Reviewed in India on 29 May 2020
Well, this is supposed to be a review of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, but the reality is, I don't have the foggiest idea how to review this novel. It's not what it seems to be, but to be too precise about what it literally is would spoil the entertainment.
The only thoughts I have after completing this book are: OH MY! WHATTA BOOK!! 😲 Ms Flynn, the author of "Sharp Objects" and "Dark Places", clearly surpassed herself with this book.
Read on to know more about this amazing book and about why I think you should most definitely give it a try!
Now, this article is divided into six categories.
• Ratings and stuff about the book.
• How I got my hands on this book.
• Some background of the author.
• The synopsis of the book.
• About the writing style.
•Some intriguing facts about the book.
•Ratings and stuff about the book:
Botopsy rating: 5/5✨
Length of the book: 466 pages long.
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
•How I came across this book:
I heard a lot about Gillian Flynn and how she turns a simple story into a roller coaster ride. I wanted to try her best work and so I picked this one up, and I must admit that after reading this book, I'm completely dumbfounded!
•About the author:
Gillian Schieber Flynn ( born February 24, 1971) is an American writer. Flynn has published three novels, Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl,all three of which have been adapted for film or television. Flynn wrote the adaptations for the 2014 Gone Girl film and the HBO limited series Sharp Objects. She was formerly a television critic for Entertainment Weekly.
Gone Girl is sharp, mercurial, subtly layered and populated by characters so well imagined that they’re difficult to part with.
Here, in this book, we have two main characters- Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott.
Nick Dunne is a writer who lost his job in New York City when the magazine he worked for went under. He retreated to North Carthage, the small town in Missouri where he grew up, dragging his wife Amy, who is also a magazine writer. She is is also recently unemployed. Nick is a smart, good-looking guy, with a touch of the golden boy about him. When he moves to Missouri he buys a bar with his twin sister Margo. He gets a job teaching writing at the local junior college. He allows his professional prospects to quietly and gracefully deflate.
Amy on the other hand, is a type-A personality, a Harvard grad with definite ideas about Nick's career and her own. "My wife had a brilliant, popping brain, a greedy curiosity," Nick tells us. Amy doesn't fit in in North Carthage, and with no job and no social life to speak of, she's left alone at home to spin her wheels. They spin fast, very fast.
On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick leaves the house after breakfast. He heads to work. While he is gone, Amy disappears into thin air. The journey that progresses to find the gone girl herself is maddeningly twisted, to say the least.
It almost requires a game board to show how Nick and Amy move through this book. They met at a party in Brooklyn and were momentarily smitten. After they get married Nick lost his job. So they had to move back to Nick’s hometown, North Carthage, which Amy hated. In Missouri, they had the kinds of fights, infidelity, money troubles and other noir-style problems that witnesses will remember now that Amy’s gone. (Nick, go to jail.)
Nick has a secret life that did not involve Amy. On the morning she vanished, he was off doing something that he is deeply ashamed of, and it is not revealed until late in the novel. Ms Flynn’s idea for Nick’s biggest secret will be, for some readers, the most startling detail in a book that is full of terrific little touches. 😉
Nick’s narrative begins the book, and it illustrates how many different ways there are to disassemble. Like many a less clever unreliable narrator, Nick likes lies of omission. The reader has to figure this out very gradually because Ms Flynn is impressively cagey about which details she chooses to withhold.
The invisible Amy can talk only about her past behaviour. She began keeping the diary in 2005, and it describes the marriage as an emotional roller coaster. Even when the fights began, Amy went to elaborate efforts to be cheerful and boost her husband’s spirits, but she grew more and more worried as the marriage spiralled downward.
And then the police show up. And Nick begins to lie. Not that Nick killed his wife. He's just a compulsive liar, one of those people whose deepest instinct isn't, to tell the truth; it's to tell people what he thinks they want to hear, except that he usually guesses wrong. But, when the police start unravelling his inventions, he starts to look like a bad guy. He looks worse when Amy's diary surfaces, detailing the deterioration of their marriage and Nick's increasingly volatile behaviour.
So, Did Amy die?, who killed her, is it Nick?, What secret life did Nick had? To get the answers to the above-mentioned questions you have to read the book.
Gone Girl begins as a whodunit, but by the end, it will have you wondering whether there's any such thing as a who at all.
Gone Girl is a story about men and women who live double lives not because they're secret agents or jewel thieves but because as human beings they're incapable of being who they appear to be.
Overall, the book is an incredible thriller. A must-read even for those who are not thriller fans. I bet you would become one. 😉
Gillian Flynn’s greatest strength as an author lies in her ability to change the way her readers perceive her protagonists. The writing is smart, witty and appalling. The portrayal of characters is sharp and intensive. There is so much to say about the lead female character Amy and how she pulls the readers towards her.
Not to mention, the 'cool girl monologue' is on point, perfectly describes the kind of woman almost every man is looking for. The imaginative, fictional character that they desire to have for a lifetime.
1. When Flynn was drafting Gone Girl, main character Amy's family's business was originally a dating service. The oh-so-perfect "Amazing Amy" idea only came later.
2. Flynn wrote the screenplay of the movie version of Gone Girl, which is produced by Reese Witherspoon. Which was further nominated for Golden Globe and Bafta.
3. Flynn has said that she was inspired to write the novel by the disappearance of Californian Laci Peterson in late 2002.