Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gone Girl

Book Review

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

This is a relatively new release that I kept stumbling upon.

On the library website. On the library shelf. On the library's large print shelf. In the Bookmarks magazine.

I could ignore it no longer.

And it is in large print!

I quickly put it on the treadmill and read it there. Twice.

And then I had to read it in the evening, not on the treadmill. And I left it on the coffee table. And I picked up more in the evening.

Darn! I've resorted to reading large print on the sofa! Say it ain't so! Say it ain't so!

Well, I admit it, but I also stand by my lack of need for large print on the sofa. Now, I just need something new for the treadmill.

All that sofa reading? That just means this book kept me reading more than if I had left it for the treadmill alone.

Does that mean I liked it? Well... let's examine that notion....

Gone Girl

This is a novel about a thirty-somethings husband and wife and their life together. Sort of. Their life together, their job losses, their move, their time apart. I don't want to give everything away, but most of the story is written while they are apart. I won't say why. You can read the back cover to figure that out.

Chapters alternate between first person from the husband and diary entries from the wife. Husband chapters are chronological, diary chapters are not. This keeps the reader guessing for some time about what is really up.

This is good. Nothing is worse than knowing the whole story before you've read the whole story.

The writing style is easy and smooth. The writing content is real. A bit too real. A bit too coarse and a bit too crass for my tastes. If you are looking for a happy, blissful trip through La La Land, this is definitely not your book.

But fear not. There are several redeeming qualities here.

The characters are well developed, but you don't get all that up front. It comes out slowly, just like getting to know a new acquaintance. Without wanting to read and tell, these characters are neurotic. Subtly neurotic. "Normal" people with neuroses. These are not the kind of people I would be inviting to dinner. Not at my house. Not anywhere. But those neuroses are well-hidden from most and thereby they exist as "normal" people to the rest of the characters in the book.

Nice. This is very well done by the author. Nice (but crazy!) character development and slow exposing of their craziness. Well done. Well written.

This is a disturbing story. Or, at least, it was disturbing to me. I considered putting it down more than once. But I kept with it. This level of being disturbed I attribute to the superb writing. This author knows how to, oh so subtly, get under the reader's skin. Or is it just my skin that is so thin?

I liked the literary references. A reference to Breakfast at Tiffany's:  Holly's cat named Cat. Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. And maybe there were others. But these stuck with me. And I liked them.

I would really like to read a "comfortable" story from this author. That kind of story is what I would prefer to read.

But then again, maybe that would fall outside the regime of brilliant writing for this author. I genuinely don't know.

But it would be fun to find out!

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