Sunday, June 8, 2014

Gone Girl

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery
Published: 2012
Rating: 9/10

Review: I've seen many mentions of Gone Girl in the media in the past year and since the movie is supposed to come out this year, I finally decided to pick up the novel. I read the first quarter of the novel on a plane and it certainly made the time pass faster.

The first part of the book is told from Nick Dunne's perspective. He comes home on the day of his 5th anniversary to find his living room overturned and his wife gone. What follows is the investigation by the police as they search for Amy Dunne. However, the husband is acting weird, he has no alibi, he is hiding things from the police. There are alternating viewpoints from Amy inserted in the form of her diary entries.

About half way through the book, it takes quite a bit of a turn. I actually expected this particular twist, but the tension is masterfully built up, so that just guessing the twist doesn't spoil the book in any way. I stayed up till 5am finishing the novel, which resembles horror more than mystery at certain points. The ending is very interesting and fitting, though not what I expected it to be.

I hope they do a good job of the movie -- I think it'll make an excellent psychological thriller if they pull it off. It's hard to imagine how they will adapt all the inner monologues by Nick to the screenplay, but I guess it can be done. Looks like there's a pretty good cast too.

There are two reasons I think the book was top notch: the first one is a great suspense build-up in the second half of the novel. The second reason is that the book really gets into your head. The characters are so clearly expressed and relatable -- the types of people with the sort of thinking that you would meet all the time. Except everything tends to turn around and show up under a different lens at some point and I think this transformation was very well executed, believable, and horrifying.

The book is an exploration on theme of how well do you know the people around you. Can you really tell what they think, how they feel, what they would do? There are many really interesting relationships -- especially between Nick and his family. Nick's lovable mother contrasted with his hateful father, and his mind-reading twin, Go. They all come alive, and they have their stories to tell. I thought it was very well done. Definitely recommended.