Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Publisherd: Phoenix (Orion Books) 2013
First Published: 2012
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
I think it’s fair to say this is one of the most hyped books of recent years. At one point you could not watch a booktube video or read a book blog without hearing mention of this book. And it is probably for this reason that I put off reading it for quite some time. I stumbled upon a copy of it in a secondhand bookshop and was quite excited to see it there, so I snapped it up. And then it sat on my shelf for a good few months. Then I heard it was being made into a film, so I decided the time had come to see whether this book lived up to all the hype for me.
Unfortunately, this novel was a huge disappointment. At first I forced myself to keep going because I knew there was a ‘big twist’ half way through, and when I got to the twist I had to force myself to keep going to the end. I generally tend to put a book down if it is not grabbing me, but with all the megahype surrounding this one I kept telling myself that it must get better. It didn’t.
The characters were awful. I don’t have a problem with unlikable characters, characters you love to hate, but these ones I just hated. Whiney, selfish, self absorbed, arrogant, spoilt – no redeeming features whatsoever. The one character I did find quite interesting, Nick’s father, did not get enough air time. And the whole plot was just ridiculous and improbable. The reactions of the main characters just did not seem real and the whole thing just fell flat for me.
I do think that this might work better on film, and feel that it was perhaps written with a screenplay in mind. I will probably watch the film when it reaches it DVD, but I won’t rush out to see it at the cinema.
Once again, a case of an overhyped book not living up to it’s promise for me. 2 stars, simply because I finished it. I have another of Gillian Flynn’s books on my shelf – Sharp Objects – and I’m sure I will give that a go at some point in the future, but it certainly is not high up on my TBR list!