My second book for my independent learning project was “Gone Girl,” By Gillian Flynn. I actually had heard of “Gone Girl” before last week’s read, “The Girl on the Train.” Often in bookstores (both in person and online) they are recommended right next to each other. After reading “The Girl on the Train” and having a pretty positive experience, I decided to take the plunge and read Flynn’s novel! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m usually the kind of person who jumps from genre to genre over longer periods of time, but also has certain genre “kicks.” So if I read one mystery/suspense novel, it’s more likely for my next book or two to also be mystery/suspense.
I will start off by saying that if you are someone who likes books with a definite and resolved conclusion, then maybe “Gone Girl” is not the book for you. However, if you’re a big fan of twisted people with equally twisted minds and motives, then you’ll definitely enjoy this read! I find myself to be someone with a darker sense of humor when it comes to books and movies, so I really enjoyed Gone Girl. I had seen the trailer for the movie that came out in 2014, but never got around to reading it. Side tangent: Is anyone else weird about not seeing a book-based movie until they’ve read the book? No? Just me? Okay.
One of the signs of a good author, to me, is subtle characterization. Remember how in Middle School your English would tell you to “Show, not tell”? Yeah, pretty much that. In my opinion, I know I’ve come across a good writer when I realize the careful characterization has been spanning the entirety of the novel. When everything culminates into one grand picture, slowly, I know the author has quietly led me to imagine this character. For me, gradual and subtle characterization make the characters much more vividly real. Thankfully, Gillian Flynn mastered this art in “Gone Girl.” At first, I wasn’t too sure how to feel about either character. At the end, while I was still blown away and a little bit shocked, I felt like I truly knew these difficult characters. Another thing that drove it home for me while reading “Gone Girl” was how non-traditional the ending was. Without giving anything away, I really thought that the ambiguity of the ending was perfect. Had Flynn decided to conclude the story more definitively, I think that would have taken away from the overall effect. The ending almost made me chuckle, because with the characters in the novel, of course it would end like that.
If you’re looking for a quick, thrilling read with an interesting twist on humor, I would definitely recommend “Gone Girl”. While it’s certainly not the most high-brow nor inspirational book I’ve ever read, one thing I’ve already learned from my independent learning project was that it’s okay to read merely for fun. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, by all means, was definitely fun to read!
Book Rating: 8.5/10