Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn's cleverly written novel, starts strong, then descends into everyday American psychopathy

Gillian Flynn's wildly successful novel, "Gone Girl" is the story of marriage, of betrayal (as if there are any other kinds of stories of marriage) and of the "one-upmanship" that often serves as the only consistent theme of most marriages.

However, it also is a compelling story of the changing economic times that are rendering most "non-technical" jobs of any profession almost completely useless. People who write about art but not about the technology of art or people who want to write commentary on modern times but not necessarily with some technical fulcrum will soon find themselves not only unemployed but unemployable.  A certain kind of vocation has just disappeared into the digital bits of the internet. And people who practiced that have really no where to go. And then when you lose your job in the mid-thirties and have nowhere else to go what do you do but either give up on life or pick up a fight with the most convenient target: your spouse. Helps keep things interesting.

Gillian Flynn's book features two despicable characters who pit against each other in an entertaining tale of suspense and intrigue. The story is brilliantly written and there is a lot to like until about half-way through. It descends into your everyday American psychopathy that so rules TV. Then it sorts of tries to figure out what to do with itself being too clever for its own good. And Flynn seems to lose interest or probably aims for literary credibility by providing a half-baked, inconclusive and ultimately lazy end.

Gone Girl is still worth reading, not so much for the suspense or the thrill of it but for the clever writing. 

Death Comes to Pemberley: P.D. James's dated, drown-out addendum to Austen's Pride and Prejudice - adds murder but hardly any intrigue

I'm not proud of the fact that I'd have been quite prejudiced and probably not read this book had I known that P.D. James is 91 years old. However, it would've been a good thing had I known.

Jane Austen's greatly celebrated work is now 200 years old. I guess that gives everyone a free rein to write postscripts, addendums, sequels and whatever else they can get away with to the famous classic.

For stomachs not hardened enough, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies won't do so we now have Pride, Prejudice and Murder in Death comes to Pemberley. And it is for tender stomachs. It moves slow and belabors. Long conversations in old language. And the murder? Well, yes, there is a murder but no intrigue. There is a mystery but nothing mysterious.

Note to self: Don't read a book just because there is a murder in it!

Steve Jobs: An even-handed, if simplistic, view of the life of a genius

After completing the rather large 700-page book you still feel like you hardly knew the man. It isn't even clear exactly, at least no more than what is already commonly understood, what his contribution was to the world of technology, animation, music and computing. And yet, Walter Isaacson's autobiography is difficult to put down. Largely because despite everything we already know about Jobs, we really do very little. At least those who, like me, became ardent supporters of his design philosophy ('minimalism' to put it minimally) at a relatively later stage in life. I grew up most of my life dismissing Apple and its products as 'also ran' until I used the iPod for the first time in 2004 and since then I have rarely bought anything from a competitor that Apple also sells.

"Steve Jobs" is, as far as biographies go, a very interesting read. The anecdotes, the stories and personality quirks of Jobs are a treat to read. There are probably no giant reveals other than how "different" (crazy?) he was compared to everyone else around him. In some sense he was like a child, with a thing for beauty and an inability to compromise. What was most revealing to me was how difficult and tortured his life was. While he did make like miserable for most around him, his own life was not such a charm as would seem. Apart from his disease, seems like his tortured personality also seemed to be eating him inside out. This is a sad story overall. 

The story in this book is told linearly, almost clinically, from his early childhood to the day he resigned as the CEO of Apple in August. The book mostly stays faithful to an episodic timeline whoever, there do seem to be jumps, like the period at Next seems not to get a lot of attention.

Overall, it is quite an excellent book to read. I am thankful for Steve Jobs for so many things he did and this biography is just one more such thing.