I like a good story. A good “who dun it”. Movies. Novels. It doesn’t matter. But at the cottage I have no TV. No Blue Ray player. So, I relish a good read. One of those books you just can’t put down.
I purchased Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn several years ago. Each time I have been at the cottage, I would pick it up, but just as quickly put it down again. It’s difficult to read. Or, so I thought. I quickly got confused with all of the characters and the juxtaposition between excerpts from one of the principal character’s diary, and the first person narrative of her husband, the alleged killer.
This visit I said to myself, “Read this book. It was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. It can’t be all bad.” So, the first evening here, I pulled it off the shelf (again), put a fire on, and settled into a comfortable chair determined to finish this book.
The things that bothered me previously, I actually like this time around. The juxtaposition between the two main characters enabled them to be developed more carefully and deeply. The diary excerpts are personal revelations that helps the reader understand the characters motivations, and the husbands narrative is personal, emotional and convincing.
I am not going to tell the story here. That is not my intent. It is a suspenseful read with a series of unexpected twists. If you are interested in a good “who dun it” read this summer, I would (after 3 years) recommend it.
It is the structure that I found interesting. The technique of bouncing from the diary excerpts to first person narrative is what makes the story so compelling. What I found distracting previously, is the very thing I enjoyed the most.
I wonder why. I don’t think the book has changed. Clearly I have. This year, I noticed I mostly watched movies on TV. The morning news, and some sports, but mostly “who dun it” movies: movies based on actual facts; movies that were visually interesting and stimulating; and, movies using flashbacks to carefully develop the characters and story line. I have always enjoyed a good story but recently I have been more interested in how a story is being told than the story itself. Why? I think I may be preparing myself to tell a bigger story.
Chas: “You have always enjoyed writing. You like telling stories. You embellish them sometimes for effect, but you are just trying to make it more interesting. More entertaining.”
I may have a book inside. A novel inspired by some of the memorable characters I have encounter over the years. The marshal at my local golf club that had lost everything – his business, his wife, and his home – through alcohol. The 70 year old man I met in the rockies who I met as he cycled across Canada because he needed something more to do. Characters with a story that needs telling. Maybe a cycling psychopath 🙂
Lou: “I think that is why you enjoy cycling so much. It gives you time alone. Time to think without distraction. Time to put things together.”
What will I read next?
I’m going to look for a novel that has been lying around unread for years. There must be one here. Who knows. It may be be another overlooked gem. Here’s one. The Cottagers by Marshall N. Klimasewiski. How appropriate 🙂 Have you heard of it? Me either. It’s a thriller set on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and I think may be a first novel. I remember trying to read it a few years ago.
Chas: “I like the picture on the cover. And, you like hardbacks.”