Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Gillian FLynn's Gone Girl

What Was On My Night Table

It is not often that I choose a book from the library's Express Read offerings because it means you have to read it in seven days.  If a book is at all literary I like to reread parts and linger over certain sections and generally take time to reflect on meaning and any bits and pieces of wisdom I can glean to apply to my own meagre life.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is definitely not in that category.  That being said it was a good book for the express reading part of it, reminiscent of what would have been called a beach book in the old days. 
The book opens with the scenario of a young man returning home on the day of his fifth anniversary and finding his wife missing.  As time passes and she does not show up everyone realizes the girl is truly gone and suspicions fall on the husband.  The first third to half of the book was hard for me to read.  I did not like the language or hip kind of way it was written; this seemed to settle down as the novel progressed or perhaps I grew more accustomed.  The structure of this book is what keeps people reading, I think.  It has twists and turns, some obvious, others not, that make you want to know what is really going on or going to happen, undeniably a good feature for a mystery book.  There are surprises so I'm going to say the novel is entertaining.
I did not care at all about the couple.  Narcissistic and sociopathic behaviour seem to be seen a lot these days in book, t.v. and movie characters. I guess it is disturbing that these qualities seem to be taken more and more for granted  but I think they should at least be portrayed in an interesting way; I'm reminded of American Psycho which I found intriguing and layered in many ways  because of what it was saying about modern day society.  The couple in Gone Girl reminded me of the young man and woman in the movie Open Water; remember them?  They were a similarly self-absorbed young couple who, in their case, get left behind by their scuba diving boat tour; they spend most of the movie floating in the ocean attempting to fend off sharks.  The movie failed I think because viewers could not muster enough empathy for the people involved.  I guess characters who are competitive, strident, and snarky with each other and overall the b word applies to just don't elicit sympathy.
 However after all that, if you want an easy read that is entertaining,  maybe something to take on holiday (to the beach) with you, then Gone Girl fits the bill.