When I am not working, I am most likely reading. I’m constantly asked to recommend a good book for others to enjoy. When relaying my suggestions, I think it’s also important to point out what books to absolutely avoid too.
This past weekend I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn because of its rave reviews. I was told that it was “beyond messed up” and extremely suspenseful. This book has received countless literary awards and has recently been adapted into a movie. However, my final review is quite complex.
Gone Girl tells the story of an unhappy marriage being pushed to it’s limits. When the wife disappears, all clues lead you to believe that the husband is responsible.
The book is divided up into three sections; the first left me bored out of mind. This is when you learn about the character’s lives and backstories, which is dull. The only thing that kept me reading was how Flynn ended the chapters in suspense. The second section gave you all the answers you wanted to know which left me bored again. Why keep reading if you’re telling me all of their secrets? The final section was once again boring and thankfully quick. At that point, nothing would have surprised me.
When I wasn’t bored, I had several theories as to what happened. It turned out that I was right on track, which was disappointing. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many murder mysteries, but I didn’t think the revelations were mind blowing. However, I will say that the way Flynn fit all the pieces together was extremely clever.
What really impressed me about Gone Girl was the character development. I have never hated a character before and then changed my opinion on them several more times throughout the story. This didn’t happen with just one character, but several.
The way that Flynn portrayed a narcissistic sociopath in this book was fantastic. When reading the first half of this book you see a character the way they probably see themselves. You have no clue anything is wrong. As the story progresses you see what the character is actually like and how they justify their reasoning.
The character development is what saved this book for me. While the overall story was clever, it left me disinterested majority of the time. If you do not read often you will enjoy this thriller, but if you are an avid reader this book will probably leave you bored.
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