“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (2012)
Audio book narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne
When this book first came out, one of my former students read it and recommended it to me. I had it on my recommendations list for all this time without getting around to it.
Then my family all read it for their book club. I asked Mum what she thought of it and she said she found it really ‘nasty’ and hadn’t really enjoyed it. My curiosity was piqued. My mother happily reads all sorts of gruesome murder mysteries. Chop your wife up and put her in a tub of acid? Mum has no problem with that. Collect women and stuff them in your basement? That’s fine. Set out to rid society of all the prostitutes, slashing their throats one after another? Go right ahead. But this book was too nasty for her… I needed to read it.
I have to say, “Gone Girl” turned out to be nothing like what I was expecting. I haven’t seen the movie, I didn’t have any preconceived ideas. Heck, with an audio book, you don’t even have a blurb to read!
The premise of “Gone Girl” is that Nick Dunne gets home on his fifth wedding anniversary and his wife, Amy, has gone missing. He narrates his experiences, reporting the disappearance and his fairly rapid progression to becoming the prime suspect. Now, I hated him from about 5 minutes in, but I was wary, knowing that Mum’s reaction was influencing my response. And then he said, after explaining an answer he had given to the police, “and that was the fifth lie I had told to the police…” which made me realise I was probably supposed to dislike the man.
I’m not going to tell you anything more about the plot, as there are several twists that any further discussion would reveal. But I can totally understand what Mum means when she describes this book as nasty. It is nasty. Very nasty indeed. And I don’t think I recommend it, although for me that is more about the disappointing ending than the distasteful characters and plot.