Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This is a modern book by a modern writer and I should have known it would make me cringe before I even picked it up. The modern style is tedious. The writers all write with the same voice about characters with the same problems, but most grating of all is all the adjectives. The writers try to set themselves apart by out-adjectiving each other. If they can come up with the best, wittiest, most unusual, punniest adjectives readers will gasp in delight at their turn of phrase and the author will be praised for their insight.

This book is full of too cute adjectives and too cute observations, that only a modern writer could think up, that no real person would ever think unless they were trying to be a too cute modern adjective writer. It’s not about the story or the plot or the character development. We don’t write novels anymore, we write collections of adjectives.

Gone Girl is certainly a collection of adjectives. The writing is consciously cute. The cuteness saturates the funness of the book, degrades it, making it too cute to really love.

I criticize the writing style, and yet, it was a book I could not put down. And it was fun when I could relax and ignore the cuteness. It was put together well and sucked you in, and you probably can’t find a better fun read.

I started out loving this book and its look at a disintegrated marriage. It started to wear on me though. I’m fascinated by relationships and marriages and the challenges of a long term relationship. I’m addicted to articles in magazines like the Atlantic and Elle that think and tackle these questions. I’m also annoyed by how quickly an honest look at the way human beings interact with each other devolves into a treatise on Upper Class 1st World Problems.

Using the recession as a backdrop to a failing marriage is a tad obvious, but it works the way it was set up. However, most of us didn’t lose trust funds and jobs we held just for fun, so it all starts to sound like rich people whining. The characters all have too much money, they’re too ridiculously good looking, they’re too smart, they’re too craftily described. Guys, life is full of 1st World Problems for a character in a modern novel. Charles Dickens, this is not!

But it was a fun read when you want to lose yourself in a 1st World Problem kind of world.


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