Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Julie's Review: Gone Girl

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.

Review: You can't say much about Gone Girl without ruining the entire book but I will say this: twisted. I closed the book and was just dumbfounded by the outcome. This in no way means it was bad, quite the opposite. Ms. Flynn ended the book with this reader wanting more.

Nick isn't particularly likable even when he's trying to be. He's aloof, in the way that he comes off self-centered and arrogant. The book opens ominously as he describes his wife's head. Ms. Flynn does an excellent job of placing those seeds of doubt about Nick's characters within the first few paragraphs of the novel. We first "meet" Amy through her diaries that she's filled throughout the years of their marriage. Honestly, something in her writing seemed off to me. It felt that Amy was trying to paint one picture when the truth was a totally different picture. For me, I didn't like either of them and found them both reprehensible in different ways.What is worse: the Nick we learn through going along with him on this wild ride or the Nick we learn about through Amy's diaries? I'm still not sure where I end up on this one.

As we move along in the novel until the final line of the final page, I wasn't sure who I ended up disliking more: Amy or Nick? Which is an interesting predicament as a reader? If you don't like the victim and you obviously don't like the suspect, what is it about the book that drew you in and kept you reading? With Gone Girl, Ms. Flynn gave you enough in each chapter to keep you guessing, to keep the plot moving along, and to keep you intrigued. Nick and Amy are chameleons, changing their personality to fit whatever the situation calls for. Those kinds of people give me the creeps.

There are a variety of twists and turns in this psychological thriller. It moves at a quick pace and I found myself thinking of the novel when I couldn't pick it up to read. For me that's always a sign of a well-written novel. I'm still trying to process the ending and am wondering why she ended it the way she did.

I have quickly added Ms. Flynn's other two novels Sharp Objects and Dark Places to my ever growing list of books. If you are looking for something to keep you up late at night, then run and get Gone Girl but don't blame me for your lack of sleep!

For more about the author please visit her website Gillian Flynn.

Final Take: 4.75/5

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for my ARC copy of Gone Girl.

Gillian Flynn’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, June 4th:  Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
Tuesday, June 5th:  “That’s Swell!”
Wednesday, June 6th:  Girls Just Reading
Thursday, June 7th:  Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, June 8th:  Raging Bibliomania
Monday, June 11th:  A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, June 13th:  Stephanie’s Written Word
Thursday, June 14th:  Life in Review
Friday, June 15th:  House of Crime and Mystery
Monday, June 18th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, June 19th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, June 20th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Thursday, June 21st:  Life in the Thumb
Friday, June 22nd:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, June 26th:  You’ve GOTTA Read This!
Wednesday, June 27th:  The Broke and the Bookish
Thursday, June 28th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Tuesday, July 3rd:  Twisting the Lens
Thursday, July 5th:  Colloquium



Marce said...

I downloaded last night, waiting waiting waiting, definitely will come back and read your review. I haven't read her others either but looks like they will be added to the Wishlist.

Look forward to your review of The Sadness of the Samurai, I reviewed last week.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

This one sounds incredibly creepy, in a fascinating way!

Thanks for being on the tour.