Thursday, 30 October 2014

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn; Review

Book Details:
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Phoenix (3 Jan 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0753827662
ISBN-13: 978-0753827666
Source: Review/Purchase/Gift


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 favours 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 behaviour. 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?

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With all the hype surrounding the movie being out, it was only a matter of time before I succumbed, and decided I wanted to be a part of this new group of people, whose very core were shocked by the twist in the story. However, forever a book nerd, I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. As per my Sahina tradition, I refused to look at other peoples reviews and opinions, for the fear of being sucked into the hype-that-would-influence-my-opinion-whilst-reading-the-book. So that was that - I had decided to read Gone Girl. 

However, getting into the book itself was a different story altogether. I was genuinely excited and pretty psyched to finally read this book, because yes I heard it was brilliant and highly acclaimed. Yet it took me 5 different attempts on different days to even progress further than a page each time. I found myself trying to drag my attention to this book, yet just couldn’t quite get myself interested. I read at a slow pace, probably a few pages each day and even then, I only picked the book back up in my spare moments because I just wanted to see what this crazy, wild twist was. 

Sadly to say, my 3 star review comes mainly from the fact that it took me far too long to get into this book - the pace was slow, admittedly to build up the climax, but that’s a downside for me as I didn’t enjoy the buildup at all. 

On the plus side, about 40% of the way, things started picking up pace, and once I had reached the middle, I couldn’t put it down. It is twisted, yes it’s crazy, and it’s refreshing to find a story as such. I’ve read my fair share of crime novels by the likes of Ian Rankin and more, so I’m familiar with suspense and psychological thrillers, yet Gone Girl was refreshing based on the fact this wasn’t marketed wholesomely as a crime novel but a thriller. I don’t know if that’s even making sense to be honest (I’m writing this review at 4am, so, you know *makes crazy hand motions*). 

Flynn’s writing was a pleasure to read - there was poetry in there, it felt very solid and it moved the story along nicely. There were moments in the book, where the author reveals bombshells at the most unexpected moments, bit by bit, and I remember reading them and pausing, and thinking “oh shiiiiii” - which for me is a true mark of surprise. Despite going into the book with the knowledge that there’s huge twists and surprises in there, and being somewhat mentally prepared to analyse every part of the book whilst reading to see if I can guess the surprise - I can say that Flynn still caught me off guard with each new revelation. Bravo, bravo. 

The characters I thoroughly enjoyed, especially Nick’s. He managed to both piss me off and make me like him at the same time, which is a fate in itself LOL. He was a very real character I felt, his tendencies and characteristics though flawed, were real. His reactions, the way he behaved, it all felt right. As for Amy. *shakes head* you’ll have to figure that one out for yourself, but again, I really enjoyed reading about her and her.. ideas. 

The plot and the execution was very well done in my opinion and though it took me a while to get into, once I did, I enjoyed it. It is twisted, it’s weird, and it’s dark - I feel like there were underlying issues in the story regarding rape and abuse that could have opened up room for exploration. Nonetheless, the end. *deep sigh* what can I say about the ending?! I know a lot of people were frustrated (myself included) at the ending, but in a twisted way, it made sense after all that had happened, what other options was there? I don’t want to say too much for the fear of revealing it for other people, but all I can say is, that if you can grit your teeth and wade your way through the first half, you’ll enjoy Gone Girl. I wish I had more stars to give this book, I really do, given how much anticipation I had for the story, but alas, twas not meant to be. Next stop for me, is to watch the movie and embody everything I’ve read, on screen. 

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