12 October 2012

Audiobook Friday Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Published: 24 May 2012 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Pages: 419 (hardcover) / 19hrs 11 mins (audiobook)

Genre/s: Psychological, Thriller, Adult

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository ~ Audible

Synopsis (Goodreads)

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.


My Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I read a book that falls so squarely into the adult-psychological-thriller category, and to be honest, I doubted whether I could really enjoy it. I often find that books in these categories are either a) completely unbelievable and I get eye strain from rolling my eyes so often, or b) the characters are so flat and transparent that I really don’t give a fig about what happens to them.

In Gone Girl, however, Gillian Flynn has created a story that is both believable but also stretched my imagination as a reader, and characters that although definitely not in the likable category were anything but flat.

The story smacks with tension right from the beginning, and as the story progresses I found myself more and more drawn into the world of Nick and Amy and wanting to know more about them – their families, their relationship, their whole history together and how it related to what was happening in the current day.

Gone Girl has some really good points for more thought too - were Amy’s parents’ overbearing and more than slightly over-protective nature so damaging on her psyche, or was she simply born the way she was, hard-wired into her brains? Was Nick’s upbringing and his father part of the reason he felt it so difficult to connect with and empathise with his wife? Do we ever really know the person we are partnered with, or do they have a side that we never really see? Such questions are what makes this book a true psychological thriller, and so very hard to predict exactly what will happen next.

My only criticism, and it’s not even that, it’s more a warning to other people that need to like at least one main character, is that I found none of the main characters particularly likable at all.  Perhaps the only exception was Nick’s sister Go, who with her unique personality and sarcastic, dirty sense of humour I felt quite an affinity with and I do wish she had played more of a part in the story. But for the most part, Nick, Amy, their parents and friends are either quite self-centred, arrogant people or they don’t play a big enough role to really have an impact.

And the million dollar question – the ending? I anticipated it because I wanted to know what happened, yet dreading it because I was really enjoying the twists and turns of the story, but in the end I can say I was pretty satisfied as a whole. It didn’t feel rushed, contrived or unbelievable, and that’s a true testament to the way that Gillian Flynn writes.

The Audiobook version: This was one of the best audiobooks I've listened to in the last couple of years. The narrators gave real life to the characters without sounding bored or flat and in fact when I started listening to another audiobook I MISSED the narrators of Gone Girl.

I am glad this had alternating female / male narrators to match the alternating POV of Nick and Amy which gave them both a distinctive voice and delineated their parts as deftly as different coloured text would have done.


8 comments:

  1. The reviews of Gone Girl are ALL over the place. I think if I do read it, audio's the way to go! No rating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The audio is fantastic.

      Thanks for pointing that out - it's a definite 5-er!

      Delete
  2. This cover always catches my eye, not too sure why, it's pretty plain. I like that there are lots of twists Twists are good! I can deal with unlikeable characters as long as the plot is good, so I think I will give this one a go!

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    Replies
    1. I really like the cover - maybe it's the simplicity that's so eye-catching.

      The twists in this are great, and these characters - oh man!

      Delete
  3. I have been waiting for this review of yours. And I'm so glad you liked it. So many good things about this book, now I'm even more excited to start reading it. Well, no, actually I'm not. After your review of having loved listening to it, I'm not sure. I have a Kindle copy and should read it but if my budget allows, I will be going for the audiobook.

    Thank for the lovely review yet again, Kat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is one that I would definitely recommend as an audio, but judging from it's current popularity, it must work in print too ;-)

      Delete
  4. I can't wait to read this, I'm 4th now on the library queue LOL. I loved Dark Places so I'm looking forward to more dark imaginings from GFlynn. Fab review Kat and thanks for keeping me even more excited. - Braine

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  5. Nice review. I'm with you and rarely enjoy this genre but you have me convinced to give it a try. I know several other people who loved it as well.

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