Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Buy it: On Amazon
Amy Dunne is missing. Gone from her Missouri home, there are signs of a struggle, traces of blood on the floor, and the day of her disappearance is her five year anniversary to her husband Nick - who is smiling at police press conferences and grinning wildly in photos with the search party.
And then, there is the diary. Sweet, innocent Amy has lived a life of loved-up devotion that has ultimately ended up a life in fear of her husband. Where is Amy, and just what did Nick do to her?
|photo from SXC|
This is a dark little tale of manipulation! A bit slow to kick in, the resulting story builds up into a frenzy of lies, mind games and hate. The plot was very well crafted and I imagine the author must have had one hell of a planning stage to get everything lined up, straight and irrefutable. I like to try and pick holes, and this narrative was pretty tight - even when everything got all a little (a lot)... wild!
It's a bit hard to review Gone Girl without spoilers, as the "twist" kicks in about 50% through. So if you don't want to know, I've put everything that could remotely allude to the twist in the asterisks below!
I found it intriguing that for half of Gone Girl, I didn't like a single person in this story, and yet I couldn't wait to see what happened to them. After the initial emotional alignment with "Diary Amy" I loved having that sense of plot safety stripped from the book. There was no-one to root for, really. I guess I could have switched my allegiance to Nick, but to be honest I found him just as vile as Amy, in his own way.
I also loved the character of Tanner, who brought a bit of stability to the story when everything else was up in the air. He was a typical "movie character" - as Amy would probably say - but that is exactly what the book needed. Someone you could bet your expectations on.
There isn't much actual "bad" to this book. It's a great little mystery in the first half, and a wonderful mash up of craziness in the second.
I was a bit confused as to the presence of Go in the book. A lot seemed to be made of her character for it to not have any relevance. Every time a little snippet of information of Go was revealed I asked "so what?" and I never found an answer... She just acted as a trampoline for Nick to bounce his feelings off of but she had no actual function.
I also struggled to believe in Amy after the 50% reveal. Some of her actions were just a little too unhinged. I mean, I know she was pretty crazy, but some of the stuff she did...? I'm not sure. I wont go into it too much as Amy is too complicated a character to ever truly "understand", but I lost a little of my suspended reality, lets just say that. Her plot succumbed to melodrama and almost seemed spoof-y at some parts. Things she did were SO extreme I didn't know whether to laugh or baulk.
I enjoyed Gone Girl for its manipulative plot and unexpected character alignments. The twist was good, and I was interested to see what conclusion the revalation at the half way mark could draw at the end of the novel.
Extra! A screenplay of Gone Girl is currently in production starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck in the lead roles. I think this is perfect casting for the characters, and can't wait for the release!