Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I normally hate literary styled books. They normally take all the fun stuff out of the book and replace it with tedious exposition masquerading as deep and meaningful prose. Award winning books are usually weighed down with this superfluous fluff.
This is a harsh statement, I know. Just because a book has won a literary award that doesn’t mean it has to suck. But it all comes back to some training I had in communication sciences at university. No-one cares about the methods, or process, or how long you spent doing this, and especially not how much research you did, they only care about what’s in it for them. Boil that down to a simple: readers are reading your book to be entertained. So all of that exposition is just getting in the way of entertaining the reader.
Gone Girl is as close to a literary styled novel I have read (to completion) in almost a decade. I used to
read persevere with them all the time, now I have learnt my lesson. What makes Gillian’s book different is that she hasn’t forgone the plot, nor drawn out the story. So fans of crime novels will be captivated and literary fans might admit they need to read more genre books.
I put this novel off for a long time, buying it because of all the rave reviews and awards, then hearing it was very literary and baulking. I can see why this novel has been the big thing of 2012, it deserves the praise.
3 thoughts on “Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”
I completely agree with all your points. It was a fantastic read – probably my top choice for 2012. And you’re right, despite the awards, it doesn’t have the “hoity-toity” literary feel. Great post!
I’m actually following up this book with Steve Healy’s How I Became a Famous Novelist. His biting satire is pretty much spot on and highlights why this book worked for me where others have failed. Gillian really has hit the mark.