Friday, 20 February 2015

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Reviewer: JD Smith

What we thought: It's hard to say much about Gone Girl without giving away chunks of the plot , and yet there are so many twists and turns and meticulously crafted reasons and explanations that regardless of what a review might reveal, you'd still be saying 'Oh, yes, that makes so much sense now!' and 'Of course, that's why they thought/went/did/said those things'. 

The story opens in the voice of Nick - "I used to be a writer… back when people read things on paper, back when anyone cared about what I thought" - a husband whose wife suddenly and mysteriously goes missing from their home in small town Missouri; the home nick dragged Amy back to almost kicking and screaming had she not been 'cool girl' who is far too laid back and cool to object 'much'. 

We flick back and forth, between Nick's present day narrative and Amy's diary entries for the years leading up to her sudden disappearance. 

Nick calls the police upon finding Amy gone, the front door left wide open, furniture upturned in their living room. But there's something not right about Nick's reactions to the police. He refers to Amy in the past tense, corrects himself. He appears on TV and there's something not quiet right about his expressions, the fact that he smiles. The scene of the crime isn't quite 'right'. But when you listen to Nick, his voice, it's all so right, so normal, for him to react that way. The media begin to believe Nick killed his wife.

And yet there's no body. Only the trace of blood having been cleaned up from his kitchen floor. 

So where is Amy and who is telling the truth? Because there's definitely an unreliable narrator in our midst.

This is a brilliant story. Both as a book and a film. Although I would say that the film has a darker edge than the book . There's something about the narrative in the book which gives a lighter, slightly less dark and sinister feel. And yet it is no less entertaining for it.

You’ll enjoy this if you liked: Before I Go To Sleep SJ Watson and The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty.

Avoid if you dislike: The word 'amazing', unreliable narrators.

Ideal accompaniments: a bottle of Budweiser, salted peanuts, seafood, crisp white wine (depending on whose narrative you're reading).

Genre: Thriller, mystery.

Available from Amazon

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