Review: Novels by Gillian Flynn

This summer, I had an extended trip to first, visit my boyfriend’s hometown of Windsor, Colorado, and second, to tend to his sutures after a cranial surgery. In that time, I managed to – for the first time – read a book after I’d seen the movie adaptation.

gonegirl

That book was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

It was actually wonderful, and a satisfying read. The writing style is eloquent and not overly demanding, and the action was well-paced, with a solid tempo of character development. The reasons behind the characters’ affections were much more believable in the novel, with more scenes from the antagonist’s past and personal life, and the realization of the true relationship between Nick and Amy in the final chapters was much more clearly rooted than in the film.

That being said, it’s definitely a one-time read, and I wish I had rented it from the library or known it was available on their family library shelf, which it was.

I tried after that to pick up any ol’ book from their family shelves, thinking I had finished it at such a pace because I was a super-reader, only to find that indeed, my expectations and taste for sophisticated writing was higher than I’d expected. So I went out to the store and purchased…

sharpobjects

Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn – which I also devoured in a hurry; pretty much the plane ride from Colorado to Los Angeles and back to Honolulu.

I was overly pleased with myself to first, find a major typo, and second, have an “Aha!” moment as if catching a criminal, when Flynn attributed a hair-tugging personality trait to one of the characters that she had given to Nick in Gone Girl. In my opinion, little quirks like this belong to one character and one character only. As a writer who lives by the notion that sometimes you must ‘kill your own babies’ or whatever the slightly more elegant way of putting it is, that this best-selling author could not do that. I know it seems like such a trivial thing, but it really broke a barrier with me as a reader — like I was watching a play and Juliet’s cardboard tower fell forward onto the stage.

All in all, as far as the story content goes, it was a good read. It was somewhat predictable although not without its shadows of doubt. The antagonist(s) still had delectable characteristics that I could not get enough of, and it sated my thirst for uncompromising evil and human madness, which is exactly what I was craving.

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