Well, I have finally finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
It took me ages, not because it wasn’t a gripping, brilliant read, but because life has been particularly busy recently. I had to take a break from it for a short while before returning, only to be totally hooked on it again as if I’d never stepped away from it.
Gone Girl is a fantastic read. The writing is consistently sharp and brilliant. Flynn’s ability to describe people, surroundings and feelings is quite remarkable, and yet again I have been totally inspired by the work of another author.
The descriptions are so good that at times they are hard to read, and I mean that in the best possible way. Sometimes the social observations of both narrators, Nick and Amy, are so grotesque and honest that it really gets to you… Some of it you will agree with, some of it you will feel strongly against, but that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much – it really made me think.
There are so many clever themes running through this novel. Now obviously everyone reads things differently and will draw varying elements from any one text. I picked out running commentaries ranging from Amy’s fear of ageing (and then on to a wider discussion about ageing and society), to how easily swayed people are by the media (and then on the question ‘can there ever be a fair trial?’) to the challenges and strains of human relationships (are people really meant to be monogamous? Is it really in our nature?).
This book holds so many twists and turns it makes you positively dizzy, but those same twists and turns don’t alienate you as a reader. It’s digestible and it continues to make sense despite the incredibly complex plot. I am astounded by the amount of research and careful planning that must have gone into this novel.
Essentially I have been left thinking about this book long after reading the final page because it prompted me to question the way people are portrayed in the media, and how there is often so much more to a situation than meets the eye. I was a journalist for several years, and having covered a fair number of trials and stories during this time, this subject has always really interested me.
If you need to love characters throughout a story, I should warn you about Amy and Nick. They are not characters I could easily relate to our understand, but it was so well written that I was kind of hooked into needing to find out more about them. I wouldn’t say I loved either Amy or Nick, but I saw them from many different sides and angles, which is a sign of immensely good writing.
I would recommend Gone Girl to everyone. I’m usually a total wuss when it comes to thriller type stuff, but this wasn’t overpowering or gratuitously violent. I felt that it had just the right amount of everything. It touched me, disturbed me, and shocked me too. A thrilling tale of love-turned-ugly, and a real talking point for any book group looking for a new read.