This keeps you on your toes till the last word
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, Hatchet India, Pp 466 (PB), Rs 350
IN all life one comes across only one type of books that make him or her set the book down, beeline to the kitchen and make some tea, only to settle down in front of the book again and contemplate “what did I just read?.” The most excellent kind. And Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn fits the bill very well, indeed.
Nick Dunne gives a taste of his life with Amy, his wife. Like all other romances it starts with a magical, almost divine crescendo. Five years of marriage later, though, the honeymoon’s over and Nick can’t keep up any more. On their fifth anniversary, Nick comes back after a brief outing to find the house turned upside down and Amy missing. He dutifully calls the police, informs Amy’s parents, somehow the media picks up the story and before Nick knows it, all hell’s been let loose. According to Amy’s friends, Amy was scared of living under the same roof as Nick. The police’s prime suspect is Nick. The evidence gathered points conclusively at Nick. And the only one lying to the detectives every step of the way is Nick. Interspaced between Nick’s narration of his horrors are glimpses of Amy’s diary. They tell Amy’s story from meeting Nick to them marrying and then their connubial life thus far. About halfway through the readers mind is made up: Nick is the bad guy. Then Flynn decides to rob your sanity. The plot changes so hard, so fast, and so breathtakingly that the loose ends seem to take a mind of their own. Apparently, Amy is a consummate liar. And the story is just getting started.
Exploiting the layout of the chapters, the dynamics of the characters and other variables I may not even be aware of Flynn masterfully explores what happens when a normal guy gets on the wrong side of an evil genius. Due emphasis on the “evil.” And “genius.” And then there is that ending… Every aspect of the story is air tight. As far as the hallmark of any piece of literature go, Gone Girl scores very high, in that it leaves nothing wanting, but it leaves you wanting more.
Flynn takes fiction to whole new level, distorting the limits of reality, dancing at the junction between the real and surreal. She keeps the reader on his toes, the next page balanced at the tip of his finger, poised to be turned and the mind flitting around focussing on the book and screaming “what happens next?” Truly a worthy read, for the book lovers and haters alike, Gone Girl holds a magic even its movie (if made) won’t be able to capture. Gone Girl proves beyond doubt it is worthy of every acclaim it gets.
(Hatchet India, A-53, Sector 57, Noida-201 301, Uttar Pradesh,)