So I basically just wanted to take a minute to drool over a new author – one who has had much drooling over of late so this may not be new drool news to you, but hey, it took me this long so I’m writing this as a just in case… the author is Gillian Flynn, and the books are three dark, twisted, vicious little tomes that I absolutely adore.
Her most recent book, Gone Girl, was just released in June of 2012 and is one of the most suspenseful books I’ve read in a while. I won’t spoil this book for you by detailing it here, but suffice it to say that whatever you think you know, you don’t. Flynn has a remarkable ability to craft a character that you like in spite of the fact that you are, rightfully so usually, increasingly suspicious of said character. Its her ability to toy with you that in large part impresses me about Flynn – there are lots of dime store novels out there that craft suspense, but lack substance. Here’s your main character. Here’s your main character in a life or death struggle. Here’s the solution. The end. Flynn is remarkable because her books breathe – and hold their breath. She crafts sentences that impress me with their acumen, and often are rather exquisite. And often are utterly grating in their temerity.
But its not just that Flynn can write – and boy can she write – its that she’s unafraid to tackle the deeper subjects. In a Powell’s essay also featured on her website (and yes, I google stalked her) is a passage about one of her earlier books, Sharp Objects:
I’ve grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains — good, potent female villains. Not ill-tempered women who scheme about landing good men and better shoes (as if we had nothing more interesting to war over), not chilly WASP mothers (emotionally distant isn’t necessarily evil), not soapy vixens (merely bitchy doesn’t qualify either). I’m talking violent, wicked women. Scary women. Don’t tell me you don’t know some. The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves — to the point of almost parodic encouragement — we’ve left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids. So Sharp Objects is my creepy little bouquet.
If that passage alone doesn’t make you want to go out and buy the book then let me just tell you that it has a twist – and one that will just about leave you whimpering.
So – clearly, I like this author and her books. And frankly, friends, its been awhile since I read an author I felt like gushing over. And like any crush, author crushes are fun and exciting. You race to google to see what other books they have. You get perhaps a bit judgey of their author photos. You facebook stalk and twitter hunt them, and if they Luddite enough they haven’t been wrangled by their publishers into dabbling in these mediums, you pout. Your order simply ALL of their books, and you breeze through them ravenously. And then, when there are no more books by said author to be read, you are profoundly and deeply sad. Because despite the plethora of books out there, finding those books that SPARK with you can be difficult. You read a lot. And then you read a lot more. And every time you crack a spine – or tap the cover of a new book on your mobile device – you are hoping, praying, even, that THIS book will be the ONE. The one that keeps you up all night with its – delightfulness. Or its depravity. Or its delightful depravity – hey, no judgment here.
So, its with this in mind that I started thinking about the FIRST books that kept me up all night reading. What are some books in your history that you loved? Come on, we’re all friends and readers here 😉
Its with this in mind that I’m starting a new thread on here, called Oldies but Goodies, where we discuss books we’ve known and loved, and why they impacted us so. I hope you enjoy seeing what has inspired people as much as I have – and hey, if you’ve got a book-love story you’d like to share for the thread, we’d be happy to consider it! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here’s hoping you all have fun under the covers tonight – with a book of course! Or… not.