When the general populace finds something so intriguing, so presumably thought-provoking and even a bit shocking, jaw-dropping, I have to see for myself. I have it in me to WANT to see what it is that makes people twist around in their seats. It’s like that with books, TV shows, films, videos, op/ed pieces, the lot. I want to know what the hell is getting everyone talking.
However, lately, I’ve merely been one of the few who’s seen the emperor…well…butt-nikked.
The last piece of popular culture hype that had everyone raving and babbling about and had me go cold was Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl. In my (very) humble opinion, Flynn is a masterful narrative storyteller and creates some truly complicated, darkly identifiable characters (see Sharp Objects and Dark Places for details). Gone Girl, on the other hand, was Flynn’s attempt to stray from all that was familiar to her and enter Shock Value Cheapville. Gone Girl was Flynn testing out the whole Incredibly Stupid Twist In The Middle Of The Novel to see what it would do for her success, and because so many like to completely shut off the power upstairs, so to speak, when reading a novel, Flynn’s author creds skyrocketed. Gone Girl was Flynn’s ticket to the good life on the top of the charts, with a David Fincher movie rendition in the making.
I’ve rarely trusted the general readership. These days though, I NEVER trust it. Flynn now has a book at the top of all of the bestseller lists — along with 50 Shades of Diarrhea, Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine a World Without Her (aka Progressives Will Kill Us All and Here’s My Lack of Evidence To Show You How and Why), and Second Honeymoon by The James Patterson Empire and Some Other Writer Whose Name We Really Don’t Care About (to be followed by Third Honeymoon and Fourth Honeymoon, respectively, both of which have the exact same plotline, cliffhangers, and stock Hollywood characters no one can possibly identify with).
I admire the fact Flynn has gone into entertainment for entertainment’s sake (see previous blog entry for details), but why on earth did her novel have to be so…so tacky and damned trite?