|The Silkworm and 10% Happier|
Everyone knows that Robert Galbraith is JK Rowling in disguise. I know that as well, but if Rowling wants to write as Galbraith, then I will review Galbraith as Galbraith. This is the second book in the Cormoran Strike series, which is a vulnerable time in a book series. The initial freshness of the first book has gone, while familiarity with characters has not been established. I didn’t enjoy this book as a a mystery. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t enjoyable – what I liked was the steady development of the characters, Strike in particular.
With this second book, Galbraith slowly fleshes out his two main partners, Cormoran and Robin, and their relationship to each other. There’s a delicate balance that has to be maintained; there’s a sense of tension. You don’t know where it’s going. That is where the main drama lies, at least for me. The case they’re pursuing is not as engaging, and I’ll leave it at that. The richness of the novel comes from every character detail as they are revealed. You can feel the firm and steady hand of the author behind these characters, shaping them until they can stand on their own.
Up until this book, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was that television news reporters did. I assumed most of them read straight from the teleprompter, in a way reminiscent of Cyrano de Bergerac. Apparently, they research and pitch their own stories and read what they themselves have scripted. So in that sense, I was mistaken.
What I liked about this book, is that it addressed the most practical way to apply meditation and Buddhist principles to problems you will face in your daily life, such as the vague flash of panic you may see in the eyes of your family and friends when you start talking about meditation and Buddhism.
Like a good journalist, Harris continually questions his chosen topic, approaching meditation from all angles, subjecting his practice to hard and endless questions, and deriving a methodical, realistic approach in return. His answers and his meditative practice are complicated and reasoned, and a good way to go about finding your own way.