Books

Gillian Flynn Binge

I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’d held off from doing it for a while because it was a popular book and I don’t like reading books when everyone (slight hyperbole) is reading them. I saw the movie, however, and remember being surprised by the plot. I decided to read the book several months later after a trusted mentor told me she believed I’d enjoy it’s perspective. Sure enough, I did.

Mostly, I really enjoyed Flynn’s ability to capture two untrustworthy first-person narrators who fought tooth and nail to make me trust them. Characters Amy and Nick are each convinced of their innocence leading to the damages of their relationship, and I found myself at times convinced by both of them. Reading this book was similar to being close friends with the two pairs of a couple and slowly watching their relationship disintegrate, while also listening to tirades about each’s character faults from the other. Sometimes I thought, “That’s not how the game works; it’s one or the other. One is the bad egg.” By the time I had finished the book, I’d determined that they were both bad eggs — and rotten ones. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

I researched Flynn’s other works and read Sharp Objects a few weeks later, immersing myself in the mystery-thriller plot. It proved to be dark and heavy with emotion, and Flynn didn’t trim any unpleasant details. A reporter, Camille, returns to her hometown to break the news on a serial murder case. Camille spends a significant amount of time alone, and her depression is evident in the absence of both dialogue and community she shares with others. I found her relationship with herself the most interesting throughout the novel, and enjoyed the guess work involved with solving the murders.

I suppose I became hooked, because I next read Dark Places. It’s the most sinister of this trio, but nothing I’m ashamed to have read. I think, similar to Gone Girl, it proves Flynn’s ability to manipulate readers’ trust and expose the “real story” over an extended timeline. There’s a large cast of characters, and their actions and interactions are spellbinding. Of these three books listed, I had the most difficult time putting this one down to do things like catch my proper train stop or sleep.

(Please note: I was not paid to write about Gillian Flynn’s works. I obtained these books by my own means and am just a fan.)

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