Book Review: Gone Girl, A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn and her book Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn and her book Gone Girl
Where do I start? I want to keep this review short, but how can I? This book lives up to the reader-writer hype. I admit. I was put off by all the wide-eyed praises. As I read the story, I could feel myself being pulled into cryptic talk, lies, and murder.

So let me begin with themes. Let’s just get the literary devices on the table and how they affect the story.

  • Economy – the novel often visits the characters’ financial standings and how money [it] drives their emotions–a parallel of our reality. Flynn definitely established authenticity there.
  • Unreliable Narrator – my favorite theme throughout the novel is how the narrator’s are not trustworthy. I was immediately pulled into the story especially in the beginning with Nick’s sociopathic, Dexter Morgan-like demeanor.
  • Setting – obvious and well placed. Flynn illustrates setting quite nicely. The reader can see the opportunity and the ever changing city of New York and Carthage, Missouri. Flynn takes her characters to a small, slow point, which they have to recover, however, the madness of Nick and Amy Dunne take them into a spiral of deceit and wrathful daydreams.
  • Family – Universal. Readers can see the drawbacks of a dysfunctional household as well as one that’s “amazing”.

With some of the literary items listed (I’m sure there’s more), allow me to really say what I think:

This book was awesome. The emotional investment I had in this book…my goodness. I wanted to find Jules and Vincent, the hitmen from Pulp Fiction, to pay Nick Dunne a visit. Why not? The man would have been fine if he just told the truth in the beginning. Amy is right, he is a dummy. A big, damn dummy with a hoard of silver tongue fibs that can drive anyone crazy. Thing is Amy was already crazy.

Flynn, you got me. I was on Amy’s side until the bomb she dropped about the diary. I still felt like Nick needs a Ezekiel 25:17 speech. But Amy is crazy, bat crazy. By the way, I hate the phrase “fake it till you make it” and Flynn places it on the tongue of one of the most diabolical women in literature, an appropriate gesture.

I’m glad I read Gone Girl. The author really gave readers a treat. Eloquent. Suspense.

End result: Impressed. As a writer, I will try hard to follow¬†Flynn‘s example.


Book Review: The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson

While I was at Barnes & Noble a week ago, I skipped over Gone Girl and went straight for another James Patterson novel, The Big Bad Wolf. Again, I didn’t get the first of the Alex Cross series because, well, I didn’t want to. Anyhow, I bought the novel and began reading a week after I bought it.

I’m beginning to see Patterson’s recurring themes: family, parenthood, and career. I appreciate these themes. It kept me invested, bringing me closer to the man that is Alex Cross; however, I can’t say the same for the other characters. In a sense, I didn’t get a character break down in Maximum Ride. Patterson seems to be a plot-driven novelist.

The fast pace chapters made the novel easy to read. Non-stop action is a definite page turner, and Patterson accomplished this very well toward the end of the novel. He sets the reader up pretty well, at least, I felt that way. There are two climaxes here: An emotional one and physically heart racing one.

My score for Mr. Patterson out of a one hundred: 87/100

The Big Bad Wolf is a good read. I admit, there are a lot characters that jump out at the reader only to never return later–some of them, at least. Then again, this is a first person narrative…