May. 24.

Something Else Saturday: Review – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gonegirl-thI did say when I started doing Something Else Saturday that it could be a bit of everything. Today for example is a review of a book that I finished reading during the week. The book is one that many people will be familiar with, but if you’re not, don’t worry, there will not be any spoilers. The book is by Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and, the one which I am reviewing today, Gone Girl.

First, to give you an idea of what the book is about, lets look at the blurb from the back:

Who are you? What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent phone calls on his mobile phone.

So what did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?

This blurb alone is enough to give you a hint into the rollercoaster ride of a book that this is. It is a little slow to get going, but when it does, it really is a rollercoaster. The jumping between past and present, different facets of the story, doesn’t make it feel disjointed. Rather it does draw you in, as it does allow you to see more of the story, from both Nick and Amy’s eyes. There are also a number of plot twists that leave you wondering what is going on, what will happen next and begging for more.

What I found especially interesting though, is how this book is such a masterpiece in how to push your buttons. In it, if Flynn want’s you too feel a certain way about something or someone, you will feel it. If she wants you to hate a character, not only will you hate them, you will despise them. Furthermore, Flynn is able to push your buttons, without make it actively feel like she is doing so. It really does feel as if you are watching events unfold as part of each scene, rather than reading it from the point of view of the author. Maybe I have the benefit of having personally been to a number of the locales she uses in the book, having spent some time in Missouri (and trust me, I never saw anything like this going on – the people are genuinely lovely), but I was able to picture very well what the houses and areas looked like. It really felt, through my own experience and knowledge that I was actually there, and it takes an excellent piece of writing to accomplish such a task.

As for my own personal views of the book. Yes, it is a little slow going to start with. I started reading it while I was in hospital for a couple of days in April, and then left it for a while. When I came back to it, however, I got to a point where I could not put it down. The plot is compelling. The characters are very multi-dimensional. They don’t feel flat. They go up, down and round. Unfortunately though, I ended up, by the end, hating almost all of them. There are no heroes in this book. There are some characters that you can think “they did their best” or that you feel sorry for them, but the main cast are very much anti-heroes. And the book is so much better for it.

Sharp Objects and Dark Places, Flynn’s earlier works, while compelling reads in themselves, do, having read all three, feel like practice pieces. Excellent works, but still practice pieces, compared to Gone Girl, which I feel is her most refined, almost perfect work. The question is, where can she go from here?

What are your views on Gone Girl, or indeed, any of Gillian Flynn’s works? What books should I be reading next (though I may just go and re-read Sharp Objects and Dark Places first)? Please do let me know.


By Robyn | Posted in Books, Review, Something Else Saturday | Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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