Gone Girl – Gyllian Flynn
I had not thought that I would review this book, but it persisted on the NY bestseller list at #1 position for months in a row, and this was enough to beckon me to read this pacer novel. Then the news about the upcoming movie adaptation spread like wildfire, and it proved to be one of the best movie adaptations of a novel. I loved both of them; however the movie did not stop me from completing the book. That’s the power it holds- to trap the reader.
So, I will start with the dynamic characters that are the heart and soul of the book and make the plot very well lit and gripping. First on, the protagonist Amy Elliot, an amazingly perfect woman, beauty with brains, obsessive and ‘disciplined’ in her actions, comes across as a very strong and dramatic character, her various faces and up-tones are successful enough to drag you in ‘her’ mode and you are forced to think what she wants you to think. She has a racer mind; she is an epitome of perfection, it makes you believe it is her game. Her loving husband, Nick Dunne, is a casual guy, not ideal with words or emotions, although he is a writer. His true temperament is captured when he is besides his twin sister Go (Margo) in the portrait, the camaraderie they share of frank, true-to-self yet loving siblings. Nick's casual behaviour is captured on the Polaroid when he is caught smiling with Amy’s poster at the conference, or clicking pictures with the volunteers who have offered to help find Amy. None other than Ellen Abbott (an ex-prosecuting attorney turned talk show host) sheds him into pieces for these careless acts on the part of a man whose wife is gone, with seemingly no concern whatsoever over her disappearance. And now, America is against this husband who is as normal as ever- quite unlikely for someone with a missing or murdered wife. Then there is Amy’s diary, with some dark secrets about her husband. Is Nick really what he shows himself as- an innocent loving husband trying to find his wife?
What did Nick and Amy do to their 5 year long marriage that Amy goes missing on their 5th Anniversary. Did Nick kill her? What happened to Amy? These are some questions whose answers you might find yourself seeking as you dig into the book. Amy’s disappearance brings into the picture a very smart police person Rhonda Boney. She is a sharp minded cop, intricately noticing and highlighting the details of the case. Seriousness is what her profession demands and she is smart-witted enough to extract the information she needs by hook or by crook to move the case forward. Another impactful character is Tanner, Nick’s lawyer. He’s an expert with his words, appearing in the second half of the story, but leaving a mark, so when you finish the book you’d remember him.
Why I lay emphasis on the characters more this time is, because for this mystery thriller book the plot could not be justified if it did not possess characters of such depth. While, Gyllian Flynn has done a commendable job with her words showcasing each persona as variably different, especially Amazing Amy; I can’t think of the imagination level she must have reached to create that perfect character which continuously allures you, it is entirely her presence which reflects in the book, and the reader is glued to it with only one question in mind- What is next in line? I was really impressed by the complex detailing of every scene, the upturning of events while keeping the mystery intact. It is a sign of a narrator who knows exactly what she has to give out to the readers.
This book will not only trap you in its thrill but will also give an insight of relationships, being obsessive, being cheated, being loved, not-being-perfect all the time, to communicate and sometimes to just let things be, a mature take on marriage, a perfect marriage gone wrong.
DO read the book, even if you watch the movie!
To know more about Gone Girl- the book, check out the Goodreads Interview with Gyllian Flynn.