Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This is the best crime novel I have read this year.

I haven’t read any of the author’s previous novels, but I do remember reading great reviews about them here and there and that they were commercially successful. So when I was given the chance to read Gone Girl, I simply took it. And as you can guess from the first line in this article I really loved it.

This is the story of Nick and Amy, and what a story it is. Nick has spent most of his adult life in New York working as a journalist. He used to write about the movies and TV and review books, and live a somewhat worry-free life. And then he met Amy, a woman who at first sight took his breath away and made him believe that she were the one he always dreamed of meeting. Thus he fell in love with her and she fell in love with him, and then they got married, wishing to live together their happily ever after. However their everyday lives were constantly under the heavy shadows created by Amy’s parents, the ones that gave her life and robbed it of her.

How did they do that? Well, they were both writers, a writing team actually, and together they created a series of books with the adventures of the Amazing Amy. The Amy of the books though was someone who the real life one could never be. And the Amy of the books became kind of a weight on her young shoulders and a curse for her life, since she made her a target: beloved by fans, haunted and hunted by stalkers.

Before she met Nick she felt completely alone, having him by her side she became the cool girl that she always wanted to be. Nick has set her free, however, her happiness wasn’t meant to last forever.

First came the economic crisis, which led her parents to bankruptcy. Then came Nick’s letting go from his job and finally came the move from New York to a little town in North Carthage, where Nick was born.

So, all of a sudden, her happy life became unhappy and her successful marriage a prospective failure. Joy and laughter were replaced by tension and anger. They hit rock bottom.

Amy though desperately wanted things to be the way they used to be, and she started working in order to stir their relationship towards that direction. However, just before her efforts started bearing fruit, she all of a sudden vanished from the face of the earth. Where did she go? Was she abducted or did she simply run away? Could she be dead? If yes, who was it that killed her? As usual the husband is considered the prime suspect. Nick keeps protesting his innocence, but his behavior is considered curious if not suspicious by everyone who meets him, as well as from the general public.

Who is Nick? And who was Amy? These are the big questions here. Is Nick as careless and detached as he seems? Was Amy as bright and innocent as she looked?

The author gives us a chance to take a good look into the private, but mostly separate lives, of her heroes, through diary entries, thoughts and discussions. Nick and Amy, they both say their own version of the story, and they both hide more than what they say.

The more one reads the bigger the mystery becomes and the twists and turns come in waves. Nothing is what it seems and all the clues lead some of the main characters from one dead end to the next.

The final solution is just as surprising as the facts that precede it, but what one mostly enjoys by reading this book is its built-up, the whole construction of a world that’s in many ways amazing, just as much as Amy.

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