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Unimportant Musings

Where an amateur attempts at divining somewhat passable insights.

Currently reading

War and Peace: Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear, Leo Tolstoy
Progress: 112/1273 pages

Book Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

The short of it: Gone Girl is a good book. The long of it: Gone Girl is a really, really good book, filled with the thrills and twists its genre promises, and with an enjoyably fluid and casual writing style thrown in for good measure. Words like "unputdownable," "gripping," "riveting," "page-turner," and other such variants feel like appropriate insertions here, and they would all be valid: I burned through the book in two days, occasionally punctuated by muttered holy-shit's and what-the-fuck's. If humans didn’t need to sleep, such a time-waster that it is, it would’ve taken shorter to finish.


Gone Girl begins intriguingly enough, as we get oriented and become familiar with the characters’ situations and quirks, which Gillian Flynn covers without dragging it out, and very soon does the book then move a breakneck pace, especially from its halfway point on. My curiosity was such during those later pages that my eyes, exasperated, assumed direct control and started skipping lines, forcing whichever hand not holding my Kindle at the time to get in on the action and covering unread parts. Flynn peoples the book with solid enough side characters that are little interesting on their own, but much more exciting when they give our main ones something to sweat about. If the last third of the book hadn’t come off as an afterthought, that last star in my rating probably wouldn’t have contracted cold feet.

Gone Girl is not for the optimistic. It’s messy and messed-up. The characters are at once lovable and despicable. Actually, they’re mostly despicable. Any side you take will feel dirty, considering they’re not so much sides one unhesitatingly champions, but lessers of evils they reluctantly support. Accusations of misogyny and misandry will be tossed about, and I see that they have been, though I don’t feel the situation is so simple as that. That’s exactly why Gone Girl made for such a morbidly fascinating read. Nick and Amy seemed a match foretold by the stars, and I wanted to see how, and how hard, they would crash and burn. Great for a schadenfreude fix.