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An Engrossing 'Whydoit',
This review is from: Gone Girl: A Novel (Hardcover)This book has so much buzz that I had to give it a try. The story covers one of those "ripped from the headlines" dramas that NBC's Today show loves to cover. A wife disappears and suspicion soon falls on the husband. But do not be misled, this outing is far more layered than its packaging. It is constructed from two different views reminiscent of David Mamet's Oleanna with the plot's twists and turns causing us to pick sides while repeatedly fooling us.
These alternating viewpoints made me quicken my reading pace, I did not want either main character to have the final word so it was a challenge to put it down. Author Flynn's descriptive prose is another reason for speedy consumption. In this era of soundbites and 140-character Tweets, her book is replete with taut, entertaining quips and observations, such as her description of a character with a "rocket-science brain and the rodeo spirit" or that one enjoyed "taking thick afternoon naps", or the husband's lament that "My wife was no longer my wife but a razor-wire knot daring me to unloop her". Each page was an archaeological dig into the psychology of this couple which is appropriate because this is much more than a whodunit...it is a far more engrossing whydoit.
Embedded throughout is an indictment of the media in sensationalizing human drama and misfortune. When a few layers of the onion has been peeled back it is noted that "The bigger the lie, the more they believe it." The real criticism is directed at the blurring of news and entertainment and the manipulation and misdirection that results. George Orwell said, "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is pubic relations." Arguably, everything is public relations and always has been.
Gillian Flynn does not waste a page in this dark and suspenseful read ... if this is one of your book club's selections then look forward to lively discussion and dissection.