Review: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: adult fiction, suspense, unreliable narrator
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads summary:Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work "draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction." Gone Girl's toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
GOOD GOD THIS BOOK IS SCARY.
Yup, every bit as disturbing as my friends told me. I really didn't expect to like this as much as I did, but it was so clever and witty and at first it doesn't seem so bad...and then chapters go by. The scariest thing is that you don't realize quite how twisted these people are until almost the very last chapter.
I really don't want to say much about the plot of this book, because there are so many twists and "gotcha" moments (thanks, unreliable narrators 1 and 2...). I'm a huge fan of unreliable narrators because you never know if they're telling you the truth, the partial truth, or downright lies, and in this book you get plenty of all of them. I think all you need to know is that this is the story of Nick and Amy and a marriage gone bad.
As twisted and manipulative as Amy and Nick are, I actually really liked their voices (and maybe, just maybe, I even liked them). They're snarky and sarcastic, with equal parts average American and, well, not average American. They are very flawed, but there's just something about them - charisma? - that makes you want to read their story. Compulsively.
Gillian Flynn has a crazy twisted imagination, and she really knows how to write! I loved the writing style of this book, and there was just the right balance between maintaining suspense and getting answers (if not always the ones you wanted to hear) to keep me hooked. I don't think I've ever been so grotesquely fascinated by a book before - usually it's one or the other. I don't know if I should feel guilty that I actually enjoyed being shocked and horrified - it was very refreshing after reading so many predictable books fueled by cliche and happy endings.
Oh man, the ending. The ending left me feeling sick, but I thought it was fitting. Amy and Nick, you two really do deserve each other.