Gone Girl

Sunday, 13 October 2013

'Gone Girl' is a book you'll be begging people to read, just so you can discuss it with them' Mail On Sunday

This. This this this! I have been recommending this book left and right and actually asking friends to read it so they can understand what I'm going on about. I woke up the morning after finishing the book wishing there were more chapters and for the last pages of the book I was definitely shouting out loud as I read every twist and turn. I was that invested.

To be honest, Gone Girl isn't the kind of book I'd normally pick up, a crime thriller on the face of it, as that's not a genre I'm that into, but I'd seen so many people reading it on the tube. That plus it was only £3.99 in Sainsbury's and I love a bargain.

What can I tell you about the book without giving it all away? Well actually quite a lot, there are sooo many twists and turns that you just won't see coming. For the first part of the book we are not sure who to believe. There is a dual narrative; present time chapters from Nick and diary entries from his wife Amy, who has disappeared on their 5th wedding anniversary. All the evidence points to Nick, but his voice in the novel is so strong, we are not entirely convinced. The narrative style allows us to hear two differing accounts of a marriage breakdown and we as the reader are not sure who to believe with each page.

The book covers a number of themes; including the effects of the economic climate on communities and particularly male pride, the media and how it can be used to manipulate the general public and also the lies we tell, even in relationships..
It explores the intricacies of marriage between two very complex people and shines light on the notion that sometimes we don't know everything there is to know about the people we feel we should.
"What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?"

Both Nick and Amy are deeply flawed characters, and at times highly unlikeable, but the fact that we can find admirable traits in them both speaks volumes about the writing. One of my favourite parts of the book was Amy's theory on the Cool Girl. Cool Girl is the 'hot and understanding' girl that all guys want, a girl who basically is into all the same things as him, who looks hot and makes his life easier and is essentially not a real girl but someone girls pretend to be to get men to like them.
"It may be a slightly different version - maybe he's a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he's a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn't ever complain."

One of the most interesting/disturbing notions of the book, is that someone who is ostensibly bad for you, can actually bring out your best qualities, can make you more focused, think clearer, work harder, be your best self. This works against all the principles I've learned and re-learned recently so kinda fucked with my head a bit. Ooops....
"I'm the bitch who makes you better, Nick" Amy antagonises Nick in an argument and he concedes to himself, "Because she was right: As a man, I had been my most impressive when I loved her - and I was my next best self when I hated her. I had only known Amy seven years, but I couldn't go back to life without her. Because she was right: I couldn't return to an average life."

My main criticism of the book would be levelled at how it ended. In some ways it was a complete success, as it seemed like it was heading in one way and then flipped right at the end and because by the end you're not really sure who you want to triumph anyway. Arrgh it's hard to say without saying too much!
However, the last few chapters did seem rushed in pace compared to the languid, hugely detailed style of the rest of the book. It did increase the tension but it means that the book didn't flow completely, it was a little disjointed.

I was verrrrrry excited to hear that the book is being made into a film though! Reese Witherspoon's production company and Twentieth Century Fox have bought the rights to the book, with David Lynch lined up to direct, Ben Affleck playing Nick and Rosamund Pike as Amy. Also, the brunette from Robin Thicke's naughty 'Blurred Lines' video has been cast as Andie...I don't know why this makes me lol but it does. I just know it's gonna take ages to make and I actually wanna watch it, like yesterday so I'm going to have to work on my patience...

Shanika Says: One to read! 

Gillian Flynn, who is also writing the screenplay for the movie.


  1. Not normally my kinda read but u sold it to me!!Gunna try pick it up this week x

  2. This is such a good review shan! Makes me wanna read! x