In an interview, Flynn mentions that she thinks mystery is a great way into a character study. That's what this book is: a study of the real, flawed, weird people lurking under the facades of everyone we know. Even the ones we really know. And then there's a mystery to dress it up, and it's maybe blown up a bit large to make it fun. We all have secrets; most of us aren't total sociopaths, the way at least one of the characters in this book is.
I like this kind of study, because under my charming, hilarious, intelligent persona, I'm pretty much just a creep who masturbates to clown porn. Hi mom!
I had a blast with the first half of this book; was entertained by the third quarter; thought it went off the rails a bit by the end. Flynn couldn't quite keep those last plot developments in the barn. I understand why she went where she went, but I didn't buy it.
So...I guess the message here is that you get with a person when they're showing you the best them that they can be. Invariably, as you get closer and closer, you find out who they really are, which is, y'know, someone who farts and once only pretended to forget that it was their turn to pick up the bar tab. You take a deep breath and decide to live with that person, even though it sucks to realize that they're just as shitty as you are.
That's true, at least to some extent, right? I mean, not for my
girlfriend; she really is perfect in every way, and I know that because we've been in a long-distance relationship for seven months. But for other, less fortunate people. I was once in a relationship with a normal human, and what a drag! Sometimes she would be a flawed human for literally days on end! Sheesh.
For me, the dressing it up with a mystery and a sociopath was a flaw; I would have preferred to read about people who were shitty in more mundane ways. Ways I could relate to more easily, y'know?(And that's why Middlemarch is better than Gone Girl.)
Even that human ex-wife of mine wasn't a murderer. But that's not the book I read; I read a mystery, so of course somebody's gonna kill somebody.
Man, am I rambling. ANYWAY, I killed a hobo in a parking garage last night.
I didn't love this, but I liked it. It's cool.
For those of you who are friends with the Bookish crew, we had a discussion of the book over at Casey Josephine's house.
For those wondering what Jennifer is laughing about below, my original comment on this book was that I was reading it solely because Gillian Flynn's favorite book is my beloved Flowers in the Attic,
which Flynn is actually ballsy enough to defend unironically.
Which I respect but also don't.