Yes, its another book by Gillian Flynn! I thought that after her triumphant ‘Sharp Objects’ I ought to read her other, more famous novel.
‘Gone Girl’, in essence, is a whodunnit book with better characters and a massive great twist that basically gives the book its entire momentum. I had many conflicting thoughts while reading this book. Firstly, the good stuff. Credits to Flynn for getting me to read a 400 page book in record time, because when people say this book is a page turner they definitely are not kidding. The plot is extremely high paced, even at the beginning when most books need a slight warming up, this book dived straight in. It manages to completely fool the reader on so many different levels, and includes twists that I have never even read before. Amy Dunne’s character development was nailed, from going to ‘Cool Girl’ and Diary Amy whose life was to be frank, enviable and her nonchalant, easy-going nature was likeable without being annoying. When we were finally introduced to the ‘real Amy’, I found myself firstly very relieved and disappointed that people like this did not exist. Then as the book went on I found myself hating her more and more, which I think (and I hope) was intended, because by the end I really couldn’t find anything I liked about her, and to be honest, characters like this make the best characters. She was totally brilliant and clever, and with this book I found out that Amy (in actual fact this is Gillian Flynn I should be handing it to) had thought of everything on a different level. With murder mystery, or ‘missing’ stories, its extremely hard to find a balance between just the right amount of crazy and believable, and with most the ending is predictable as you just think of the most unpredictable subject, or the most absurd twist. However, like Sharp Objects, the twists in Gone Girl practically jump out at you from nowhere. Flynn clearly has a talent for dark, twisted characters and she writes about Nick and Amy’s challenging marriage so well, that I felt I almost knew what it felt like to be married to them myself. If you want a book that makes you wonder ‘How did the author do that?’, whilst not being too much of a brain teaser this is definitely a solid choice.
On the other hand, there were some things I had a problem with. Nick mainly. I thought his character was complicated, but not in the way that I enjoyed. I was confused about his attitude to Amy, especially at the end, and I wasn’t sure if he was being completely stubborn by staying with her so he could eventually get revenge, or just the most submitting man ever, by actually destroying a book he had slaved over for a baby that would probably be at high risk of inheriting its mother’s psychotic nature. Not worth it, right? His relationship with Go was strange, and the incessant lying at the beginning was very pointless. For example, when he made up the lie about going to the beach on the morning of Amy’s disappearance, we were never given any reason why, even by him, why he would make up a lie like that, even a reason that was totally unbelievable.
Secondly, I thought the ending of the book by no means at all did the rest of the book justice. I was getting all excited when he was planning to release his exposing book on Amy, that finally maybe Nick would do something that wasn’t cowardly and actually gave Amy something she deserved. But no. Flynn then decided to turn it into a book with morals of forgiveness and compromise for the people you ‘love’. Which really wasn’t what she had been following in the last 400 pages. Overall, the first 95% of the book was stellar, extremely entertaining literature that had the creepy/crazy factor whilst also not being too unbelievable like many other murder mysteries, and I give character development 10/10, especially as Flynn managed a balance between Really Good Plot and Really Complex Protagonist.