I read a very disturbing book. And I loved it. It has been a long time since I have been hooked on to any narrative so much that I couldn't put the book down, sneakily reading bits and pieces everywhere I went because I couldn't keep away.
With the release of 'Gone Girl' starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and the uber talented Neil Patrick Harris, directed by none other than David Fincher of 'The Social Network' fame, it was small wonder that the book on which the movie is based would make a resurgence.
Unfortunately for me, I had heard about Gone Girl before and about how good it was and how I must read it, and I just didn't have time for it. My loss, entirely.
The book is disturbing, to say the least. It looks at the characters through a microscopic lens. It subtly observes the difference in lifestyle of American people and how much it depends on the place of residence. It dissects relationships and people and circumstances and how people deal with dire situations.
What makes the book disturbing is how uncomfortable closely is looks at these things. It strips away all facades and pretenses and masks. It makes us think about our actions: how much of these actions is 'us', and how much of these actions is what is 'expected'.
I was amused by the constance references to various television series and movies that one of the characters keeps revisiting. He is very frank and insightful when he says that he uses words borrowed from a million scripts, because that is what other people expected from him and he himself had no idea how to react in that situation. He wonders whether we are all trying to be 'characters' inspired by the million movies and books and television series that we watch, so much so that we're losing our true self, making the end of the book ironical.
The structure of the book is quite complex, moving back and forth in time. Written from three different perspectives from the point of view of two characters. It is rich in detail, painting vivid pictures of the feeling rather than the environment.
And it is disturbing.