WINNER OF THE FEBRUARY GIVEAWAY IS CHEL SEA.
GIRL YOU BE GETTING THE HOOK UP!
GONE GIRL: FEBRUARY BOOK CLUB
Welcome to the first ever meeting of Bon's book club! I am so glad you are here! (Click here to see this year's reading line up!)
I thought about posting a recipe, so that it could be more like a "real" book club. You know, food and then book discussion. Then I realized I am the worst cook and have no recipes. So that idea tan)ked. But I hope you will enjoy being here, because really, we have so much to talk about it! If you read the book please leave your comments below. If you wrote your own post on the book, please please please link it up so I can see all those wheels turning in your head.
The writing style. First and foremost, the actual writing was good, but not great. The pages turned quickly, and the pacing was great, but I didn't feel like the quality of writing was any better than the stuff I read on blogs every day. Sometimes I read books that are so well written and the prose is so indescribably beautiful that I go back and read sentences over and over. (One of my most recent faves as mentioned yestereday, Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies. The prose is unbelievably gorgeous in that book.) I didn't feel this way about Gone Girl. I felt that the focus was purely on the plot and not on the writing. And sometimes that's ok.
The f word. While we are talking about the writing style, I will go ahead and get this one out of the way. It blew me away how much Flynn uses the f word. I don't mind the f word it if it has a purpose or if I feel like it is realistic or needful. I feel like profanity if used correctly can add power to a scene or conversation like nothing else. If done incorrectly, however profanity acts only as a distraction and takes away from the overall power of the book. In Gone Girl, the repeated f words did the latter. The f word was used so often, and in such vulgar terms, and so casually that I had a hard time getting immersed in the plot. I question why Flynn made the choice to include so many f words, as it really did distract for the greatness of her complex plot and make the writing seem of much lesser quality. My guess is she was trying to make her characters seem "hard", but for me it only distracted.
My question is this- do people really use the f word that often? I am currently reading Tweak, a memoir about drug addiction. The book has its fair share of f words, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much in this book because I feel like it is a realistic portrayal of the situation and the drug culture. It is not thrown in there just to seem "cool" or "hard". Drug dealers and addicts and gang members I am sure use the f word as freely as they please. But in Gone Girl the characters are none of those things. They are society contributing, responsible, educated adults. I get that people who are raised on the streets and uneducated are going to use the f word like it's nobody's business. But educated people? Lawyers and writers and your good old average joe on the street? I live in a conservative community and I come from a conservative state, so this one honestly just confuses me. Did you see the amount of f words in Gone Girl as an accurate representation of how often most responsible, educated adults in our country use the f word?
The characters- dreadfully unlikeable.
What confuses me about Gone Girl is that I liked the book, but I hate every person in it. The general rule of thumb with writing a successful book is that if you want people to like the book, people must like the people who the book is about. That's why we all love Harry Potter, no duh! What baffles me is that I literally did not like one character in the entire book- Nick is disgusting and selfish, Amy is sadistic and psycho, Amy's parents are irresponsible and judgmental, Nick's dad is a woman hater, the lawyer makes money off of freeing men who killed their wives, the list goes on- and yet somehow I still LOVED the book. There is only one other book where I hate every person in it and love the book, and that is The Great Gatsby. Full of vain, selfish people and yet I can't get enough of the book.
The jury is still out on how I could like the book. I guess by the end I felt a sort of sympathy for Nick. Not because he was a good guy, but because he was a good guy compared to all the other train wrecks in the book. And because even though he was wrong to cheat on his wife, he didn't deserve what she did to him. What do you think? Did you like any of the characters in the book? Did you like Nick by the end?
The deterioration of marriage
Perhaps my favorite part of the book was the descriptions of the marriage and how it eventually came unraveling. Being a fairly newlywed, I am fascinated by the inner workings of marriage. There were many times where I felt myself passionately siding with one marriage partner based on the argument. I felt like I was constantly picking sides and in a way even analyzing my own marriage. Do I make Greg do that? Do we fight over stuff that stupid? Am I that unreasonable?
Interestingly enough my favorite parts of the book ***spoiler alert*** were Amy's beginning journal entries- the ones that turned out to be totally fake. I identified with her and loved her and my heart went out to her. When the whole thing turned out to be a hoax, I felt wildly betrayed. There was no liking the new Amy after that. She and I were not to be friends.
I hold on to my love for the fake journal Amy, though. Man, she had a way of putting things! My favorite section of the whole book may have been when Amy is describing what it is like to meet the love of your life. She explains meeting Nick and says
"Then you run into Nick Dunne on Seventh Avenue as you're buying diced cantaloupe, and pow, you are known. You are recognized, the both of you. You both find the exact same things worth remembering. You have the same rhythm. Click. You just know each other. All of a sudden you see reading in bed and waffles on Sunday and laughing at nothing and his mouth on yours. And it's so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine. That fast. You think: Oh, here is the rest of my life. It's finally arrived."
Isn't that a beautiful description of finding love and being in love?
The twist: Flynn's brilliance comes in her book twists. I loved that she had me thinking the first half of the book that Nick was the murderer. And I loved that in a matter of seconds she could make me trust Nick and totally turn on Amy. Flynn's brilliance is also seen in how all the details played together- the treasure clues, the storage shed full of goods bought on the credit card, Amy's plan to get away with it, the journal she left, all the details that added up. That woman is a mastermind to make all those details work together!
The end: Messed up. I feel bad for that unborn child is all I know. I suppose in a way Nick needed to deal with his "punishment", but it didn't jive with me. Nor did I understand why Amy was so insistent on making Nick stay in the marriage. They were both miserable beyond reason. It made for a good (and creepy!) ending, but I wish Flynn would have described more why Amy felt drawn to Nick again. That felt so out of the blue and random to me.
Now tell me how YOU felt about the book. Let's talk talk talk about it!
Oh, and don't forget about The Fault in Our Stars for March's book club. We will discuss this on the blog the last Wednesday of the month- March 27. It has received rave reviews nationwide. And I believe there are less f words...
For the full year's line up of Bon's book club selections click here.
Oh, and if you link up, please use the button!
Can't wait to read your comments!