I'm pretty sure most avid readers have heard about Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl by now. I had been wanting to read it for about a year, but I finally got a chance to this month. I actually finished it this morning, and I've been thinking about it all day. It's one of those books that sticks with you, and I realized it's the perfect example of the beauty of reading and writing -- hence my new blogging pursuit! I'll try not to get too deep here or give anything away about the book, since I want everyone to grant themselves permission to hole up in their house for a day and read this.
First of all, I think a lot of people think the book is directed towards females, probably because "girl" is in the title. After shutting the book and laying numbly in bed this morning, in turmoil because the book was over and mentally going through everything that happened, I decided to tell everyone in my life to read this, including MEN. Gillian Flynn herself admits that men like her books when asked if men read Gone Girl:
"I do hear from a fair amount of men. Often it's 'my girlfriend told me to read this' or 'my wife was ignoring me while we were on vacation so I took it from her and I started to read it'... It does seem like people came to it often through women, but then I heard from a lot of men who read Dark Places and really liked it and picked this up, too."
The book is written half from Nick's perspective and half from Amy's, and the two of them are so psychological that your mind works hard to keep up with them. You'll find yourself thinking one thing and going back on it a couple pages later. And even when you finish the book, you'll continue thinking, considering, and scrutinizing details so much that you'll start to feel like one of the characters in the book.
To me, this is what reading is about. It's about making your mind work and learning new things about the simple truths of human nature: the way people think, even sociopaths. As I was reading, my best friend asked me "Do you hate her?" in reference to a character. I found I couldn't even give her a straight, definitive answer, since I felt so many thoughts and emotions for each character. The development of the characters and their thoughts is exactly what Flynn dominated. It makes me feel pretty lousy about my writing skills after seeing what she can do.
At multiple points in Gone Girl you'll probably find yourself relating to characters and then questioning your own sanity and the way you think and operate. I love how reading can help us learn about ourselves. I love books with psychological elements that show us the inner workings of characters' brains. I think it connects us as humans. Which is why I think it's safe to say that everyone should read Gone Girl. Read it, please! And then find me and talk to me about it!
I'll be specifically recommending this to males -- my copy will be passed around to anyone and everyone I know who wants it. My boyfriend is first on the list.
My favorite things are the simple ones: day-long book binges, cozy candles, dog kisses, ink on your hands, tree stars (leaves for those of you who never watched The Land Before Time) sweater weather, new ideas, local craft beer, punctuation, and knotty saltwater hair. Desserts are my favorite meal. I'm a creative writer and editor, and I created this space to keep my writing reflexes sharp and to share my simple ramblings with you!