This may be the shortest book review I write. I’m afraid that the more I type, the greater the danger that I will give all the good stuff away.
The Night Circus was a book I fell in love with, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is a book I admire.
The experience of reading this book felt like watching the movie Duplicity for the first time. Never have I read a book with such dynamic characterization (at least in the main characters), a contemporary voice, and excellent pacing (which is impressive–the book is over 400 pages). I was satisfied, horrified, disappointed, surprised, and envious of this book all at once. Even as I fell into the distinctive voices of the characters, I’d find myself stopped by just plain old good writing. For example, when the author describes a character feeding fish, she could have just said, “we threw the pellets into the water and the fish came to the surface,” because it doesn’t seem like a relevant detail. Instead, Flynn wrote this:
I hold the box with its narrow mouth over the water, and immediately, a hundred shiny arched backs roll toward me, a mob of serpents, the tails cutting across the surface furiously, and then the mouths are below me, the fish roiling over each other to swallow the pellets and then, like trained pets, aiming their faces up toward me for more.
And you might still be asking yourself, “How is this detail important?” but then I would tell you that feeding fish in this scene acts as a weird metaphor and foreshadowing at the same time. Then, I think you would say, “Interesting, tell me more.”
I won’t tell you more because the pleasure of this book is in all the “finding-out” moments, the pages where you recognize the lies and mentally spiral with the twists. I won’t spoil that for you.