Gone Girl (2012) by Gillian Flynn is a thoroughly captivating read. This American story is centred around the disappearance of the Gone Girl, and follows the investigation by the police and by the individuals in the book as they try and figure it out… and try not to blame who many cannot help but blame… the husband and fallen village golden boy. This crime, detective, relationship, mystery novel cleverly switches between two perspectives; that of the central two characters and extensively messed up married lovers, Amy and Nick. Amy, or Amazing Amy (as coined by her two kind yet smothering parents who based a children’s book series on her… not as if she had anything to live up to… which made them a temporary fortune) or Gone Girl, title name of this book, does the majority of her story telling through a compelling diary, that starts prior to the novel’s main events, weaving in and out of Nick’s story, piping up with some interesting ‘revelations.’ Nick, our leading man, goes through a number of trials, not only amongst the other characters in the book, but also with us, the reader. My opinion and trust of him rose and fell like the water in a well used canal lock. I wish I could tell you more, but further details would ruin the addictive suspense. I found Flynn’s portrayal of both of the characters very good, and I particularly applaud her for switching between the mind of a woman and the mind of a man with every chapter… I can barely keep up with my own mind, let alone handle one of the opposite sex.
This continual to and fro between the characters meant that information was steadily teased out, little facts were pushed aside then would pop up later with greater significance. Amy’s disappearance is sudden and rightly so… we all knew that she would go, the title hardly keeps it secret. But the rest of the novel is loaded with secrets and it is great fun as well as a great read, to judge the characters that are presented to us.
The novel disturbed me. So much so that I almost felt like a person that I loved was missing; I mourned them somehow, I felt a cavern within me, formed by their imagined absence. Our imagination is a powerful thing, and perhaps I was feeling more susceptible to Flynn’s printed words within my hands due to a particular emotional instability, but I read for hours at once, I was consumed. I cannot give higher praise than that, as creepy as that all sounds.
My only frustration towards the book (sorry Flynn) lies with the ending. I think that it is a perfectly suited ending, and makes a lot of sense, but I wasn’t happy about it… like the way you stop eating ice cream; you know it’s good to stop, but you’re totally not happy about it. The ending does justice to the unavoidable and manipulative circumstances that are placed upon Nick and, really, life doesn’t always let us walk off into the sun set (sorry Nick).
Excitingly, Gone Girl, will be (deep voice) in a cinema near you towards the end of the year starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. Let’s see if they can do the book justice!