here monetary climbing, social self-exclusion by locking themselves in a narrow range of restaurants, activities, family events, social entertainments and achievements like marriage, birthdays, vacations, sorry holidays, etc. They are sad and pitiful, but that is not even the main object of the thriller we are supposed to be reading and there is definitely a lot too much detail, over and over again. And frankly we are not interested in £500 shoes.
Then we go down into the dregs of the small little lower classes, those who have side jobs, particularly women, like strippers and barmaids. When we are looking at men in this social environment we are dealing with small little tiny criminals who are committing petty crimes everyday like stealing cell phones and mugging old ladies. There are factories here and there but always on the other side of this social road. This makes this exploration so ONE-sided that it becomes like exotic if not circumstantially negligible, just like some kind of setting for the story that goes on and on without any end, losing itself in the meanders of this social exploration.
Then of course you will only know the truth in the very last ten pages. But you are and I guess you should be bothered by the pattern of three suspects. This trinity, this triad, this triplet is a mental form that works very well with a post-Christian reader. I was hoping a fourth one, a fourth solution to get out of this mental unspiritual alienation of seeing things through the eyes of a devilish tritone that sounds unbalanced, false, artificial, awkward, but the promise of a fourth element in the last twenty pages or so is betrayed and turned into some ridiculous assumption. Reader! Reader! How dumb you are! Robert Galbraith is a fully developed post-Christian addict and cannot get out of his triple broken vinyl records. And do not believe it is the only triplet in the novel. The novel is a complete and absolute network, or plainly fishing net, of triple triolet-ic triads. Robin and her two parents. Robin and her lover and her boss. Cormoran and his lover and his secretary. Cormoran and his present lover and his previous partner he has to divorce. Matthew and his two parents. Cormoran, Robin and of course the third sidekicks Shanker. Cormoran and his two competing Scotland Yard detectives, Wardle and Carver, and when Wardle is out because of family bereavement, and Carver is out because of his narrow-minded incompetence, then two more are brought into the picture, a younger one and an older one to deal with the scandalous and infamous Cormoran.
So what’s left after this enormous hefty and heavy social exploration of so many things, and yet systematically reduced to some limited elements instead of taking the whole picture, and yet what’s more cast in the mold of a ternary routine, absolute colorless form that comes from so far away that it becomes humdrum and so unnatural. The various amaryllises I have in front of my window are all coming from the same original bulb and yet one bloomed a triple flower, and another one is blooming a fourfold flower right now. But do not think you will read that thriller in one trip to Edinburgh, maybe if you start in Madrid, but not if you start from London. Or if you do you will have skipped many pages to only capture the thrilling story and neglect all the social exploration episodes, which is fast reading for sure but bad reading at the same time.
Have a good trip to northern England and the industrial dregs of society that voted for Brexit and will be the first victims of it with inflation. But of course the fact that student loans will see their interest rates jump from just over four percent to just over six percent in September 2017 will not make these Brexit supporters cry since they are working class and their children do not go to college or university. They go to unqualified or low qualified industrial jobs, as long as the robots haven’t taken these jobs over and that will happen within five years. Then they will invent ROBOTEXIT to protect their slavery because a well fed slave is happy and does not require any real change, rather they request sticking back to the old order. And that’s the flavor you will get out of this novel. Back to basics, even if basics are déjà vu.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU