Twitter review: Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is brilliant & terrifying, constructed of beautiful writing & ugly characters, filled w/ lies but paTwitter review: Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is brilliant & terrifying, constructed of beautiful writing & ugly characters, filled w/ lies but painfully true.
This book has passages in it that make me want to read them out loud to someone, to share their brilliance and beauty, but the story and the characters are ugly and fucked-up. This story is a masterful portrait of manipulation and abuse and it thoroughly creeped me out.
Highly recommended, but tread carefully if you have any kind of history with emotional abuse. I expect violence and upsetting material from mysteries, but because this is so well-written, it is able to get to the heart of certain patterns of behavior and may have an even deeper impact than usual. It did for me. ...more
This is a hard book to rate. It is fascinating and beautiful and there were times that I wanted it to never end. For those parts, it deserves five staThis is a hard book to rate. It is fascinating and beautiful and there were times that I wanted it to never end. For those parts, it deserves five stars. It is also brutal and painful to read and at those times I wanted to stop reading it immediately.
It is about healing and it is about horrific violence. The adults in the story are well-intentioned and loving child abusers; Hulme builds on this apparent contradiction and presents a complex representation of the ways that we hurt the people we love, but I think, in the end, this violence is too easily dealt with. I *want* to believe in the healing that the three main characters find at the end of the book, but I'm not quite able to get past the abuse that has taken place to do so....more
There are some parts of this book that are fantastic. Precious's voice and emotions are rendered with skill and provide the reader with a strong senseThere are some parts of this book that are fantastic. Precious's voice and emotions are rendered with skill and provide the reader with a strong sense of who she is, the things that have made her who she is, and who she wants to become. In those moments where Precious's internal life shines through, the book is at its best.
As a writing and literature teacher, I also appreciate the emphasis on the liberatory potential of reading and writing. It moves me to see someone changed so positively because of the ability to communicate and connect through language.
In many ways this is an updated version of The Color Purple (which is one of my all-time favorite books) and in many ways it succeeds as such. However, the one big thing that this book does not have that The Color Purple does have, the one big thing that would've made this a book I could give 4 or 5 stars instead of just 3, is development. Precious comes through clearly and her past comes through clearly, but later, as she changes, as Sapphire tries to give the reader a sense of the future and what lies ahead for Precious, it feels as if too much effort is elided, too much change is glossed over. It feels too easy. This is not an easy topic or an easy book and the ending should not be easy, either. As is pointed out in the book, The Color Purple has also faced criticism of its ending as some people say that they think the conclusion of that novel is too easy, too much of a fairy tale; the conclusion of Push is perhaps less open to the criticism of being a fairy tale ending, but it is also not earned in the way that Walker earns her ending. ...more