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Ironic Contradictions

I'm a long time reader - since way back when I was seven. That makes it over three quarters of my life that I will be a reader for. But it is worth it. When I'm not reading or wasting my time online on here or Goodreads I'll be off playing video games, studying teaching and messing around with friends and pop culture. Or reading some more.
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl - a popular fiction novel that's not quite what it was hyped up to be. I started reading snippets, from the first hundred pages or so, earlier in the new year to see what I was getting into. Today I sat down and read on past those snippets but what I found was not what I was hoping for. I ended up skimming sections which did not interest me and I can honestly say that I was quite disappointed with the novel on the whole. It is not the type of 'literature' that interests me.

Firstly, we have the characters. Character based fiction has always been something that I love. There are two things I look for first in any strong novel. The first are characters which are fascinating or likeable. The second are ideas which are ground-breaking or hold great value when applied to reality. Gone Girl had no ideas that I could embrace and it had no characters that I could love. What it did have was a grouping of two shallow characters who ultimately care more about their reputation and themselves than about doing what is ultimately right. I'm against violence to women one hundred percent but Amy as a literary character was one woman I just wanted to slap and tell her to stop with the winging over herself. She considered herself the special, likeable 'Amazing Amy' but really she was a grown up brat with sociopathic, or rather, psychopathic, tendencies. Her actions in the novel were petty, murderous and despicable. And Nick wasn't really any better.

The one positive in this novel is that it does question and challenge that there is a difference between doing what is morally right and what is seen to be right. At the end of the novel Amy's actions are justified by the media and her reputation (which she cared more about than anything) was unscathed. However behind closed doors she was a vindictive and vile character. The book also challenges the idea of how a marriage could become a 'trap' yet I think that such an idea is based on a false ideal of marriage or a false viewpoint of it. Marriage should be about love, commitment and the desire for family. Amy and Nick's marriage was based on shallow presumptions that because they lusted after each other and could reflect a character that the other found appealing they had love. In reality they had nothing.

As for the writing of this novel? It did not seem anything particularly special but it did move with a brisk and energetic pace. The fact that it was in first person, with each chapter switching between the two main characters, frustrated me. I'm not the biggest fan of first person writing though I have seen cases ([b:The Great Gatsby|4671|The Great Gatsby|F. Scott Fitzgerald|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349925337s/4671.jpg|245494]) where it works nicely. Speaking of Gatsby, it is also an example of where unlikeable or flawed characters can contribute to the brilliance of a narrative. I felt that in this book the characters served little purpose other than to work with the contrived narrative.

A contrived narrative is certainly what this seems to be in my view. It is a narrative that seems made for attention and for film. I don't want to question the integrity of the author or the fact that there are many fans out there that loved this work. However as with [b:The Road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320606344s/6288.jpg|3355573] this book felt like a gimmick that didn't work with my particular reading patterns. I recommend it only for those who like a book that reflects the worst about humanity.