3 November 2014

Review #51: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“We weren’t ourselves when we fell in love, and when we became ourselves – surprise! – We were poison. We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way.”
                                          ----Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

I finally had the chance to read the "IT" book, Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn, who is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly, has spun a horrific tale about marriage and its flaws and have brilliantly, re-staged marriage as a violent crime for both the husband and the wife.

Flynn has centered her plot on a failed marriage of the beautiful, psychological quiz writer from New York, Amy Elliot, who happens to be the inspiration behind a children's series, Amazing Amy, authored by her parents, and Nick Dunne, a handsome with boyish features aspiring novelist from Missouri. They met at a party and fell for each other almost instantly, courtesy, Amy being the Cool girl and Nick being the hilarious guy when he comments, "Just one olive"! Soon they become the husband and wife and the first challenge in their conjugal happiness occurs when both Amy and Nick lost their jobs, sold their New York home and moved to Missouri, where Nick can tend to his dying mother. Once again they are hit by Nick's foul-mouth, Alzheimer-stricken father, who regularly slipped out from his institution and ran around the town screaming "bitch" to random women, even Amy wasn't spared. After Nick's mother's death, Nick used last of Amy's trust fund to open a bar, which he used to ran along with his twin sister, Go. But on the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy gets disappeared, what looks like she was abducted from their home, and thus a man-hunt began to find America's dearest girl, "Amazing Amy".

I instantly became mesmerized by Flynn's elegant use of the retrospective voice, which is always questioning its very own accuracy, and exploring the nature of memory, of the narratives we tell ourselves about ourselves, and others and that will make a direct impact on your mind. Marriage is not an easy subject, and Flynn has simply used a bad marriage and its flaws to craft a brilliant thriller, that will ultimately run a chill down your spine. I got goose bumps literally as I progressed deep into the very core of the story. And the characters simply wowed me, leaving me speechless for the entire time.

Flynn has a deep psychological grip on her characters, which are portrayed as multifaceted, flawed and sympathetic human beings, all achingly vulnerable, and all wracked by fear, need and guilt. The best part was that Flynn has spared the men of the society, by portraying them as the most cowardice creature, having no strength to stand up for his own guilt but also not as a deadly wife-beater and featuring Amy has the strong housewife, who knows how to take control, even though her marriage with Nick didn't turn out to be the same as she always imagined, just like Flynn who knows how to take control. In the beginning, Flynn will make you fall in love with her characters, eventually she will make you hate them, and in the end, she will make you feel sick of them. Yes, she definitely has the power to make her characters look raw, naked, completely baring their souls into the pages and utterly brilliant. I cannot say that this book gripped me; instead it spun me out of control and felt like I was almost standing on the edge. I can say after reading Gone Girl that, darkness felt better for the first time.

Verdict: This is a must-read book, and do watch the movie, since Flynn justifies her story with her intriguing and fantastic screenplay! Hats-off to Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike indeed deserves a standing ovation! 

Author Info:
Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies. She has happy memories of having A Wrinkle in Time pried from her hands at the dinner table, and also of seeing Alien, Psycho and Bonnie and Clyde at a questionable age (like, seven). It was a good childhood.
In high-school, she worked strange jobs that required her to do things like wrap and unwrap hams, or dress up as a giant yoghurt cone. A yoghurt cone who wore a tuxedo. Why the tuxedo? It was a question that would haunt her for years.
For college, she headed to the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks), where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism.
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