Review of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl

With over 2 million copies sold worldwide, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was one of the most talked about books of the last year- and rightly so.

Gone GirlA dark and disturbing thriller, Gone Girl is the story of the disappearance of a seemingly perfect wife on her fifth wedding anniversary. For Nick, left behind in smalltown Carthage, Missouri, Amy’s disappearance plunges him into a waking nightmare. As the police and the American public begin to turn against him, it’s clear that something about his take on recent events doesn’t quite add up.

The first part of the novel switches between Nick’s first hand experiences of the days immediately after the disappearance and Amy’s diary entry’s, dating back to the day that they first met. But as the book progresses, we begin to realise that the two narratives we’re hearing are telling very different stories, and that at least one of the two of them is not telling the whole truth. In fact, they’re telling anything but the truth.

Then – and there are spoilers coming up so if you don’t want to know, don’t read ahead – the second half of the book hits and we realise that we have two very unreliable and wholly unlikeable characters on our hands. Both Nick and Amy are lying, concealing and misleading both themselves and the reader. It’s a bold move from Gillian Flynn, as she runs the risk of alienating her audience. Not everyone wants to read a whole novel with central characters they can’t relate to.

But in this case, it’s a risk that really paid off. Nick and Amy are human and throughout the novel they display very human weaknesses. Whether they have any redeeming qualities is a very different matter.

Gillian Flynn really ramps up the tension and holds her readers in suspense the whole way through. I was hooked and couldn’t put it down until I turned last pages in the (very) early hours of the morning! Ultimately, in Gone Girl Gillian Flynn has created a master psychological thriller that thoroughly deserves the praise that has been heaped upon it.