Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

December 18, 2013

Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Weidenfield & Nicolson
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9780297859383
Rating: ★★★★½
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Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.

― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (Winner of GoodReads choice 2012)

An estranged couple is trying hard to make their marriage work and just then, the wife goes missing leaving behind incriminating evidences against the husband. Will they be able to save her?

This is one of those books that you think is something but turns out to be totally different, leaving you awestruck. Victor Hugo once said “Virtue has a veil, Vice has a mask.” This book is about unmasking people’s personalities. What we see initially in this book, is a lovable couple working through hard times, who have survived 5 years of marriage successfully. But as the layers are revealed like peels of an onion, we see how disturbing and unsettling the human nature can be, analogous to the tears caused by the onions. It is about how far one goes to get revenge.

After losing his job as a journalist, Nick and Amy move from New York to a small town called North Carthage, Missouri to start afresh. The clever and beautiful Amy has a hard time adjusting to the small-town life initially, but then it grows over her. They live a pretty quiet and uneventful life, until on the day of Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. The evidences point towards Nick even though he vehemently denies any involvement in this case. However, his lack of grief towards his missing wife makes him a prime suspect and what follows is the story of a Gone Girl.

One can’t help but marvel at Gillian Flynn’s flow of thoughts that has constructed one of the best crime thrillers of recent times. The novel is a narration of Nick’s and Amy’s perspective of the events surrounding their lives. The crux of any crime novel lies in the author’s understanding of the human nature and how he/she uses it to build a motive and carry out the crime. Flynn achieves this in such a warped manner that you double back at every twist and say “Wait… What??”

Another feature of her writing is her characterizations. The years in the past where ‘Good vs. Evil’ and ‘Goodness triumphs evil’ kind of crime mysteries were the best sellers are over. Most of the writers needed a story with a moral ending because their readers felt the bad must be punished. But, now are the times of “No one is good” trend (Characters from Dexter, A Song of Ice and Fire, etc.) And clearly, Gillian Flynn has joined the bandwagon of authors who don’t find it necessary to portray likable characters because they understand that it is after all a secondary factor which the new age readers are ready to overlook for a good plot. When you read this book, I doubt if any of you will like any of the character in the book. But trust me; it will not stop you from liking this book. As for the ending, it is not only an unanticipated one but also different from the usual trends.

This book might leave you hating your guts for picking it up, a tiny bit miserable, wondering what will happen even after the book ends, maybe even unhappy at the ending (though I personally feel there could not have been a better ending!), but it is a must read for all crime fiction fans because this is a book like no other.

More on this:

Gillian Flynn Interview

Gone Girl Movie?

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Writer at IndiaBookStore
Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!
Vanathi Parthasarathi

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  • manju December 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    good review!! will put it into my must read list. thankyou vanathi.

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi December 20, 2013 at 5:33 AM

      Thanks manju 🙂

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