Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Gone GirlOn the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, disappears from their rented home on the banks of the Mississippi. The police quickly zero in on Nick, who may not be as nice of a guy as he first appears; meanwhile, passages from Amy’s diary reveal her state of mind up to the day she disappeared. With the support of his twin sister, Margo, and Amy’s parents, Nick continues to maintain his innocence…but with no alibi for when Amy disappeared and his apparent aloofness at press conferences and in interviews, Nick’s future is in grave doubt. And where is Amy?

About once a year (or twice if I’m lucky), I come across a book that is so good that I immediately demand that everyone I know also read it. Gone Girl is that book for me this year.

I’d heard some good things about it and the premise was intriguing, but I did not expect the psychological thrill ride it took me on. I was hooked from the first chapter, and it just kept getting darker and more twisty until the end, which I loved and hated at the same time (loved because it was sort of like, how else could it end?, but hated because ARGH. You’ll understand if you’ve read it).

The structure of the novel was brilliant. Alternating between present-day chapters (narrated by Nick) and entries from Amy’s diary provided a LOT of suspense from chapter to chapter. At the end of one of Nick’s chapters, I would be reluctant to move on to Amy’s diary, but by the time I got to the end of her chapter, I wouldn’t want to go back to one of Nick’s. Flynn’s writing is absolutely superb, and the unique voices she creates for both Nick and Amy are fantastic.

For those of you who haven’t read this yet, I’d recommend skipping down a bit, because it’s spoiler time. (Also please be aware that the comments might contain spoilers!!)

**HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW SPOILERS**

Okay, so whose jaw dropped upon starting the second part of the book when it’s revealed that Amy is alive and set Nick up??? I had to read it a few times for it to really sink in, especially that first line: “I’m so much happier now that I‘m dead.” WHAT. She also completely and totally had me fooled with the diary. I mean, I don’t know why I should have suspected anything, but holy crap, Amy is totally a sociopath. And yet I was still sort of rooting for her!  My God, this book made me so conflicted. By the end, I didn’t like either Nick or Amy—I kinda thought they were both nuts—but still wanted them to make it work somehow (God knows how, but still).

AND THEN THE END. Holy shit! She gets pregnant with his frozen sperm. The hell?? I knew something like that had to be coming, but I didn’t know how she would make it work. But she did. I just—I can’t—AHHHH I think my jaw was on the floor for the last 50 pages of this book.

**END SPOILERS**

Okay, so, basically, you shouldn’t believe reviews that say “I don’t want to read about rich white people’s problems blah blah blah.” I’ve read a few like that, and to anyone who says that, I say: You are completely missing the point. Money does factor in a bit to this—Amy is a trust fund baby, and the house she disappears from is described as a “McMansion”—but it is not at all the point of the book. (And for the record, the only reason they’re able to rent the “McMansion” in the first place is because the development was abandoned after it was built and the houses are rented out for very low prices.) But it’s still not the point. The point is simply this: Gillian Flynn writes a damn good thriller.

Oh, and apparently they’re making a movie with Reese Witherspoon playing Amy. That seems way too weird to me. What do you guys think?

Anyway, everyone ever should read this. (Okay, maybe not everyone. But anyone who enjoys a good, unputdownable book. And those of you who don’t…well…who are you??) This is definitely a new favorite.

A+

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9 thoughts on “Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

  1. My eyes were wide with shock the whole last half of the book. I am with you, everyone needs to read this because it is one of the best books I read last year. This year that book is Everyday by David Levithan. READ IT, you’re welcome 🙂

  2. I appreciate your review (and really enjoy your blog) but respectfully disagree. I think Flynn wrote one-third of a great book. It starts out great (though the diary premise is flawed, see my review on GoodReads if interested as I don’t want to drop spoilers all over your blog post here) but second act starts to go off the rails and the ending felt like the author just said, “Done now,” and packed it in. It seems that everyone who has read the book falls into the “loved the ending” or “hated the ending” camp with about half in each. Definitely entertaining and provocative.

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