You Should Be Reading: Gone Girl

“The question I’ve asked more often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I supposed these questions storm cloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?”

Rating:

It may have been all about the young adult dystopias over the past few months, but if you want to get yourself into something different then you should be reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

Published in 2012, Gone Girl is a New York Times Best Seller premised around the seemingly happy married couple, Nick and Amy Dunne. Introduced to the readers as your average husband and wife, Nick and Amy are a couple that you quickly warm to. But when Amy mysteriously disappears, the truth of their marriage slowly unravels. Realising that everything wasn’t as perfect as it seemed, the spotlight of Amy’s disappearance soon turns on to Nick, as he becomes the focus of an intense media circus. But is Nick a man capable of killing his wife? Was their marriage really that bad? Or is the truth far from the whole story?

Set to be directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike the lead roles, the film adaptation is set to be released on 2nd October.

The following post is a review of the book only, looking at how it is going to be adapted. You can read my review of the film adaptation in comparison to the book here.

Book Review:

An intense mystery thriller, Gone Girl is a book that you definitely won’t want to put down. Every twist poses a new question, and with a somewhat psychotic conclusion that you wouldn’t even consider an option, this book will have your brain ticking at full pace until you reach the very end.

It’s this intense and never-ending suspense, as well as the idea of never knowing the whole story, that makes Gone Girl such a gripping read. But not only is it a fantastic thriller, it’s also an excellent exploration of relationships. There’s always a side to a couple that you don’t see, but with Gone Girl you get to see how easily happiness can be blurred.

Interchanging every other chapter between the present as Nick details his efforts searching for his missing wife with Amy’s past accounts through her diary entries, we also get to see the difference between how men and women think and analyse certain situations. One minute everything appears to be just as it seems with Nick as the bad guy, but the next minute you see everything through a completely different light. This struggle continues through the whole novel, constantly changing your opinions of these characters and, therefore, putting the blame on a number of people as you try to figure out the truth.

I haven’t been able to read a novel without thinking of Nick and Amy since; I could very easily read this novel over and over again.

The Director:

David Fincher is set to direct the adaptation, which alone makes this a film to look forward to. All you have to do is think of Fincher’s Zodiac, based on a real-life case as a number of detectives search for a serial killer, and you will know that Gone Girl is going to be a dark account of love and life, with the hint of a possible murder. But unlike Zodiac, Gone Girl has an ending that you want to stick around for!

With Flynn penning the script for the adaptation herself, she has stated that the film will deviate from the novel as its story will be structured differently, which is understandable with how the novel goes back and forth so often. I don’t imagine this will affect the story too much and, instead, may leave more cliff-hangers that leave you on the edge of the seat than the novel does.

What looks promising to be one of the better qualities of the adaptation is how Fincher has often commented about bringing in some dark comedy. Depending on how you want to read the novel and take the ending, this dark comedy twist had a huge influence on how I read the story. I found myself laughing far too often, and then I very quickly felt awkward afterwards as I had to ask myself if it was genuinely funny or just plain psychotic. This is going to be something that Fincher will be able to put his mark on perfectly and is what will make Gone Girl stand out as one of the best films this year.

The Cast:

Taking the leads as Nick and Amy Dunne are Ben Affleck (Argo, Pearl Harbour) and Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice, Jack Reacher), respectively. If you’ve read the novel then I’m sure you will agree that they have both been perfectly cast in their roles, and I genuinely couldn’t think of anyone better to be playing the married couple. They’re both excellent actors, and it’s great to see them both take on such huge roles under the helm of one of the best directors currently working. Affleck has the right amount of arrogance in him to make audiences find his character both lovable and hateable, which is exactly what people think about Nick, and Rosamund certainly looks the part as the perfectly amazing Amy, who could have a secret, darker side to her highly maintained image.

Another brilliant bit of casting is for the role of Desi Collings, an ex-boyfriend from Amy’s past who is set to be played by Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother). When reading the novel I pictured this very face. It will be a nice move for Harris as the role has his natural quirky but handsome and rich persona, but it will have a more fractured edge which I think Harris will perform brilliantly.

As for the rest of the main cast, Tyler Perry (TV’s House of Payne) will play Tanner Bolt, Nick’s attorney, Carrie Coon (TV’s The Leftovers) will play Margo, Nick’s twin sister, David Clennon (The Thing) and Lisa Banes (Cocktail) will play Rand and Marybeth, Amy’s parents, Casey Wilson (TV’s Happy Endings) will play Noelle Hawthorne, and Kim Dickens (Hollow Man) and Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) will play detectives Rhona Boney and Jim Gilpin.

Gone Girl is set to be released on 2nd October. Whether you want to see the twists on the big screen or get to read them beforehand, this is a novel you need to own.

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