8.03.2014

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | GONE GIRL - GILLIAN FLYNN

 
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? - Goodreads

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This book has claws. Which it dug into me and didn't release until the last page. I mean this in more than one way - the obvious one being that the story was intense and immersive and once I'd begun reading, I didn't really want to stop. But I also mean that it left me feeling wounded and bleeding, as if the book had managed to harm me as it did its characters and didn't (as many books do) heal me in the end.

It's going to be a challenge to review this book without giving anything away. But I'll do my best.

Let's start with the things that worked for me. I loved the dual perspective. This isn't something that always works for me - in fact, it often doesn't. Usually I'll end up finding one voice tedious, and skimming through their sections to get back to the more compelling narrative. But in this case, it more than worked - there was really no other way to do it.

The two voices in the book are Nick and Amy. Nick is the husband who comes home to find his wife missing. Amy is - you guessed it - the missing wife. His sections happen in real time, while hers take the form of back-dated journal entries.

One thing that is really interesting in the early pages of this book is how different Nick's version of he and Amy's courtship and marriage is to the one recounted in the pages of Amy's journal. This disparity is the first inkling the reader gets that there might be some unseen and untrustworthy elements in the story. A feeling that deepens as more and more details and twists are revealed.

I think that's about all I can say without giving away anything - and trust me, this is a book you need to go into unspoiled.

I can't say it's a favourite of mine - it's not. I didn't like either of the characters much, and the ending... well, let's just say that on a personal level, it left me feeling more than a little bit icky (you'll understand that once you've read it). However I can't deny that it is brilliantly conceived and equally well-written.

If you're a fan of intrigue - particularly the kind that comes with a large dose of psychological trickery - you'll love this book. It'll take over your every waking moment from start to finish and won't fail to serve up some surprises along the way.

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Book Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Series: No
Edition: Softcover
Published By: Broadway Books
Released: April 22, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Intrigue
Pages: 422
Date Read: MJune 18-24, 2014
Rating: 7/10

2 comments :

  1. I couldn't have said it better. I couldn't put this book down and gave it a five-star review for the sheer brilliance of the writing, but I felt the need to Lysol my brain after reading, and I'm not sure I'd like to read another of Gillian's books. I almost felt physically ill over it. I like books that leave you feeling magically touched, if that makes sense.

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    1. YES. I am so glad I read it, because I do think that the writing makes the story. And while I don't know if I'll watch the movie now, I really doubt it can equal the stage-setting Flynn accomplishes in this book. But, like you, I don't really want to read her other books, and I can't see myself re-reading this - not only because I know what happens now and that's the point of thrillers, but mainly because I don't really want to re-visit these two minds. And I completely know what you mean about being magically touched - those are the books I'll rave about, put in pride of place on my bookshelves and re-read. Books like The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

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