Even though I have been a book blogger for quite a while now and am generally meant to be on top of all things bookish, I have been very slow at getting round to reading the book that pretty much the entire world (no exaggeration) has been discussing for the last year or so. I got a bit fed up of my mum and my sister going into another room to talk about ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn so I thought I had better get round to reading it so that I could join in with the conversation.
I deliberately chose not to read any reviews of ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn in order to avoid spoilers about the big “twist”. This was a sound decision and I would say it is definitely a good thing to read ‘Gone Girl’ knowing as little as possible about it. All you really need to know is that it tells the story of Amy Dunne, a woman in her thirties who suddenly disappears from her house in North Carthage, Missouri on her fifth wedding anniversary. When evidence of marriage problems begins to emerge, her husband Nick becomes the main suspect. So, what exactly happened to Amy?
I’m not going to reveal any big spoilers about the “twist” or the ending. What I will say is that I hadn’t known that the “twist” would occur in the middle as I assumed that it would come at the end. It is rare for that sort of thing to happen right in the middle of a story rather than the beginning or the end so I found this really surprising and also quite refreshing. Given that ‘Gone Girl’ is meant to be a thriller, I had initially thought that the pace was a little slow to begin with but the revelation at the beginning of Part Two gave the story a new lease of life.
The writing itself isn’t always brilliant but the observations about underlying resentment in relationships and ‘Cool Girl’ are spot on. Paradoxically, I tend to like the supposedly unlikeable characters more than the likeable ones so I found Nick and Amy’s relationship particularly fascinating. Yes, the events and their characters are pretty extreme but they also revealed some subtleties about relationships too like how the cracks start to form. The tagline “There are two sides to every story” turns out to be particularly ominous.
My mum read ‘Gone Girl’ a couple of months ago and said it felt like the author hadn’t known how the story was going to end even while she was writing it. I had a little more faith in Flynn than my mum did as I think she plotted the story very well. Even though the ending doesn’t entirely resolve everything, I still think it was actually quite satisfying. Given the whole set-up of the book, I really don’t know how else it could have ended without descending into total farce.
A psychological thriller with a real twist, ‘Gone Girl’ is undeniably a very clever book that I really did find hard to put down. As with many much-hyped books, it isn’t perfect, but it is very thought-provoking and definitely a book that you will want to discuss with other people.