Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Book Review

5/5 Stars

There are two sides to every story...

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 463
Chapters: 62
Publisher: Phoenix

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


Holy crap!



I'm not even sure if I have the smarts to review this book. I don't even know if I'm brave enough to review this book. But I'm gonna, I'm gonna try like hell. Part of me can't believe there's a movie of the novel, not because it's not good enough, but because there's so much in this story that I'm finding it hard to believe it could fit into a movie. And even if it did, will it invoke the feels, the constant electric that courses through your brain? I don't know. I'm sure as hell going to watch it and find out, but I'm glad I read the novel first.
What do I say? It's good? No, not strong enough for my opinion. I don't think there's a word that can fully encapsulate my opinion. Gone Girl is psychological thriller at its best! My brain has never been tugged this way. I feel dank and dirty and overall nasty over how much I enjoy the depravity and sheer genius in Gone Girl.
And the writing? Holy crap. The greatest holy crap, in the sense of brilliance.


Gone Girl follows the story of Nick Dunne, a former pop culture writer, and his wife, Amy. One morning Nick comes home to what looks like a struggle.
Amy is missing.
And it's their five year anniversary.
The cops are called, and everything is placed under the microscope.
What happened to Amy Dunne?

What happened is a fantastic and sick question. That tiny blurb I wrote above? It does nothing for this story. I was thinking of just elaborating on everything, but I contained myself for anyone who just wants to read this far and then stop. Stop!
Let's get words I know out of the way. The book is brilliant, fantastic, awesome, thrilling, sensational!
It's also depravity at its finest, twisted, horrifyingly disgusting in the I-cannot-stop way. It dives deep into two despicable human minds, that frighteningly fit so well together. In fact, the author describes it better herself, better than anyone:

'I am a thornbush, bristling from the overattention of my parents, and he is a man of a million little fatherly stab wounds, and my thorns fit perfectly into them.'

It has to be one of my most favourite quotes. It's just on-the-point perfect.

The amount of detail and thinking that happens throughout Gone Girl is incomprehensible intelligence. Everything fits together so well. The first half of the book's pace differs from part two, and it can grate a bit. The blurb on the back of the book doesn't even hold a candle to the amount inside, but what it does have, some of it isn't touched upon or even mentioned to us until the halfway mark. 
But the structure? A joy to read through. It's amazingly plotted out, with everything slotting together like you'd just found the right pieces to a jigsaw one after another. It sometimes throws in some duds, but otherwise keeps forward in a way you cannot imagine.
Side note though: One of the twists in the book, or perhaps the narrative's twist, is foreseeable. 

You saw my quote up top, and it's the only line, the only collection of words and metaphors that actually work. Nick and Amy are two horrible human beings. Nick is a cheat who has more than a few misogynistic traits. Amy is a murderer, with no other way to describe her without the words - absolutely psychotic!
But you can't help but see where they are coming from, the both of them. You don't necessarily like them, god forbid I'm not even sure you're supposed to, but the amount of life the author has given them is fascinating. They, are fascinating. 
If I had to pick a side myself - even though it would have to be under extreme pressure - it would be Nick's. He's the lesser of two evils. They both fall under the category of despicable, but both are each other's match, both are intelligent and almost hopeless. Amy framing Nick for her murder after Nick cheats, her changing her mind and returning to wreak even more havoc, untouched and never having to face the consequences for her actions. Nick, only having consequences, for helping create the monster tormenting him, for being a monster in and of himself.

I have no idea what I'm doing right now.

The story is well balanced though, the characters are well balanced and that's the key for Gone Girl. Nick is portrayed as misogynistic jerk, but the author isn't man-bashing. Amy is equally his match. The same side of the scale, only in female form. She hates anyone who can see the real her, he hates anyone that can see the real him. They detest one another for seeing through each of their own charades and finally clocking the person they married. Magnificently written, magnificent all round.

I haven't even touched upon half of what Gone Girl offers. My only plea is that you pick it up yourself and give it a real sit down. Then after finishing - if you haven't already, and if you haven't why are you reading a SPOILER review! - come back here and understand my completely jumbled thoughts. Empathise with me, we can stare into thin air together!

And the end!? What? How? Why? 

*Please stand by. Matthew has turned into a vegetable.*

Back. Oh the end. I cannot even form words. I hate it in the way that I love it. I understand completely why it ends that way and not another, and if you're here not understanding, go back to the quote above.

I need to watch the film next.

And then I need to pick me up some more Gillian Flynn novels.

For more Gillian Flynn reviews: Index

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