Book review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

28 July 2014

Oh Gone Girl, where do I even begin?

Written by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is one of the biggest books to have come out in the last two years. It has been in my to-read list for a while now but I didn't really get the drive to go and get myself a copy until I realized the movie adaptation's going to be shown soon. When I started, I couldn't stop. It's one of those books that grip you into a chokehold and never let you go until you stop resisting and fully submit yourself under its spell. It didn't matter how sleepy and tired I felt, I kept reading until past midnight. I actually finished it while on a weekend swimming getaway trip with my family yesterday; no matter how inviting the pool was on this cloudy but humid weather, I decided I wouldn't take a dip until I finish this book.

From an outsider's point of view, Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot-Dunne look like a perfect couple. And they were! Everything started changing when they both lost their jobs in New York and they were forced to move to Nick's hometown in Missouri. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy mysteriously disappears. What follows is a riveting he said-she said tale of lies, betrayals, treasure hunts, and mysteries surrounding their marriage and the people around them. Where is Amy? Did Nick kill his wife? If not him, who?

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I read somewhere that instead of two, there are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth. What kept me at the edge of my seat was wondering what happened to Amy, and I didn't want to be spoiled I didn't even check any reviews beforehand. I had at least five different theories regarding her disappearance, but I inferred from the get-go that Nick didn't murder his wife. Filled with red herrings and questionable characters, this book will get you guessing right until the second part where the plot twist is revealed.

Lies and betrayals aside, I think Gone Girl is also very romantic. In the words of Nick Dunne, "catastrophically romantic." Here's an excerpt from Amy's side of the story:
So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man - the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you've made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognize each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine. And then you run into Nick Dunne on Seventh Avenue as you're buying diced cantaloupe, and pow, you are recognized, the both of you. You both find the exact same things worth remembering. (Just one olive, though). You have the same rhythm. Click. You just know each other. And all of a sudden you see reading in bed and waffles on Sunday and laughing at nothing and his mouth on yours. And it's so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine. That fast. You think: Oh, here is the rest of my life. It's finally arrived.
This book is very polarizing and understandably so. Immediately after I finished reading it, I was so puzzled! And mad! But mostly puzzled at how someone can be so diabolical. I kept thinking how it just proves that life is not fair and not everyone gets their comeuppance, and I wished there was some way I could unread it. However, after simmering in my mind for 24 hours, I must say that I really did like it. I mean, I hate that it had to end that way, but it is what it is. I cannot deny how mind-blowingly brilliant it is and how I got a kick out of the transitions to the succeeding chapter. I liked that the characters are flawed, because yes, I do like veering away from cutesy and ideal fictional-but-I-wish-they-weren't characters every once in a while. I also liked that I had to make use of my Kindle's dictionary because I wasn't familiar with some of the words Gillian Flynn used. (Yay for expanding my vocabulary!)

That being said, I am happy that the producers and the author decided to write a completely different ending for the movie. Now I regret not waiting until September to read the book, because I am freakin' excited for the movie! Just check out the trailers below.



I still haven't pegged Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/ Batman because I'm waiting for the trailer before I pass judgment, but I think he's going to be an excellent Nick Dunne! I actually pictured him in my mind the whole time I was reading the book. And Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings? It's so anti-Barney, I love it. I pictured Tanner Bolt as older and I wish they cast Rose Byrne as Go but other than that, I'm okay. David Fincher at the helm, hello? October can't come fast enough.

Brilliant book! The moral of the story? Never marry a psychopath. How do you know if someone's a psychopath? That's the problem.

2 comments:

joey @ 80 Breakfasts said...

I am buying this book!! I love books that grab you and don't let go :)

krissy said...

Hope you enjoy reading it and not get too upset about the ending like I did! XD