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August 07, 2012


David Afsharirad

Glad to hear you enjoyed "Gone Girl." I really liked it, as well. I had the same reaction as you did after reading her first book, she really is "one to watch." I also completely agree with your critique of the book--it's strengths outweigh its flaws, but it is a bit long. I hadn't thought of the similarities between it and AKBD, but you're right about their similar structures, etc.

Regarding unlikable narrators: I think often readers' distaste for them is that they've been burned by poorly done examples. It's a very difficult job for the writer to pull off. Normally, a writer can trust the fact that the reader will like their character and will therefore cheer him/her on as the story unfolds. When the character is unlikable, the writer has to work really hard to achieve this same effect. Sadly, many writers can't pull off this little trick and readers walk away thinking that they don't like unlikable narrators. Flynn, however, certainly pulls off the trick in "Gone Girl," in my opinion at least.


I finished Gone Girl this weekend. For me, it was an infuriating read. I loathed the characters in Gone Girl (even Go). The plot was flat and predictable, and the narrative structure distracted from the mystery. Instead of dramatic (I would have settled for subtle) plot twists that surprise and captivate the reader, Flynn offers a manipulative, spoiled, and crazy rich girl who dominates the pages--even when others are speaking. I wonder how, in this anti-woman, social conservativist era,a hateful female character who lies about being raped becomes the subject of the "it" read of the summer?

I dedicated this summer to reading debut novels--perhaps I should have gone with Flynn's first book.

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