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Gone Girl Book Review

Gone Girl Book Review

Everyone will have seen the Gone Girl film’s emblazoned in the cinemas or on posters across the UK, however what many aren’t aware is that this gripping tale is an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel, that is dazzlingly dark and a seemingly intelligent thriller.

The novel opens as Nick, main character – "I used to be a writer… back when people read things on paper, back when anyone cared about what I thought" – finds that Amy has gone missing on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary. Their front door is open, the coffee table shattered, books scattered, and Amy, a trust fund New Yorker who has been miserable since Nick dragged her to his Missouri home town to care for his dying mother, is gone.

Nick calls the police, of course, but there's something off about his reactions. He keeps referring to Amy in the past tense, and then catching himself. He ponders her "finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily". And he is not quite worried enough about her disappearance. "I felt myself enacting Concerned Husband," he says. "I wasn't sure what to say now. I raked my memory for the lines. What does the husband say at this point in the movie? Depends on whether he's guilty or innocent."

Gone Girl switches between Nick's narrative, as the hunt for the beautiful, blond Amy consumes the attention of America's media, and Amy's diary, as she writes about the early days of their relationship. "Tra and la! I am smiling a big adopted-orphan smile as I write this… I met a boy!" she says. And then later: "He promised to take care of me, and yet I feel afraid."

Gradually the two stories begin to converge. The pointed finger of media – and police – blame starts to swing Nick's way, and he doesn't endear himself to his readers as a hint of misogyny enters his tone. Women have "girl brain[s]" and female scents, "vaginal and strangely lewd". He lies to the police: little lies that don't really matter. And there's something odd about Amy's diary too; her version of the events of their past is different from Nick's.

The novel will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end where the somewhat disappointing ending, will have you shouting at the book. It is but a let-down, a weird relationship that has been so severely twisted it is hard to believe that this couple actually come to the conclusion that they do… nevertheless, this is a very good read and is utterly memorable! Just to say you’ve ticked it off your bucket list…

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