I’m usually in front of most bandwagons. When I fall behind,
though, it generally takes me forever to catch up.
I guess that’s why I didn’t read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl
until this past weekend. And, before you ask, it’s not so I can go and see the
movie. I will eventually see the movie – but probably not until it’s out on
Blu-Ray or On Demand.
Anyway, back to the book. I kept hearing how well it was
written and how amazing the “twist” was, and I figured it sounded interesting.
So, I finally sat down and read it.
The first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that it
was overwritten. I mean way overwritten. I don’t think everything has to be
written in simplistic sentences – and I love the Terry Brooks and Stephen King
prose forms – but the inner-monologues (especially when it comes to Nick) just
go on and on – repeating things until I thought: I just can’t hear this one more
And I get why we’re not supposed to warm up to Nick at
first. He’s a suspect in his wife’s disappearance. There’s supposed to be
something “odd” about him. When I finally did get to the twist, it wasn’t a big
surprise. I was expecting more actually – which is why word-of-mouth phenomenon can backfire on readers and viewers.
And, while I don’t want to get into a debate about the ending
because I don’t want to ruin it for people, since I found the vast majority of
people in this book to be unlikeable, I will say I was fine with the ending.
While I didn’t dislike Gone Girl
, I certainly didn’t think
it was amazing either. It did get me thinking about the nature of a bandwagon, however.
Sometimes, when you come to the party late, you find you
love what you’ve been missing. That happened to me with Buffy the Vampire
, Harry Potter
, and The Hunger Games
. I didn’t start watching Buffy until
late in the second season (and then never missed an episode). I didn’t start
reading Harry Potter until the fourth book hit shelves. And all three of The
books were out – and on top of best sellers lists for years – before I
finally took the plunge.
Oh, and I came to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
late – and I absolutely loved all three of those books.
On the flip side, when I caved to the Twilight
wanted to smack someone I hated the books (and especially Bella) so much. When
I sampled Divergent
, I wanted to smack someone again (talk about a terrible
ending – The Village
meets The Truman Show
anyone?) and this time I wanted to
smack them with the Sears Tower in Chicago. And, when I finally check out the
television show Grimm
I wanted to laugh (and not in a good way) because I found
it to be so poorly done.
Everyone has different tastes. I know that. Sometimes the
buildup helps a show or book, and
sometimes it hurts.
I have a feeling it hurt where Gone Girl
is concerned. It is
an interesting twist. I think the writing was decent – although obviously
padded – and I have real trouble believing anyone writes in their journal with
the amount of detail Amy used in the book (even a rampant narcissist and sociopath).
I just don’t think it was the be all and end all of modern
fiction like some people are suggesting. It was merely “interesting” to me. It was a decent character study.
I will, however, check out the movie down the line.
What do you think? What bandwagon have you jumped on that
you wish you could jump off?