Gone Girl

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Released: June 1, 2012
Pages: 415
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Marriage can be a real killer.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

I apologise in advance, but this is going to be the kind of review that keeps going on about the book having been adapted to a film, and, even worse, I’m going to let the fact that I’ve seen the film colour my review of the book. Sorry, but it’s impossible not to. But hey, at least I’m not going to spoil anything!

I saw the film of Gone Girl when it came out, and knew I had to read the book. I liked the book, just as I liked the film. However, I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more had I not known that was going to happen.

It’s a good story, and, I think, the kind of story it’s best to know nothing at all about before reading the book. So I’m not going to say anything. It’s cleverly written, engaging, and enough is kept from the reader to leave us guessing, both about the story and the characters in it. But, again, knowing where the story was going I found myself enjoying the build-ups, the uncertainty, and the twists much less than I think I would have had I approached the story cold.

It’s probably unfair to blame this on the book though, and I don’t. At least not much. I had hoped my experience would be more like that of reading We Need to Talk About Kevin, also after having seen the film. In that case the book was very different from the film, and I found myself enjoying the book immensely, as I had the film, but in a very different way. Reading Gone Girl it almost felt like I was reading the book for the second time, which probably speaks to how well it was adapted.

So in general I’d recommend Gone Girl to anyone, but if you haven’t seen the film I’d say this should probably be the next book you read. If only so you don’t know what happens when you do.

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