Monday, October 20, 2014

Thinking of Gone Girl

A few weeks ago I posted my review for Gone Girl to GoodReads and boy did I get some flack. Keep in mind that I usually write short reviews on GoodReads. I don't have a lot of time or energy to write out everything I'm thinking and with Gone Girl that was especially the case.

There will be no spoilers in this post so if you haven't yet read the book or seen the movie you are safe.

Gone Girl was the kind of book that left me really thinking, maybe even reeling, and yet I only gave it three stars. I guess I'm not sure I loved it or maybe I just didn't love the way it made me feel? I felt the beginning was long and it was difficult for me to want to continue going back for more since I really did not like the characters. I don't know that I liked any of them. Okay, maybe one.

I would say it easily took me six months to read the book and I would say I easily read six books in between chapters of Gone Girl.

And finally I got to the twist. At that point I could totally see what everyone was quacking about. Crazy good! Now I'm reading like a demon. But the end. The end just didn't do it for me. I wonder if I'm too much of a romantic and I want an ending that's wrapped up differently or if I just felt it was a little too contrived. Frankly, I'm not really sure.

So here's my take on Gone Girl for those who were horrified by my GoodReads review. I think it probably deserves more than three stars for the simple fact that I'm still thinking about it. Or is that because Ben Affleck is in the movie and I get to see his lovely face every time I turn on the tv? No matter what star rating I give it though I do think it's a book worth reading for everyone. It's one of the few times I wished I was in a book club because it's a book I'd love to sit around and discuss with others. It's a book worth talking about.

--jhf


7 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I read about 50 pages and stopped. I didn't care about what happened to any of the characters, so I didn't want to read all the rest of those pages to find out if anything did.

Gina Black said...

Yeah, it was a DNF for me as well. I enjoyed the writing but I couldn't see spending the amount of time it would take to finish the book with those characters. It was an ebook borrow from the library so I didn't have the ability to read it in pieces over a long period (which might have helped). I just let it evaporate into the ether when my three weeks was up. My daughter (who has a BA in film and has a great sense of story) really enjoyed the movie so it's possible I will see it at some point since I respect her judgement.

Keli said...

I'm so glad to read this candid post. I read the first few chapters of GG carefully, intrigued by the stellar reviews. The writing was exceptional, however, the story and voice were not captivating and left me feeling depressed. Is it too much to ask for a light, happy read, where in the end, the characters help each other to resolve the conflict(s)? For me, that's escapism and a gratifying read. My two cents.

Christina Kaylor said...

I read the book because "everybody" was reading it--usually not a good sign for me. If "everybody" says it's fantastic, then it had better be fan-tas-tic. I went into it with expectations that probably few books could have survived. So for me, it was OK. Certainly well crafted, but I figured out part of the end before I got there, and maybe that's a problem with first person POV.

BookEnds, LLC said...

Christina: I think the "everybody" was reading it thing got to me as well. I hate when a book, or anything, is hyped too much. It sets our expectations pretty high.

And Kelli--I do agree with the depression part. I think that's one of the many reasons I had to read a different book every 25-50 pages or so. I needed a break.

Christa Avampato said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post. As a writer, I thought Gone Girl had an interesting structure and I learned a lot about fiction writing by reading it. For example, I could see how she slipped in key points of the backstory in bits and pieces as it related to the action at hand. However, I hate the book because I hated the characters. I didn't see a single amount of growth in either of them. They were despicable people at the start of the book and despicable at the end. Who's the hero of the story? I couldn't find one. I didn't care about either one of them. In the end, they deserve each other. I honestly picked it up because everyone was buzzing about it. In the end, it just made me sad and left me hopeless. I have no desire to pick up any of the Flynn's other books.

The Writers Canvas, Author Elaine Calloway said...

I didn't read the book but saw the movie. Yes, it left me thinking, but the ending irritated me more than anything. It felt like a waste of time to GET to the ending if that was the way things ended.
I won't give spoilers, just wanted to say I didn't like the overall unbalanced justice.