This is my first blog post book review!
I have written may children’s book reviews for my former school district and for School Library Journal magazine.
But this is my first blog book review!
I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I had started reading the book in hopes of finishing it before the movie came out but life got in the way of my book/Nook reading. I only got about 40 pages in before my avid movie-going husband decided that we needed to see the movie. I went along reluctantly, promising myself I would finish reading the book.
And I did.
The movie is long. Two and a half hours long.
And still it feels hurried and rushed.
I remember leaving the theater feeling almost out of breath as if we, the audience, had sprinted through the whole thing. Within the first twenty minutes of the movie, we had already passed the point to where I had read in the book so the rest was a surprise, with twist after crazy twist.
If you haven’t seen the movie and are interested in reading the book, please read it first!
While the screenplay written by Gillian Flynn remains pretty true, there is so much more to the story in the pages of the book. I found myself almost simultaneously cheering and cursing main characters. And I felt guilty for siding with both Amy and Nick because neither of them are particularly likeable.
They are human.
They are flawed as are all of the secondary characters – immediate family members who are largely responsible for the warts and lack of scruples of the main characters.
The book has the luxury of 400+ pages to make Amy and Nick real, to bounce readers’ support back and forth between Amy and Nick.
And the layout of the book helps readers keep track of those feelings as we ping-ponged through alternating chapters recounted in the voice of Nick then Amy. The chronology of events would be difficult to follow if not for the way Flynn identifies time in relation to the date that Amy vanishes at the beginning of each chapter.
The end of the movie felt rushed and a bit unbelievable to me but the book does a better job of tying everything together. As I read the last page and closed the book to reflect on the story I had just finished, I realized I still didn’t like Nick or Amy. Moreover, I realized that unlike characters in the fairy tales I love so much, there isn’t a good guy and a bad guy in Gone Girl. Nick and Amy are just a couple who lost themselves and their way.