Book review: Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”

A beautiful book trailer for Gone Girl by Falcon Media Graphics

I know, I know. I’m about two years late with regards to Gone Girl, but it’s better late than never, right? It’s better to have read and blogged than not to have read and blogged at all, etc., etc.

Also, I have not blogged for a while now, so I may not be in tip-top shape. Not that I was in great shape before or anything, but whatever. So just be gentle on this here post as I try to gather my thoughts on Gillian Flynn’s immensely popular and divisive book Gone Girl.

6a00d8341ca51553ef0176169d3fe5970c-800wiGone Girl tells the story of married couple Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot-Dunne, who have both lost their jobs as writers in New York and have had to move to Missouri to make a new life for themselves. It’s the latest in a series of setbacks that have rocked their marriage, and it’s starting to look like Missouri is going to be the final straw.

The already delicate situation is further complicated by the disappearance of Amy on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. It sends Nick’s life into a tailspin and flings the crumbling Missouri town they live in straight into the national spotlight.

And the national spotlight is certainly something Nick can do without, as clues keep on piling up implicating him in the case of his wife’s disappearance. As the noose keeps getting tighter around his neck, Nick needs to find out the truth about his wife’s disappearance before it’s too late. But as it turns out, the truth about his wife’s disappearance might have been better left unsolved.

I have to admit that I didn’t go into Gone Girl with a clean slate. It’s been around for two years, after all, and I only really lost a regular internet connection when I moved to a different city a month ago. So I knew there was going to be a twist. I didn’t know what it was, exactly, but I was looking out for it as I read.

And it was easy enough to figure it out as I began reading it. Gone Girl is a crime thriller, after all, and the way Amy’s diary entries conveniently painted Nick as the prime suspect with regards to her disappearance primed me for what happened in the second part of the novel.

But you know what was magical about it? Despite figuring it out early, despite having two years worth of advance warnings drilled into my head, I still ended up going “Oh shit!” when the twist is finally revealed. And once you get to that point the book really takes off. Amy is a fascinating creature to read about; she kind of reminded me of the Suzie Toller character played by Neve Campbell in Wild Things, except more sophisticated.

There’s so many other things that make this book so good – Amy’s “righteous” anger that reminded me of Tumblr SJWs, the complicated nature of love and the thin line that separates it from hate, the power of a good story and how it can sway the minds of people to devestating effect, but dozens upon dozens of reviewers have already touched on that and probably more eloquently than I have. I just wanted to be a really, really late addition to the chorus of voices that have given this book the praise it so rightly deserves. It truly is amazing.

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