Archive for February 8, 2013

…with 25 blurbs* must:

a] be a “near-masterpiece”.

b] be the beneficiary of a very large advertising budget, and a Twitter campaign.

c] likely to feature big stars in the movie version.

d] be set in the scary tribal regions east of the Rockies and west of the Appalachians.

e] make it impossible to review the book, as so many people have given it so much praise that any opinion that varies with that will mark the reviewer down as an eccentric.

[* in the British paperback edition.]

I am referring to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a book I had trouble getting into, and discovered that another blogger, whose opinion I respect, had given up at about page 80. It was around that point in the narrative that I wondered if I had got a different version of this book than that read by the blurbers. But I stuck it out and finished reading the book, and I have no quibble with the author, who produced an interestingly plotted psychological thriller. What I find mildly annoying is all the blurbling ballyhoo, and fuss, which raised my expectations to a level that could only have been satisfied by some brilliant new plot twist devised by a combination of Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell and Reginald Hill. Some of the blurbs are interesting, one is by someone who hasn’t even read the book yet…. 

‘Just about everyone I meet, and everyone on Twitter, is telling me it’s brilliant, so I can’t wait to see what the fuss is all about’  S.J. Watson, Sunday Express 

Many are frankly just a little bit over the top.

 (with a mid-story twist so shocking you’ll drop the book)- a gasp-inducing twist- A near-masterpiece- wildly unexpected plot twists- you’ll beg others to read it so you can discuss it with them- The plot has it all- her terrifying wonderful conclusion is reached. 

I didn’t drop the book because the blurbs had prepared me for some brilliant new plot idea and it wasn’t there. Readers who gasped in complete shock and dropped their books perhaps haven’t read much crime fiction.

Also I would have preferred to have been given less information on the location of the major plot twist. Soon we may have blurbs telling the reader there are plot twists on page 234 and 356. The book itself has at least one flaw in that the main characters Nick and Amy are both horrid, spoilt, pretentious and arrogant, and I did not really care what happened to them. One could say that Gillian Flynn’s writing is brilliant in that she inspires strong emotions in her readers, and succeeded in creating two of the most unpleasant characters in modern crime fiction.