Gone Girl (Book Review) Gillian Flynn

International best-selling author, Gillian Flynn has made her mark with her hit novel, Gone Girl. Now, merged into a motion picture film directed by David Fincher, it is set to release in October.

Gone Girl follows the story of a married couple, Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne. One day Nick wakes up on his 5-year-anniversity only to find that his wife is missing. With the house in a tip, the scene seems like a kidnap. However, Amy’s mysterious yet romantic treasure hunt clues reveal otherwise. As the investigation is unraveled, Nick acquaints with many suspects only to realise that the fingers are being pointed at him.

From the very first page, I was glued to the book and simply couldn’t put it down. Flynn has this gripping writing style where she avoids irrelevant information and gets to the point. The action, mystery and drama are all finely squeezed through the pages where Flynn magnificently allows us to imagine a vivid picture of the scene. She brings to life the characters, whereby personality is definitely highlighted in a realistic way. After the first few chapters we’ve learnt enough about the characters to draw up a conclusion. Though what we do not expect is Flynn to twist these characters in a way that is completely shocking and mind-boggling.

The narrative jumps from the two main protagonists, one the main story from Nick’s perspective and two, diary entry’s from our very own amazing Amy. This constant change between perspectives makes the narrative more interesting, ruling out the stereotypical format of chapter numbers. It literally reflects the books tagline ‘There two sides to every story’, gradually unraveling each side of the story, leaving us the middle of a tense battle. Flynn has the power to change our views and opinions in a split second; we’re swaying from one character to the other being pulled to one side or the other. Thus, halfway we just don’t know what to believe in anymore, making us more eager to get to the end.

Gone Girl is filled with enigmas. The chapters leave us gawking at the page, where we have no choice but to turn to the next to reveal more. Throughout the book we’re asking questions to ourselves of what actually happened the night Amy went missing. We question the facts we know about the characters and begin to wonder what is right and what is wrong.

Gillian Flynn definitely knows how to build up to the climax, where the book gives us a different perspective to a crime investigation. We’re taken deeper into the case and are invited to know about all the missing secrets and clues. We’re not left hanging, we find out first hand with the situation and in fact know more of the deep flaws which craft Amy and Nick’s marriage. She makes us realise how easy it is to point fingers, thus we become guilty of believing in the obvious and soon after regretting our thoughts.

Overall, Gone Girl is a must read. It’s a mystery packed with immense action and gritty drama. Gillian doesn’t avoid in telling us the blunt truth, she explores life in a way which we put on a mask, whereby there are moments of harsh realism. The way she crafts the characters are outstanding, whereby Nick and Amy are vigorously strong souls filled with a mixture of personas. But aren’t we all? We question and question.

The other characters who form part of the circle are all relevant and very genuinely described. We gain an insight in their traits and who they are as a person – we’re able to paint a picture of them in our heads.

Although the only critical comment I may have is that the ending wasn’t something I was expecting. There have been many discussions relating to Flynn’s ending. However, even though I was expecting it to end in a certain way, I respect the ending of this book, simply due to the spontaneity. Life goes on. It hits the hard spot of reality, but also avoids the conventional ends of stories.

Gillian explains: First of all, I didn’t write it as an open ending to set up a sequel at all. It was the only thing that made sense to me, that made sense to what was true to the book and true to the characters. (Shelf Life)

Gone girl has definitely become one of my favourite novels, where I’m intrigued to read more of Flynn’s work. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the film. By the looks of it, Flynn has wrote the screenplay and apparently has changed the ending completely giving it a “whole new third act” as Ben Affleck states.

My Rating: 9/10
Written by: Meera Darji

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