I always know when I’m reading a brilliant book because it influences my mood, and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl made me feel frustrated and angry for the 48 hours that I was reading it.
The novel is about Nick’s wife, Amy, who goes missing on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. The first third of the novel functions like any crime/thriller. Someone goes missing (presumed dead), and the first suspect is questioned (usually the husband). But when you get to Part B (the second third of the novel), you’re inundated with twists and horrible acknowledgements from both characters. Part C adds to the suspense in a ‘how will this novel end?’ kind of way. I can’t say much without ruining those twists, so I’ll keep my review vague.
You realise quite quickly that this novel is not like most crime/thriller novels. The characters have depth, and their motivations and background is explained well. Flynn switches point of view between Nick and Amy (this seems like a spoiler, but Amy’s point of view is from the past in the form of diary entries), and the transition is handled quite smoothly. Flynn has established their voices really well, and they don’t intertwine and ever feel like similar characters.
The only downside to the novel is that neither character seems relatable. Nick is a cheater (sorry for the slight spoiler, but you learn this pretty early on), and Amy is a manipulative bitch (excuse the language). It’s hard to know which character you like more, because I felt like I didn’t really like either character. Still, I wanted to know what happened to Amy. And Gillian knows how to write a great thriller.
My Score: 9/10
A. J. Ullman says
Gone Girl is on my personal top ten list of best novels of all time.
I’m glad you like it as well as I.
Flynn was quite inventive in how she made this book and as far as I know the first novel to use a diary to indict a person for a crime he didn’t commit.
Yes, neither one is likable, but Amy is far and away more sinister, mean and vindictive. Nick is a jerk for cheating, but he’s not psychopathically out there. Her intelligence, ego and vanity are rarely seen in literary characters and seeing it in a woman and not a man is a reader’s treat.
I’m glad you liked it! I remember when I first read it, I couldn’t put it down!