Tuesday, February 12, 2013
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
Just finished it tonight, and I have to say, it lives up to all the hype. Not that I'm surprised -- some excellent brains have been recommending it wholeheartedly, including Matt Schwartz, Annelise Robey, and my wife, who gobbled it in a single sitting.
I didn't devour it particularly quickly. In fact, at the start, I almost fizzled.
Which isn't to say the beginning is "bad." Not at all. But my current state of mind -- lots going on, focused on writing the new book, and... okay, the real reason I didn't get into it straight away was I'd been reading Horatio Hornblower books. Talk about fun! "To hell with half-measures!"
But I digress.
The point is, I enjoyed the opening but it didn't really hook me. Weird, right? The writing was amazing, the premise was awesome, a mystery throbbed at the center of everything, and it was making me guess and second-guess and so on, but I wasn't riveted. I never considered abandoning it, but I let myself drift away for a few non-fic / research reads before carrying on.
Then it all clicked together, and I was whipped along, amazed, bewildered, stumped... This is a fantastic thriller!
Flynn writes beautifully, and I simply can't imagine how she pulled off such an intricately structured book. I'm telling you: This is a RARE book. I honestly don't think there are many writers on the planet who could've pulled this off. The characterization, the twists, the intricacy! I know I've already used that word, but that's the right one. Gone Girl is a smoothly whirling machine of many, many tiny pieces, a genuine masterpiece.
Okay, so I'm being kind of vague, I suppose, but that's because I refuse to include any spoilers on this one. It's so incredibly good.
Gone Girl is far and away one of the best thrillers I've ever read. It's certainly a must-read for thriller writers -- though not because we will learn from it necessarily; it's so good, Flynn is so good, that I'm not sure much I can learn from it. We thriller writers should read it for the sheer, throbbing enjoyment of the thing, let it sweep us blissfully away and blow our minds the way great books did before we started thinking too much.
Have any of you read Gone Girl? If so, what did you think?