Tag Archives: Mystery

Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307588364, June 2012, 432pp.)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

Shameless in the telling. Flynn leaves no stone unturned and the end result is an insane game of cat and mouse.

The Rest of It:

If you haven’t heard of this book, then you’re ignoring it on purpose because it’s everywhere and lots and lots of people are talking about it including Reese Witherspoon who hopes to produce the movie.

So, what’s it about? Why the hype?

Technically, it’s about Nick and Amy Dunne and how their marriage goes very, very wrong. It’s about control and the loss of control and the ability for two people to go from happily married, to anything but. It’s manipulation turned up as high as it will go and it’s riveting.

Riveting.

Absolutely riveting.

However, it was also one of the most ridiculous plots I have ever read. I mean, when you hear that this book is “all kinds of crazy” they aren’t kidding. I think everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong and then even cycled back around to repeat some stuff that wasn’t fully played out the first time around. This book is crazy on a stick!

I was happy with it halfway through, because every time I picked it up, my eyes were glued to the page and nothing else mattered. But after the halfway point, I found myself thinking that Ms. Flynn was just fooling with me. She dropped red herrings everywhere and threw in some really incredible things for shock value but none of it, NONE OF IT surprised me and most of the time I could even see it coming.

I think this book is doing well for many reasons. One, Flynn can write. Two, when everyone says it’s crazy, you’ve gotta to know why. Three, it’s fun to be on the other side of crazy, where you can watch this train wreck unfold from the comfort of your home and not have to know these people in real life. Four, it’s a page-turner and for its entertainment alone, it’s worth the price you pay for it.

So, I have mixed feelings about it. I liked it for its entertainment value and I liked being able to discuss it with others who have already read it. There is a lot to discuss with this one. However, it didn’t surprise me or wow me or even shock me. It was predictable and parts of it were so ridiculous that I sprained my eyeballs rolling them.

I got to thinking though, there’s nothing wrong with an entertaining read. This is a book that will keep your mind off of the smelly person sitting next to you on the train and when the movie comes out, I’m sure I’ll see it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The City & The City

The City & The City

The City & The City
By China Mieville
(Del Rey, Paperback, 9780345497529, April 2010, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

Not your typical murder mystery.

The Rest of It:

Mieville’s writing has always intimidated me. In the past, I have tried a couple of times to read this one, only to put it right back down again. However, Care and a host of others decided via Twitter to read it together, and since they made it sound so doable, and not at all intimidating, I decided to join them.

This time around, I was not intimidated and in fact found myself marveling over the world Mieville created. This is really a murder mystery at heart, but it’s such a unique setting, that you can’t help but wonder what is going on in that mind of his.

I have to include this blurb from the publisher because describing it it too difficult:

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma. But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen.

Focus on that last line because these two cities share the same geographical space. They are differentiated by the clothes that people wear and the language that they use, but they walk alongside each other and choose to “unsee” the other. That’s right… you are walking in what is essentially a different city, yet you choose to unsee it, so therefore, it’s not there. Got it?

For the world building aspect, I give it many points but I still found myself lost at times. The vocabulary was hard to grasp and I often had to go back to re-read what I had just read. For a murder mystery, I still have yet to really understand what went down. To me, it just seemed as if the same thing was being said over and over again and that I was making little progress.

This aspect was of course, very frustrating and will probably keep me from reading any of this other books, but there was something to this one that made me want to finish it. Mainly, the respect I had for the idea itself. I felt as if I owed the author something since he constructed such an incredibly complex story for me to read.

As for the discussion, there were some Tweets along the same lines as mine (head scratching) but not much was said. Hmmm.

That said, I am glad I read it but now I am ready to move on.

Note from Ti: I also listened to this on audio in addition to reading it in print and it had the same, head scratching effect on me.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.