"She's got trouble written right through her. Like a stick of Brighton Rock" - Super Hans, Peep Show.
So I read a lot. A three-year English Literature degree has, however, somewhat taken the enjoyment out of 'fully immersing' myself into a book and now can't help but analyze every facet of it. One book that really took hold recently was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Despite being utterly infuriating the entire way through, I raced through all of its 400+ pages in a mere couple of days and couldn't stop thinking about it once the final pages were turned. Twentieth Century Fox have already snapped up the film rights (with Reese Witherspoon in the lead role) so get in there first to read this before it hits cinemas and all of the fabulous, quick-witted and toxic nuisances of the prose are potentially lost on the big screen.
On a summer's morning in a quiet lacklustre suburb in Missouri, it's Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Popping out to get some last minute things to celebrate, Nick returns to find the front door wide open and Amy nowhere to be seen. What the hell has happened to Amy? Will the police believe Nick is innocent and has nothing to do with her disappearance and what does Amy's diary, found in the house, tell of her side of the story?
The book's structure is what makes it so genius. The first person narration means that initially we are with Nick - he's our eyes and ears and even though he does seem oddly evasive, he doesn't appear as the cold-hearted killer he is represented in the media and by the police. We hear from Amy but via the epistolary narrative device - the words of her diary. And through these it appears clear that maybe Nick isn't all he seems...
However, half way through the book, we are jerked 180 degrees and the story continues to unfold through the eyes of two incredibly unreliable narrators' subjective points of view so we don't know who or what to believe - the perspective constantly shifts which makes for a genuinely thrilling read and a desire to race to the denouement of this strange story.
Gone Girl resonated so deeply due to Flynn's uncanny ability to write with real emotional intelligence into relationships, along with writing a book that is completely 'of it's time.' Battling with a double dose of disillusionment, both job-wise and in their relationship, both Nick and Amy's characters are easy to identify with. So many twenty/thirty-something readers will be thinking 'Yes, I know EXACTLY how that feels' on more than one occasion throughout this book.
The way in which the media intrusion is portrayed in the book should also be applauded. Flynn manages to perfectly portray our current Mail Online-obsessed culture; we are vultures for all the nitty gritty details of a personal story and don't care at what expense.
In a nutshell, this is a book that resonates as it asks the unknowable question - how well can one person really know another? *Suspiciously looks over at boyfriend*
Put simply - read it.