Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Series: Standalone
Author: Gillian Flynn
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 06/05/2012
Publisher: Crown
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery, Suspense


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.

I cannot deny my appreciation for this brilliantly crafted tale. The alternating perspectives—Nick's in the present and Amy's ascending chronological diary entries—kept me fully engrossed. I can't recall being this equally discomposed by the main characters in any previously read novel. Amy and Nick may have outwardly appeared to be fairly regular people; but reading their respective psychotic and narcissistic thoughts was very discomforting! I thought the author's use of parenthetically descriptive phrases and insertion of quizzes into Amy's diary entries was ingenious. I'm a reader who seeks out books with promising endings. Even though I felt hopelessness and bitterness were the prevailing emotions in Gone Girl; and the ending was quite unsettling, I shall not regret my discovery of this very gifted author.


"I often don't say things out loud, even when I should. I contain and compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you'd never guess from looking at me." ~ Nick Dunne

"There's something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold." ~ Nick Dunne

“Can you imagine, finally showing your true self to your spouse, your soul mate, and having him not like you? So that's how the hating first began. I've thought about this a lot, and that's where it started, I think.”  ~ Amy Elliott Dunne

“Because you can't be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Our kind of love can go into remission, but it's always waiting to return. Like the world's sweetest cancer.”  ~ Amy Elliott Dunne

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