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10 September 2013


OK, the line "This girl is gone too, back to nonfiction" completely cracked me up. Though I thought "Gone Girl." while not great literature(!), is a fine example of What It Is (and I'm sufficiently naive to have fallen for every single plot twist).

Well, see, those of us who DON'T SKIP TO THE END enjoy plot twists. Like Unruly Reader, I fell for all of them. I enjoy being duped when I read. Narrative sleight-of-hand is fun.

I'm not going to give the book a rousing defense, though. I liked it better than you did, probably akin to how Mr. CR liked the book, but it amounted to a mostly forgettable novel. It was quirkier than most thrillers, but not enough to turn me into a thriller reader. Two or three per year is enough for me.

This is too funny. I had the exact same experience only after I read the ending I couldn't bring myself to go back and read anymore. This book drove me right back to nonfiction.

FYI- I returned Lisa Chang’s book Factory Girls to the library for the second time without finishing it. It isn’t a bad book, but at 448 pages it is too long and depressing for me. I am not particularly excited to learn as China becomes more commercialized their factory workers' are becoming more individualistic and material driven. Pyramid schemes and outright copying of other’s work are popular ways to get ahead. I did enjoy the chapter covering Leslie Chang’s own family backstory which was fascinating, but for now I’m done reading this book.

Well, it helps to be surprised by the plot twists when you haven't read several reviews and, you know, the ending of the book. So good on you for falling for them! I think it's the 65 weeks on the bestseller list that rankles me just a bit--I'm glad the author's having some success and I might even try her earlier books, but I just don't think this book is worth a year+ of bestselling status, especially when there's so many other great books out there.

Yes, I know, you don't need to SHOUT, I read thrillers ALL WRONG. Although I humbly submit that I read most of the endings of Agatha Christie's novels too, and I was never, ever disappointed by her prose or twists, and I rarely could see what was coming (even if I did read the last two pages). AND her books are shorter than this one was.
I like being duped too. But I want it to be GOOD duping, not just sort-of clever and then convenient duping (I can't say what really bugged me without giving a spoiler, but I thought the ending here was just too tidy without any real justification). Case in point: Max Barry's "Lexicon." Have you read it? I've got to post on it. A thriller so good I actually made myself hold off on reading the ending.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who didn't think it was the best thing since sliced bread!
Oh, "Factory Girls." I had to look back and see what I had thought of it--and I couldn't get through it either! (http://www.citizenreader.com/citizen/2009/03/i-simply-dont-have-the-heart.html) So I totally get what you're saying there too! Some day when I want to get really depressed I'll actually finish "Factory Girls" and pair it with a re-read of Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy" (about North Korea). Both ends of the spectrum, and both so, so depressing.

I read Gone Girl in a day and enjoyed it. I was completely taken in by the central plot twist, but when I read mysteries I really don't try too hard to out guess the detective. I'm not much a reader of thrillers or suspense; mostly I just stick to mysteries. I only picked this book up because my book group wanted to discuss it.

I think the main characters were purposely created to be unlikable. Which, okay, creative freedom and all that; but I wouldn't volunteer to spend several hours locked in a room with people that unpleasant, why on earth should I waste good time and money to invite them into my head?

Yes, I think that would have made all the difference. I think I definitely enjoyed mysteries and thrillers more when I had the time just to plow through them in one sitting or one day. There was no need for me to read the ending first, then! How did your book group like it?

Yes, I wonder about that too. And I wonder about myself, since I actually kind of came to like Amy. Much better than Nick, anyway, who just seemed to me like a King Doofus, and not at all worth all the effort.

The story they liked a lot. The characters they hated. That was pretty much true for me too and that's rare. Usually if I hate the characters as people I'm not going to like the story. But here it worked.

Fascinating. I love to hear what book groups think, especially after having their discussion.
And actually, I was a bit worried about myself, as I started to kind of like Amy--but I think that was mostly a reflection of how badly I actually wanted to punch Nick. I thought he was just a total boob. Even with an okay story that was too distracting for me to get past.

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