Warning: mild spoilers ahead if you’ve got no idea at all about the book
There has been so much hype around Gone Girl that I was a bit hesitant about reading it. I’d managed to successfully avoid being spoilered, even though there was some pretty heavy marketing for the film. General rule of thumb for me though is that the more people like it, the less I do. Call me a rebel.
However, I actually really enjoyed the book. Without giving too much away, the only part that I didn’t massively like was the ending, but I think that is often the case with many books for plenty of readers. A completely satisfying ending is something which is exceptionally hard to pull off. For the last 50 pages or so, I could not see how the characters would be able to reach a resolution that maintained the tension that had been so expertly crafted through the rest of the book.
On saying that – I’m not sure I could imagine an alternative ending given what had happened up until that point, so I’m hardly in a position to criticise.
The most interesting bit about this book for me was the fact there wasn’t a single likeable character. Deliberately so. No good guy to root for. It takes some skill to keep the tension high when all of the characters are lacking in redeemable features and you don’t know which one you want to come out on top. This was compensated for by the use of a tightly plotted narrative instead, with plenty of twists and turns. There were a few parts where I didn’t want to read what happened next, because it made me feel anxious about how nasty things could get. Reading is about experiencing the whole range of human emotions, not just the good ones, and effectively creating this sensation is the mark of great writing in my opinion.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would, as long as you don’t mind unlikeable characters and edgy tension. If you like your books to be happily ever after with some redeeming romance, then it’s probably not going to be for you. It’s also quite long in comparison to a lot of thrillers, so you might want to make sure you’re prepared to be in it for the long haul.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars on my imaginary ratings system.