Monthly Archives: February 2013

Book Club Meeting #6 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

In my update a couple of weeks ago, I claimed that I would have this post up in early March. Since book club has still to be arranged (and if I’m honest, it’s looking more like April now) I thought I’d go ahead and put up this post and add to it if anything comes up in the discussion with the club. Has anyone else noticed that Gone Girl seems to be everywhere at the moment? Here are my thoughts, and a little bit of background on our decision-making process!

So back to December, when we couldn’t decide what to read next, and so I had a think about my wish list and came up with three options:

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (which I’m reading now), Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

I put it to the panel, and as one of the bookclubbers decided to buy Gone Girl, it all went from there…

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn had been on my radar for a couple of months, reviewed across many different blogs and featuring on more than one Best Books of 2012 features, and chatted about by colleagues in work. It did not disappoint.

The story starts when Nick Dunne returns home to find his house in disarray and his wife Amy gone – and it all looks like some serious foul play. The structure of the book is so interesting – one chapter written from the perspective of the man, and the next a chapter from Amy’s diaries throughout their relationship – from the night they first met, to right up until she disappeared. It’s hard to discuss the structure of the book as a whole without giving too much away, all I will say is that there is a massive shift in Part 2 which completely changes the game, and for me, that is where this book got really interesting.

I think what I loved about this book was its intelligence. It is a thriller, yes, but one that reads like something more literary. The characters are incredibly smart and this is shown through their prose, their discussions with each other and of course the way that they interact with each other. Sometimes you read thrillers that are just page turners, they are enjoyable for what they are but are just not that smart, they don’t take you so deeply into the psyche of the characters or play around with form so much. Before I read it, I was expecting something along the lines of Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson, which I read early on in 2012. It is a psychological thriller too, and although it deals with a similar issue of knowing your partner within a relationship, Gone Girl was SO MUCH better at this. It really is the type of thriller I’d always like to read – smart, playful and literary. Gillian Flynn’s début novel Sharp Objects is now firmly on my wish list.

Without discussing the ending too much, all I’ll say is that there are revelations which make you seriously judge the characters, sometimes you love them, pity them, judge them, are disturbed by them or are simply impressed by their intelligence, wherever it may have led them. It was infuriating at points but in the best way possible.

You know when you’re reading a book and you’re actually talking to it out loud, going ‘Oh what?!’ and ‘Oh ho ho, that is SO clever!’ and just generally interacting with it physically in a way that some books just don’t evoke. That’s what I was like with Gone Girl, it was so engaging and I got completely sucked in by it all. My friends and I were even texting each other about it to see if we’d reached a certain point yet, and to discuss it all as we were still reading it.

I really enjoyed reading this book and it kind of represents what book club should be about, getting excited and generating discussion with friends about books, whether we like them or not. Both We Need to Talk About Kevin and Gone Girl have been like that – here’s hoping the next book will have the same effect!

We still haven’t fixed upon a date for the next book club meeting, and yes, we may be somewhat disorganised – we do however have a possible book for next time, which is What Have I Done? by Amanda Prowse. I don’t have it yet and I’m not sure it’s going to be my cup of tea – has anyone read it?

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Book Club update

Hi all, just a quick note to say that book club has been postponed this month so I haven’t put up my review of Gone Girl yet as I said I would. Hopefully book club will be early March but I’ll keep you all posted. I am writing my review of Wuthering Heights though so expect that later on this week!

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January 2013 Review – and some notes on reading advanced book proofs

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For me, I think January has been quite a fruitful reading month. I may not be quite as voracious as other books bloggers but I’m pleased with how I’m doing. I always feel so behind as I don’t read as much as others and I need to keep reminding myself that it’s not a competition! This month, I finished reading Gone Girl (which I’ll discuss next week after I’ve met up with the book club), I finally read Pride and Prejudice, and I have read two advanced proof copies of books from my work – A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness.

I’m a bit loath to review the proof copies on my blog – part of this is that it doesn’t seem right to review books that haven’t been released yet (A Tale for the Time Being will be out in March and The Crane Wife isn’t out until April), the other part being that I don’t want anything to bias my book reviews other than my own personal views upon reading them.

So I suppose this is just a note to say that I will keep tracking any proofs I read for my work on my Books 2013 page (I will note this alongside it), but I probably won’t write a review of them here. I may still occasionally write reviews of backlist titles by Canongate though I will try and keep this blog for my own personal reading.

On to February and what I will be reading – I’ve started reading Wuthering Heights (which I already have mixed feelings about) and I’m hoping to also finally get to grips with Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I’ll hopefully manage to fit in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins too. Other than that I have no plans as yet and shall wait to see what whims betake me!

What have you been reading in January? And is there anything you’re looking forward to reading in February?

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