Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, 2012
Published by Phoenix Fiction
First line: “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.”
Book Rx: You’re in Times bookstore at Changi airport, looking for a book thick and interesting enough to last you the 13-hour flight. Voilà.
Stories narrated in the first person are best taken with a grain of salt. They’re told through the eyes of the storyteller, who may not have the best line of sight, or even the necessary motivation, to tell you what’s actually going on.
The concept of unreliable narrators isn’t new (e.g. Agatha Christie’s ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ or even the previous post on Jackson’s Merricat). Personally I’m so gullible when it comes to plot twists and
almost always end up falling for the writer’s tricks anyway. I think it’s good fun.
With that little hint in your pocket, I’ll move on to what Gone Girl is about.
It’s the story of Nick Dunne, a journalist, and his wife Amy Elliott, personality-quiz writer and a spoiled brat. I’m sorry — brat is really what comes to my mind. I never really warmed to Amy’s character throughout the book: as a kid she’s famous for being named after a character in a popular children’s book series called Amazing Amy which her parents wrote. On their wedding anniversaries she thinks it’s a great idea to make Nick do pop quizzes on their sweetest (according to her) moments together, leaving clues about the city like some crazy Amazing Race fan. The woman has too much time on her hands; no sane, non-clingy person does that.
Nick and Amy move to Missouri from New York after Nick gets laid off. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing (Gone! Girl!) and Nick is the prime suspect.
Gone Girl was a fast-paced, good read. The timeline shifts from past to present, and we hear from both Nick (in first person narration) and Amy (through diary entries) about their marriage, the day of the disappearance, and the days following. Nothing is what it seems and each chapter ends with a cliffhanger (“Just one more chapter before I go off to sleep…”).
As part of my personal Love Pre-Loved project, I’m giving away my copy of Gone Girl to a nice person here in Singapore who can give it a good home. Don’t worry, I keep my books in good shape and don’t crack the spines or anything. :) Shipping, etc is on me. Email me at areaderinsg(at)gmail[dot]com and tell me who your favorite author is, be the first person to do so, and the book’s yours!
Gone Girl will be made into a movie with Rosamund Pike as Amy (good choice, I think — she’s beautiful and Ice Queen-ish enough for the part), with the film’s release in Singapore slated for October 2014.