You must have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Gone Girl by now. Why? Because the novel seems to have swept across globe in an astounding fashion, and is now a critically acclaimed Hollywood blockbuster directed by David Fincher, and starring Academy Award nominated Rosamund Pike. To say that the novel has enjoyed huge success would be putting it mildly. The question is, has it deservedly so?
Ultimately, yes. Gillian Flynn’s narrative is entirely gripping from start to finish. It is the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, whose marriage is under increasing strain due to their relocation from NY to Missouri, and the stark change in their financial prospects. So, when Amy disappears suddenly on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick soon becomes the prime suspect – he increased her life insurance policy, used her money to start his own business, and has an awful relationship with the media. But Nick swears he has nothing to do with her disappearance – in which case, what happened to Amy Dunne?
Firstly, the plot is great and Flynn sets it up perfectly. The characters are equally interesting, perhaps excluding Margo, in how they react to the news of Amy’s disappearance, and in their efforts to find her. On top of this, the pace of the novel never slows and it becomes almost impossible to put down – the quest to find out what happened and indeed what will happen next becomes obsessive.
One word of warning however concerns Flynn’s style of writing, and by that I mean at first it can seem quite abrasive, strange and difficult to get into. Stick with it, and you’ll be fine – it just might take a chapter or two to get used to.
To sum up, it’s intelligent, dark, thrilling and disturbing all at the same time. If you’re in any doubt as to whether it will live up to the hype, cast them aside, it will.