Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{read: psychological thriller} Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I am coming late to the Gone Girl party, and I suspect that many of you will not like what I have to say. This was one of the most hyped books of 2012, and I couldn't wait to read it. It seemed that everywhere I turned, people were reading it, loving it, and urging me to read it. I'd read Gillian Flynn before, and while I didn't fall in love with her books, I enjoyed them. I was expecting fireworks, something that was head-and-shoulders above her previous books. What I got was more like a sparkler.

Perhaps it was the hype, and perhaps no book could have lived up to it, but I disliked Gone Girl so much during the first third of the book that I almost didn't finish it. It sat on my table as I picked up another book and then another. The eager hopefulness in Amy's diary entries, contrasted with the contempt Nick showed toward Amy in his sections, turned my stomach. Yet, eventually I made it to the second third of the book, where the POV changed. Suddenly, I was intrigued. The change of narrator was interesting. I wanted to see what would happen next, what this person had to say. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm didn't last long. The plot felt contrived (although there are a few surprises), and while I briefly enjoyed pondering the difference between sociopath and psychopath and wondering which definition better fit these characters, in the end it wasn't a book that I'd recommend. It wasn't just that I didn't like the characters; it was that they weren't interesting. Beyond a few brief moments, I didn't much care what they'd do next. While the best books I've read have characters with voices so captivating that I'd listen to them do their Saturday chores and follow them down the grocery store aisles to see what kind of pasta sauce they'd choose, neither Nick nor Amy inspired this interest in me, and the plot wasn't exciting enough to make up for it. I was glad to be done with this book.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown, 2012)
My rating: 2.5 stars

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