Thursday, 16 July 2015

Wot I'm reading: Going, going, gone

Okay, I know I'm reading this two or three years after everybody else, but two months ago I was here reviewing a novel published in 1953 - so bear with me, people!

Luckily I'd forgotten some of the Big Twist from the movie of Gone Girl, so I still enjoyed the book's surprise reveal. It's narrated in alternate chapters by Nick Dunne, whose wife has gone missing, and by Amy, the missing wife. Nick is writing in the here and now, as he becomes the chief suspect in his wife's presumed abduction and murder. Amy's diary entries (with overtones of Carrie Bradshaw and even Bridget Jones) are a history of their marriage, from love and trust to cheating and mistrust, from falling in love to falling very heavily out of love.

Nick admits that he's lied to the police, from which we're obviously meant to assume that he might be keeping things from us. "I wasn't romantic," he admits; "I wasn't even nice." Amy comes across as the spoilt needy daughter of rich self-absorbed parents. It's hard to warm to a book when you take an instant dislike to its two main characters. In order to keep the reader guessing, plot and structure are elaborately contrived; and for me there was a bit too much contrivance, although the ending does give the story an edge which many potboilers lack.

This is, of course, a "woman's book", but here's one male reader who only gives Gone Girl four out of ten for literary quality, plus an ungrudging eight for the shock/surprise element. As in the movie, I came away with the feeling that this unlikeable pair deserved each other and the fate Gillian Flynn served up for them. 

No comments:

Post a Comment