Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which I finally wrapped up over the weekend.
Now this isn't going to be a traditional review, mostly because I figure I'm the last person to read it. Also, I'm going to try to avoid spoilers, but um, yeah. So what did I think?
It was OK, I guess. I'm torn over this book. Mostly because I recognize it as "good," but it also kind of pushed a lot of literati vs. genre hot buttons for me. Frankly, it strikes me as the sort of book that "literary" types can read and then say, "It's really a deep examination of the institution of marriage and the complexities of such unions between two flawed individuals. So see, it's totally OK that I'm reading this book because it is far superior to "so-called" genre fiction." Sniff, sniff, disdain, disdain, sarcasm = Wendy wants to punch someone in the face.
I'd argue that if Flynn had written it as a genre book it would have been better - but what the hell do I know? Basically this is a story about two vile, narcissistic people who are married to each other. I don't like them, but I cannot deny that I couldn't stop listening to it even when about halfway through I still tempted to DNF it. I totally give mad props to the narrators, Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne, who are beyond excellent. This is a fabulous production and I'm more than half convinced they're the reason I got past the point of no return and had to finish the book. If you are curious about this book and like audio? Yeah, this is the way to go. A coworker recommended it and she was totally right.
So the story itself? Well, I saw the twist coming. I just did. I also liked how the author made me, at one moment, like a particular character and in the next moment? I thought they were pure evil. So the complexities of the characters are extremely well done. One of the big reasons I enjoy genre fiction is that ability to crawl around inside a character's head. Flynn does a great job of that in this book and it's pretty addictive.
The movie version is currently in post-production. I will say this - the casting looks amazing. They did a really great job, at least with getting the actors with the right look. The big brouhaha is, of course, that the director has changed the ending. Um, newsflash - of course he did. Why? Because the current ending sucks. You cannot have that ending in the movie. Heck, I'm not sure the ending really works for the book (hence my literati comments above). David Fincher did direct the US movie version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and drastically altered the ending from the book - for the better, I think. An instance where I felt that the movie was better than the book (Fincher cut out a lot of the book's bloat and made the ending more suspenseful, says me). So yeah, I'm totally on board to see what he does with Gone Girl.
I'm not sure where that leaves me as far as final impressions. I want to say "average" - but even I can recognize that what Flynn has done with her writing and characterizations is stellar. I just wanted it to be a true genre suspense novel and not some high-flautin' navel-gazing critique on marriage masquerading as a suspense novel. So we'll split the difference.
Final Grade = B
Final Note: You know who I would totally recommend this book to? Single people who are "unhappy" and depressed about their single status. Seriously, read this book. You will never be depressed about being single ever again. Ever. Again.