I saw the movie first. It was good, so I decided to get the audiobook. I’m always a bit apprehensive about doing that. The book is always better than the movie. Sometimes so much so that it ruins the movie you once loved. However, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn enhanced the movie. I was not disappointed by either.
Gone Girl; The story of Nick and Amy Dunne.
Nick and Amy Dunne were writers in New York City that got squeezed out by the internet. Amy grew up in the city. Her parents were writers, and she was their muse for a series of books called “Amazing Amy”. Thus, she’s a bit spoiled and high maintenance.
Nick’s father was a deadbeat. His mother was terminally ill. Hence, Nick packs up his wife and moves her to his hometown in rural Missouri. He opens a bar with his sister. Thereafter, he begins to lower his personal standards and expectations and settle into this lesser version of life. He teaches a college class, and soon starts having an affair with one of his students.
Amy doesn’t adjust well to the move. The social city girl tries to play the role of housewife. However, she doesn’t like the new Nick. She’s dissatisfied with the country life. Furthermore, she discovers Nick’s affair. Angered, she begins to plot.
No spoiler alert necessary. Obviously, Nick knows he didn’t kill his wife. Amy, who is on the run, clearly knows she isn’t dead. They’re the ones telling you the story. Thus, I can tell you she ran off without spoiling it. The town, however, thinks she’s been murdered. Moreover, the cops suspect Nick. It’s always the husband.
Nick plays the role of “guilty husband” extraordinarily well. He’ll have you wondering if he did it, even though you know he didn’t. Margo, his sister, stands by him. Likewise, she starts to doubt him.
Nick’s problem is that he lies. Constantly. He tells the cops what he thinks they want to hear. They probably would suspect him more if they knew about his girlfriend. Hence, he hides the affair. All the while digging his hole deeper.
At first, she’s a very sympathetic character. Don’t get used to it. She is a very twisted character. Her ability to manipulate from a distance is shocking. Every move is planned in advance. Subsequently, every reaction follows her plan. Sometimes, it works out even better than she planned.
Nothing is as it seems in Gone Girl. Largely because both characters are playing a role. First, they play roles with each other. Lastly, they present different characters to the world around them. This book is a puzzle for your mind. It will keep you guessing until it’s solved. Assuming, of course, that it’s ever really solved.
Remember music videos before Michael Jackson? Then came Thriller. Gillian Flynn is to audiobooks what Michael Jackson was to music videos. This audiobook is a production unlike any other.
Julia Whelan narrates for Amy. Kirby Heyborne performs Nick’s roles. Both are excellent. Although the male/female narration is a no-brainer, it’s highly unusual. Moreover it adds immensely to the quality of the production. This is a tactic Gillian uses regularly in her books. However, this being my first of hers I was unaware.
This is singularly the best audiobook I have read. I highly recommend it. The characters are riveting. I didn’t want to stop listening when I was done with my driving shift. Knowing how it would end changed nothing. I give Gone Girl my highest recommendation.