Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City Missouri, February 24, 1971, to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. She received a B.A. from University of Kansas and an M.A. from Northwest University.
She was Entertainment Weekly’s TV critic until late in 2009 but now is a full-time novelist, which she says is pretty awesome. Gone Girl is her third book after Dark Places and Sharp Objects. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan and their son.
Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards—the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. Flynn’s second novel Dark Places, was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice.
The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
Esquire – Every woman you know has read Gone Girl, As a cultural phenomenon, it’s Fifty Shades of Grey for women we and you would actually date, but without the sad sex. It’s written by a woman. The novel’s male protagonist is a recognizable, believable man. He’s got a lot of the faults we recognize in ourselves and a few big flaws we’re happy to have avoided. The female protagonist is a little too pat to be true, and — take heed — you are gonna be annoyed by this fking book by the time you hit the halfway point. You’re going to want to walk away. You’re going to ask your wife/girlfriend what the hell she was talking about. But then something good happens. We wish we could provide a summary so you could just skip to part two, but part one is the price you pay. Really. You can trust us. Read it. There’s no good guy (or girl) in this book, no one to root for, and no happily ever after. How many books can you say that about?
The audio book is well produced with an almost must pairing of narrators,Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne, with the main protagonists. The result is near perfect. This is a must listen for anyone who is attracted to the psychological thriller genre. We rate it 5 Stars.
Listening to audio books can be expensive if you are an avid listener. It was with some surprise that I recently discovered a new provider with a distinctly new offer for audio books. Audiobooks.com now offers over 25,000 audio books with two at a time unlimited downloads for $29.99 per month. You can immediately stream or download any audio book on their site if you are a member. Player apps are available for both IOS and Android devices. This is a great deal for those that listen to more than two books per month.
The Audiobooks.com device app is very usable but not as good as the Audible app. One unexpected benefit is the two audio books at a time applies independently on each of your devices. You can have two audio books downloaded on your iPhone and iPad for example, making it a total of four. This is very useful for family memberships where each person can listen to different books at the same time. The app interface is shown in detail for an iPad below.
Stephen King’s The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition narrated by Grover Gardner is finally available for download on Audible.com. Weighing in at nearly two days of recorded audio, finishing The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition will require a significant commitment in time, but if you’re anything like me or the literal millions of Stephen King fans, you’ll wish the two days were three.
Grover Gardner narrates with a balanced clarity that is at times both eloquent and novel. With over 650 titles recorded and numerous awards, including over twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, Gardner makes a worthy match for King. I’m also glad to say that Gardner is not one of those narrators who reads dialogue without changing voice. He embraces each character, showing real dramatic poise and training. You can almost smell the piney woods in Stu Redman’s East Texas drawl. Gardner’s voice rings clear never missing a beat and will almost certainly make you smile. See Grover Gardner’s Blog on his reading of The Stand.
First published in print in 1990 The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition includes more than 150,000 words or about 500 pages cut from the original. The revised edition isn’t a major plot overhaul. Think of it as a redux or director’s cut. While there are no new characters, some have been expanded. The Kid, originally intended as a major character, is one of several to be significantly beefed up.
King always believed the additional content belonged in the novel. He first edited the five hundred pages only at his publisher’s request and would have released the book in its 1300 page entirety. Ultimately, whether The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition is better work of art than it’s predecessor is moot. For King fanatics the extra pages are lost prophesy from a holy prophet. This edition is for those of us whose imaginations need more of The Stand to play with.
If you’re like me you may find myself entertaining fantasy plots as you go about the day. What makes The Stand so entertaining is its ability to simultaneously remove us from and remind us of the everyday world. I wander the Amerocalypse in my imagination while I’m waiting for the bus and in the elevator, picturing dead bodies in the park and wondering what a nuclear explosion looks like. When an author builds a universe this fun, more is always better.
And there are other changes. Readers of the 1978 publication may notice some other small changes. The setting is changed from 1980 to 1990, and pop culture references are altered accordingly. Illustrations by Bernie Wrightson and a prologue by King are also included.
It’s all there: sorcery and swordplay, bandits and monsters, a hero searching for his parents’ killers, an academy of wizards and alchemists, even a hand drawn map of a pretend world in its first pages. Patrick Rothfuss’ acclaimed debut series The Kingkiller Chronicle reads like a big, fat delicious cheeseburger. It’s satisfying. There might be a few surprises; perhaps a few jalapenos and some feta cheese, but the basics are essentially the same. That’s how you make a delicious burger, and that’s how you write a wonderful fantasy tale. Perfect the flavor and tenderness of the patty. Construct realistic, intriguing characters. Melt the cheese and toast the bun just so. Create a universe with more detail than the page can hold, and let the characters run wild. If the yet to be released third volume matches the excellence of its two older siblings, Rothfuss may find himself immortalized as a fantasy great. In these books, readers will find echoes and reflections of canonized fantasy. Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Robin Hobb have even written lush reviews for Rothfuss’ website. The Kingkiller Chronicle may inhabit the expected realm of fantasy conventions, but Rothfuss takes his readers to exciting new depths. His books read so enjoyably precisely because he does not stray from the rules of the genre. “You’ve written a fantasy novel. Deal with it. Learn to cope,” he explains.
Physically, Rothfuss more resembles a character from his books. Healthy, unkempt curls flow from atop his swollen head, suggesting the likeness of a hobbit. His long, wiry beard appears to be borrowed from a satyr or gnome, and he most often wears a devilish grin to match. A self-proclaimed geek and homebody, he admits to finding the fast pace of his new life as a successful writer sometimes overwhelming. A native of Wisconsin, a region famed for its long, boring winters, he learned early on to find solace in fantasy books. In 1991 he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, first studying chemical engineering, then clinical psychology, later changing his major to undeclared. In this time, working three jobs and scrounging for food and money in Stevens Point, he began filling his spare time by writing a sprawling fantasy novel, The Song of Flame and Thunder. In the ten years it took Rothfuss to graduate, (finally with a B.A. in English), he perfected The Song of Flame and Thunder. After nearly 50 failed query letters, he found a publisher, and so The Kingkiller Chronicle found its way out of Rothfuss’ hard drive and onto bookshelves.
At public events, fans almost invariably ask Rothfuss to explain the details of his world: “What other kinds of monsters, aside from the scrael, live in the Commonwealth?” “Does the kingdom of Aturan have any kind of common law or judicial system?” This is because there are other monsters Rothfuss has neglected to include, and there is an entire system of governance that goes far beyond what is printed on the page. When The Song of Flame and Thunder became The Kingkiller Chronicle, Rothfuss cut out nearly 100,000 words, and before that he had already conceived every aspect of his world, fully knowing the majority of his ideas would never make it on paper. The result is not just a book, but an entire universe for readers to savor, the heart and key to successful fantasy-fiction. The ability to arrange exciting work from a familiar palette is the mark of a master. You heard it here first.