TITLE: GONE GIRL
AUTHOR: GILLIAN FLYNN
PUBLISHER: ORION BOOKS
GENRE: CRIME FICTION
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Who are you?
What have we done to each other?
These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.
So what did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of her head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call a finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily.
Gone Girl blew me away. Literally. I loved Flynn’s crazy, twisted novel. I did not want to close the pages once I had started to read. Flynn made me not want to leave Nick and Amy’s fucked up world.
Gone Girl is narrated alternately by Nick and Amy in the first person. In the first half of the novel Nick’s chapters deal with the initial investigation into Amy’s disappearance. He is, obviously the prime suspect. Amy’ chapters are extracts from diaries spanning several years. They show the marriage in a slightly different light. They did not dote on each other quite as much as Nick makes out. I loved the way Flynn effortlessly moves you in and out of the heads of these two very different characters. The first half of Gone Girl had me riveted but the second half really packs a punch. Flynn reveals that Nick and Amy are unreliable narrators. Nick is screwing one of his 22 year old students. Amy is a very bad woman. Flynn makes this work perfectly. I did not see any of it coming. My jaw hit the floor. I don’t think I’ve read an author using unreliable narration that pulls it off so well.
Flynn makes bold choices for her characters in Gone Girl. Nick and Amy are not very nice people. Nick is sort of an asshole. I did feel a bit smug when his life is turned upside down, his affair and private life is smeared all over the news, the public hate him and he’s arrested. The phrase it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy sprung to mind. Amy is one of the most complex and disturbing characters I’ve read in a long time. What a fucked up nutty bitch. I sort of felt sorry for Nick at the end. There are other, minor characters who are well-written and interesting even those with the most minor roles. Poor Desi. Nick’s sister was also a favourite.
I love the way Gone Girl explores the complexities of long term relationships. On the surface, Nick and Amy appear to be the perfect, doting husband and wife. Flynn expertly peels back the layers revealing darker and darker stuff underneath.
Gone Girl has more twists and turns than anything I’ve read in a long time. Flynn literally pulls you in about a dozen directions at once until you don’t know what the hell is going on. Flynn gets top marks for originality. Gone Girl is a psychological thriller. My favourite. I can’t be bothered with hash and slash psychopaths. I loved twisted novels that get inside your head. Gone Girl is a fine example. I’ve read a lot of reviews that slate the ending of Gone Girl. I loved it. Flynn makes a bold choice.
I loved Gone Girl. I now need to read Flynn’s other two novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places.