So it’s high time I got back into this blogging malarkey, since I’ve been putting ‘Blogger: book reviews twice a week’ on my CV and haven’t written a blog for exactly a month. I’m sorry, blogging universe, I have failed.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has been sitting in my Kindle gathering electro-dust for months, but it was only after watching the trailer for the film coming out in October this year, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, with a dark cover of Elvis Costello’s ‘She’ (reminiscent of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Once Upon A Dream‘ for Maleficent), that I felt compelled to read it.
Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, two writers from New York who move back to Nick’s home town in Missouri when Nick’s mother is diagnosed with cancer. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing.
The novel follows Nick in the days following Amy’s disappearance – ‘The Day Of’, ‘The Night Of’, ‘One Day Gone’ – and Amy’s diary from the beginning of their relationship. Nick, a not immediately likeable character, soon finds himself the lead and only suspect in his wife’s disappearance.
I won’t say any more, with all the twists and turns in this story it’s too easy to reveal too much.
Things I liked
The two different voices of Amy and Nick are distinct and separate, while having complex common traits that come from more than being written by the same author – they are characterful and personal. I find a lot of books with multiple voices often fall down in attempting to differentiate between them. This one hardly ever did.
The development of the two voices, and the different versions of the truth. For almost half of the novel there is no reliable narration, no version of the truth the reader can fix on and say ‘this is exactly what happened’. It’s unsettling and intriguing in the right amounts.
The story itself, which is so much about the characters and their development. There isn’t the feeling that this could just happen to any generic couple; the way the story turns out is entirely due to these very particular and well-designed characters.
The plot twists and surprises.
Things I didn’t like
Called it. Sorry.
Should I read this?
Yes, before you watch the film. It’s well-written, the characters are brilliantly constructed and the story unfolds in a wonderfully paced series of events.
But just in case you want to watch the film, here’s the trailer.
* * * * *
The Book Depository
You can buy the book here.
Because I am trying not to use Amazon in my own half-arsed protest-y way, I’d like to recommend to people that they check out The Book Depository, which is a great, user-friendly site with affordable books ranging from brand new releases to classics, and in many different editions at less-than brand new prices. As I am now officially an affiliate of The Book Depository, I gain a small commission if you use my affiliate link to buy books! Please do check it out, even if you don’t buy anything right now.