“Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”
Always one to jump on the bandwagon, I started reading Gone Girl earlier this month, after reading Before I Go To Sleep (excellent), I wanted to explore the mystery genre more.
Gone Girl starts with Nick on 'The Day Of' and Amy’s diary in 2005, Nick gets home on the morning of their 5th wedding anniversary to find his front room a mess and his wife missing and so the mystery begins.
I’m not going to ruin anything for you, it would be the ultimate betrayal in book club, but I will say that in my opinion the book could do with a little trimming down. Gillian Flynn doesn’t half like a ramble and I often thought that whole scenes could be cut out, it was almost like she was milking the suspense all she could.
None of the characters are particularly likeable, not normally a pre-requisite of a book for me as Wuthering Heights and Catcher in the Rye are amongst my favourite, but it became a bit of a slog. The focus on Nick and Amy left the other characters in the background a bit two dimensional and flimsy. The description of their town is also a tiny bit unrealistic, like she has taken all things that were bad about the recession and dumped them on one community.
That being said, I whizzed through the book, when the pace picked up, it did so in style. The writing style keeps you guessing throughout the book and the plot unfolds nicely throughout. Little clues and hints are scattered through the pages and Nick openly keeping things from the reader. The insights into both Nick and Amy’s past are deep, interesting and explanatory offering more fuel to the story.
There is the recurring theme of the ‘Cool Girl’, which is an interesting one; the woman who is portrayed in films and popular culture, but is unrealistic in everyday life. It is constantly scrutinised by Amy, the way women are willing to act like someone they’re not in order to be seen as ‘cool’ and highly desirable to men. As someone who is never going to be a Cool Girl – pretend or not – it was an interesting addition to the book.
Overall, a good read but I can’t help but feel the fat could have been trimmed back, some pages dragged, and the last few chapters definitely lacked oomph. That, along with more dynamic characters would have made this book excellent.