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Exceedingly over-hyped but it beats sleeping pills
on January 10, 2015
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
I bought this book because of all the hype surrounding the movie and because friends were asking if I'd read it. It took eleven weeks to get through the first half. I read in bed and kept falling asleep so I was tempted to put it down for good. Then I hit the shocking mid-point and raced though the second half in about a week, dozing was no worry because this section made we want to know what would happen next, how would this be resolved? Questions that never came up in the first half because I didn't care about silly, petty Amy and wasn't so sure about the passive, people-pleasing Nick.
Usually if I don't like a book, I don't review it, but this one puzzled me. Why has such a flawed book generated so much buzz? The major flaws in my humble opinion were the snail's pace (the set-up dragged on insufferably and there was no significant twists until the mid-point) and the often confusing similarity in points of view that left the reader guessing about who was narrating.
What bugged me the most was the shallow, posturing behavior of both characters. They lied to each other, they lied to themselves, and they sure lied to readers. As I moved into the story, I soon saw that the behavior was a shell each one used to hide their true self from the other (and the world). Which they well should, because there were no decent people under those shells, although one was slightly more decent than the other.
I'm sliding into "spoiler" territory, so I'll just add this: Yes, the ending is disturbing and shocking, but by then I was so numbed from being with these poor excuses for human beings that I hardly felt anything at all. Which is probably the book's greatest flaw. If a story doesn't make you feel something, what good is it?