Published by Broadway Books in June 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback (Movie Tie-In Edition)
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?
Wow. Gone Girl is my new obsession. Despite being late to the Gone Girl train, I managed to avoid spoilers and still find myself completely invested in this absolutely brilliant novel by Gillian Flynn. I’m sure you’ve all heard of this thrilling book in which Nick Dunne’s wife Amy suddenly goes missing on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary by now, but I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts with you nonetheless.
I typically avoid long books, and Gone Girl is a chunker at over 550 pages. The beginning was a bit slow at first, but once I hit around the 200 page mark, Gone Girl had completely taken over my life to the point where I couldn’t put the book down, and even carried it in my purse hoping to squeeze in a few pages whenever I got the chance. At the time of writing this review, it’s been two days since I completed the novel, yet I’m still thinking about it, and probably will be for a long time.
I’m amazed at how Flynn has created the two unlikeable characters of Nick and Amy, but still manages to make me feel sorry for them. Nick and Amy both had difficult childhoods that shaped their personalities in different ways, and while neither of their actions are excusable, I still find it hard to find them totally despicable, or even annoying. It’s rare for me to read a book in which I don’t like the characters, but still enjoy their personas.
Moreover, I am blown away by Flynn’s ability to craft a novel in the way she did. Without giving anything away in this spoiler-free review, suffice it to say that as the story developed, I was sitting there thinking “Brilliant!,” “Of course!,” and “Incredible!” at the amount of thought and detail put into the story. Flynn includes just the right amount of predictable to allow the reader to have an inkling of what’s going to happen, but still managing to stun and surprise at the same time. This is truly an impeccable piece of writing.
As for the ending, though quite unsettling and a bit off-character, I find it the perfect ending to Gone Girl. While the ultimate “winner” is not desirable, I can only imagine how things will go for these characters in the future. Flynn instills the proper feeling of fear and apprehension in the reader as her intense and unbelievable novel comes to a close.
If you were like me and waited to read Gone Girl, do yourself a favor and pick it up as soon as possible. I’ll be sure to read Flynn’s other works in the near future, and will certainly pick up anything else she releases going forward.
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