Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review of Gone Girl

I was looking forward to reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, seeing it on the bestsellers list for some weeks and enjoying crime, I thought I would enjoy this thriller. And I did - to an extent. It's a difficult review to write without giving away too much of the plot but I'll try not to include any spoilers. Meet Amy and Nick who have been married for five years and both seem to be experiencing the 5 year itch. On the day of their 5th anniversary, Nick returns home to find his wife vanished, blood on the floor and signs of a struggle. With the absence of any other suspect, he becomes a main suspect for his wife's murder but with the absence of a body, the police aren't making any arrests.

We get to know each character in turn as the book delves into Amy's past and Nick's present. As the book goes on, their relationship is shown to be flawed, their personalities are explained by their interactions with friends, with parents and with Nick's twin sister.
The book is well written in that my sympathies for each character changed as the book went on. As it concentrates so much on Nick and Amy, you are almost forced to like one or other of them at different times. However, I found it hard to like either of them and I suppose rather than liking them in turn, I had some sympathy for each character in turn. The only character I actually had some regard for was Go, Nick's twin sister in that I felt most sorry for her.
In the end, we see that many of the characters get their comeuppance in one way or another, they may try to persuade themselves that they are happy but it's pretty evident they are not.
The book has some serious messages about marriage and relationships - how people can manipulate each other, how people can make plans and yet be scuppered, how love can become a selfish hate and how love and hate can actually be very close emotions.

It is a good book and yes, I'd recommend it but I'm not so sure I would ever reread it. It's very different to a crime novel as in with crime novels, we are usually as much in the dark as the detective and only find out who the killer is after the detective has worked it out. In Gone Girl, we know more than all the characters and hence, we, the readers, can feel more powerful with our knowledge and yet are powerless to do anything but are manipulated just as much as the characters as our emotions change towards the characters.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the darkness of the characters in Gone Girl - so much that I ended up reading Gillian Flynn's other books too, although this one was my favourite.