Gillian Flynn hates people. That’s the over-riding feeling you have walking away from her latest success, Gone Girl.
Nick’s wife, Amy has gone missing. There are some signs of a struggle and although the police don’t have anything to go on, it’s only natural to assume that Nick was involved in the disappearance.
The book is divided into chapters, each one opening a window into the minds of the central characters. From this, we’re pretty sure Nick didn’t have anything to do with his wife’s disappearance, but he’s definitely hiding something.
As the plot opens up, more evidence is uncovered – evidence which further incriminates our clueless hero (if you can call him that). It becomes clear that someone is trying to set him up.
“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”
Around the half-way point, just as things are really starting to go wrong for Nick, something changes. We, the jaded readers, catch a glimpse of the other side of a dark and tarnished coin, something that sheds a whole new light on the case.
That’s as much as I’ll say on that, but it’s a big twist and it sets the pace a little higher for the rest of the novel.
Now, I won’t say it’s the best book I’ve ever read. The characters are despicable to such a degree that it becomes impossible to identify with them. I will concede, however, that it deserves its success. It’s not a literary landmark but if you’re looking for a clever, psychological page-turner, it’s among the best in its genre.
“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”
Gone Girl is a very cynical story which poses a lot of questions about relationships. The main lesson to be learned is that you can never truly know someone as much as you think you do and in Gillian Flynn’s world, that blind spot will be your inevitable undoing.
So don’t get married and if you can manage it, avoid all contact with the opposite sex. While you’re at it, you might as well shun your own gender because they can’t be trusted either. Keep your head down and mind your own business because you never know what you might unleash upon yourself.
For those who have read Gone Girl, Flynn’s other two novels (Sharp Objects, Dark Places) come recommended and, you’ll be pleased to hear, are both littered with dysfunction and darkness.