Twitter can be really useful for plenty of things; a lot less annoying than Facebook. So when Jessica Biel tweeted me a book suggestion during the summer I figured I better go and get this book. When I picked it up at my local bookstore, I didn’t see any hugely expensive binding or any pictorial clues on the cover. Just the title of the book, and the authors name. Pretty minimalistic;very alluring.
I went home, put on the kettle and probably should have bought an extra box of tea before I got home from town because what happened after that was not something I was prepared for. For 3 days I had numerous missed calls, unanswered text messages even the cat was lucky to have gotten fed. I literally could not put this book down. I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone who has not read this yet, so I am only going to gingerly touch on characters, how they affected me and what I thought about the story in general.
In the first few pages of Gillians work, I thought “This is it – I’m gone off this earth for a few days, I am totally engrossed in every plot, every turn and every twist. I know I am going to just keep turning page after page after page, even if it is 3am and I have to get up for work in 4 hours”. That is how engrossing this book is. It should come with a warning, realistically.
The first character you are introduced to is a guy called Nick. He is trying to deal with the sudden disappearance of his wife Amy and the novel gradually goes on to reveal some details that might cause you to cast doubt on his innocence. I didn’t like him, from the very first page, I thought he was smug and just a typical by-product of the failed institution of marriage. I thought that if I was married to him I would probably have disappeared too. I thought that this was where Gillian was trying to lead me. And that was when the whole novel went from extraordinary to intriguing. This is usually when most novels plateau or don’t offer another punch, but Mrs. Flynn pushes it up another gear and completely spins your brain.
Like I said, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but part 2 of the book offers huge plot twists that casts Amy’s character in an entirely new light. And of course, this was the moment that I felt sorry for Nick. Something I hadn’t imagined happening when I first started reading. This book made me question myself which is what I think Gillian Flynn wanted. I think she wanted people to look at the relationships they have with one another, especially the marriage between two people. She gently pushes Amy’s character through to you by means of her diaries. It poses a question to the reader; do you really know a person as well as you think you do? And, that maybe the monster doesn’t come in a big scary masculine presence. Maybe it comes in a neat, tidy and inconspicuous, unobtrusive little package. People wear masks and this can work for the good or bad – the more hideous the secret, the more carefully that mask is constructed. Think you’re not a gullible person? Read this and come back and tell me how that went for you.
Personally, I think Mrs. Flynn doesn’t like women in general but thats just my two cents! But I have to hand it to her, she sucked me in, showed me the ugly reality of pretence and turned a media induced stereotypical brain right on its head, and she scared me. You don’t know what is going to happen and the author has a very distinctive style of writing that involves you in the story from the very first word to the very final full stop. “Gone Girl” does contain quite a bit of foul language, this wasn’t a problem for me, but it might be something to keep in mind if you do decide to read it.
This novel has clearly been put together by a very clever and very talented writer. Gillian Flynn is going to string you along. She really deconstructs the topic of love and marriage and its unconventional truths. You will be shocked that you are being continually lied to and manipulated by both protagonists. If you want to read a love story, or are of an emotionally soft disposition, go elsewhere. This book is not for you, and the emotional trauma of being forced to look at love from this harsh and raw perspective will probably have you watching “The Notebook” for a long time to come.
Sadly, the ending was a disappointment for me. Probably best not to expect too much from it and just enjoy the reading of the novel as such. It is always straightforward and easy to read. I don’t see why thriller writers feel the need to expand their books by an extra hundred pages when a more condensed offering would have done just as well. This is just stupid, because it automatically weakens the suspense and takes from the plot. There is a movie being made from the novel, and hopefully the producers won’t drag out the last scenes as the book did.
Read the book before the movie comes out, and if you are a little sick minded, get it for Valentines!