Five Reasons Harry Potter Fans Are Not Excited About Cormoran Strike (Yet)

COEI’m leaving early tomorrow for the annual Harry Potter Conference this Friday at Chestnut Hill College just north of Philadelphia (I hope to see you east coasters there!). Before I leave, I wanted to write up some annoying thoughts that I wish I could dump into a Pensieve for more relaxed observation. When I get back home from Penn’s Woods, I will deliver on the promise to discuss the critical memory that eludes Cormoran Strike in The Silkworm and which I think is as important to the finale, in all likelihood, as the “gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes” at the end of Goblet of Fire. Stay tuned.

I’m getting a lot of feedback on my thoughts after a close reading of the Career of Evil excerpts. My speculation that the mysterious friend mentioned in both Cuckoo and Silkworm is the stepfather who was convicted of Leda Strike’s murder, that he will play a role in Career something like Sirius Black’s in Prisoner of Azkaban, and that the bad guy is not a Muslim terrorist or Afghan War veteran but Jago Ross as a postmodern Jack the Ripper has caused a parliament of owls to descend into my inbox, most of it of the “We’ll see!” variety. Not many want to join me out on the limb.

f38699878What is remarkable, though, is that there has been so little response to these predictions. Remarkable but very much in keeping with my experience at Harry Potter conferences the last two years. When I talk about the artistry and meaning of the Hogwarts Saga, I see big crowds, great interest, real enthusiasm. When I speak about Jo Rowling’s new seven book series, the Cormoran Strike novels, the crowds are much smaller and the prevalent attitude is a mix of curiosity and something like confusion. “Wait — there’s a new series from my favorite author? Why isn’t anyone besides John talking about that?” (Not knowing, it seems, that Karen Kebarle is also on the case….)

Which raises the question: “Why so little enthusiasm in the Harry Potter fandom for the Cormoran Strike mysteries?” Here are five reasons from the top of my head; please let me know what you think in the comment boxes below.


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  1. I will take a stab at answering this question, at least from my viewpoint. Be forewarned that I am not of the erudite camp, although I have always thought my vocabulary stellar-until now. I have been reading the Ravenclaw reader and am finding a myriad of unknown words so I am feeling rather dumb. The Strike novels will never be as interesting to me as the HP series. The HP series is so innocent, child like and appealing. I never tire of reading them and discovering new connections or questions to ask. The Strike books on the other hand, are so adult, complete with raw profanity that I feel like scrubbing my brain after reading one. I enjoy the unfolding tale, but I can’t get into it the same way. Perhaps that says more about me than Rowling. My 2 cents. By the way I wish we had known you were here in Philly, we would have come to see you again!

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