Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Readers Review - Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)

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I have a motto: Everything less than three hundred pages is sloppiness. A story is like a flower. It needs time to unfold, and if this process can be completed in less than three hundred pages, the story is simply too tenuous.

Therefore, i
t was a pleasant surprise to receive a copy of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" in the mail. The package was simply too thick to get into my mailbox and I was therefore forced to pick up the book at the local post office. That was very promisingWhen I finally unpacked the book, it was a pleasure to discover that the story was 493 pages long. The chance for a good reading experience had increased - and I was definitely not disappointed.

After reading the first few chapters of "Gone Girl", I had to go on-line to check if Gillian Flynn really
was a woman. The stylistic change between the female protagonist, Amy's thoughts and her husband, Nick's thoughts are so significant that I could suspect Gillian Flynn to be a pseudonym for two writers of opposite sex. 
The girlish and feminine way Gillian writes when she expresses Amy's thoughts, is in huge contrast to Nick's masculine behavior and thinking. I am really impressed with her personification of the two main characters.  

After I finished the book, there are only few characters that springs to mind, and that's a good thing. Gillian Flynn has made the gallery extremely simple and uncomplicated, without oversimplifying the story. And that 's what makes the plot work so well.

Simply put, the book depicts a power struggle between two spouses and it is their story we want to hear. If the cast was larger and more complex, all the fine details would vanish and the book's eligibility would be lost.

Gillian Flynn's writing style is very straightforward. There are many authors who are able to provide better usage of the words but Gillian. But what she lacking in linguistic finesse is offset in the plot. I love words. I love delicious, linguistic details and unfortunately there were not too many to be found in "Gone Girl". But what the book lacks in linguistic qualities were fully offset by one of the most crafty and cruel plot, I have long been introduced to. I would not at all reveal the book's action - the readers
must be allowed to experience that for themselves - but the finish is so cruel, so vicious, that I, still a few days after finishing the reading of the book, feel quite badly when I think back on its consequences. Talk about a good plot!

"Gone Girl" IS an excellent book. Because Gillian Flynn is an accomplished storyteller. Because she knows how to reveal the dark side of the main characters, in a way that any reader will presumably relate to in a greater or lesser degree. And because the plot is so amazing well worked out. No loose ends - just really good entertainment.


  1. This is a devastating thriller which shows what a talented writer can do at the height of her creative power.This book literally throbs with a raw power which drives the narrative at full throttle till the end .Probably Dan Brown can learn a thing or two from this brilliant writer as to how to write a thriller which would embody all the qualities of a classic.After so many years I have come across a book which I unabashedly would recommend for those who wonder why there is a dearth of great writers writing thrillers.This writers earlier book has won the Edgar Award and since I am one of those who admire my agatha christie and conan doyle, Edgar allan poe and Edgar Wallace as well as the good old G K chesterton i was looking for something which would be a page turner but could remind me of literary style of the great writers of crime fiction of the golden era and this writer has greatly justified the faith i reposed in her .I am really surprised to see some reviewers criticizing her style .well she is writing from the perspectives of a working class American couple who have lost their job because of the Meltdown of 2008 .Do you expect them to talk in latin or a la Poirot in French .I bought the first edition[hardcover]which Flipkart was the first to offer and i treat this book as an honorable addition to my collection of crime fiction.If you love crime fiction do read this book .This book is my best crime fiction read of this year. I have made it point to read the other two novels written by Ms.Flynn.Great ,a writer in full command of this genre ,a writer to watch out for.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      I truly agree. This is an outstanding book. I am sorry if you feel I am criticising Gillian Flynn as a writer. That was not my intention. As a reviewer of books, I have to consider several aspects before I publish my review. Just to mention a few of those aspects: The story, the writing style, my first impression while I am reading the book and... my second impression when I have finished reading the book and have spend some time away form the story.
      In this last process I have time to walk through the story several times. In this case I have to admit to myself, that although I really liked the plot, the way Gillian writes seemed a little too plain. Words are to the author what colours are to the artist. I like 'Gone Girl' as it is, but I missed something. There was room for improvements. I was always a third person, watching Amy and Nick's struggle for power and control. I was not actually pushed into the action. I was not engaged. A more 'colourful' use of language could have done the trick to me.

      You are absolutely right, Amit. Gillian Flynn is a writer to watch out for, but... she has not peeked yet, I believe.