Newest Review: ... she disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. Not knowing what has happened to his wife Nick is beside himself with worry. People, in... more
Gone Girl: Contender for Thriller of the Year.
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Member Name: Ventilicious187
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Advantages: Beautifully written, astutely observed, an absolutely toxic read.
Disadvantages: Perhaps the ending might be a bit of a disappointment for some?
How much can you ever really know about the person you marry?
That is essentially the underlying theme of 'Gone Girl'. How much can you ever tell what another person is thinking? It's a pretty simple question, yet in the hands of Gillian Flynn, it helps to establish a psychological thriller of phenomenally tense and compelling proportions.
It's absolutely fascinating to read. As a single young woman myself, I found myself pouring over the pages, thinking 'Is this what all marriages are like? Is this how my marriage will end up?' Let my just say, God, I hope not, because the marriage of Nick and Amy is a relationship fraught with lies, manipulation, betrayal, doubt, and yep, you've guessed it, murder.
So let us start with a brief plot description. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne finds that his wife Amy has mysteriously disappeared. Like any ordinary couple, Nick and Amy have had their ups and downs, and right now are seemingly going through a bit of a rough patch after both losing their jobs, forcing them to move out of their hip New York apartment and back to Nick's Midwest small-town childhood home. Understandably, Nick is anxious to see his wife home safe and well, but of course, as anyone who had ever watched an episode of Law and Order can tell you, first things first: you check out the husband.
Must to his consternation, Nick immediately becomes prime suspect number one. During the investigation, a number of unsettling things are revealed about Amy's life, none of which Nick can verify, or even agree with. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of Nick, and kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. Despite his protestations of innocence, no one is able to confirm Nick's whereabouts on the morning of his wife's disappearance. Strange searches are discovered his computer, and his possessions start turning up in odd places. Soon enough, the whole town turns on Nick Dunne, and Nick Dunne can turn to no one.
For fear of giving anything else away, I'll end my plot description there. The last thing I want to do is spoil any plot twists or endings, so I'll keep quiet. But suffice to say, that this novel is definitely a contender for thriller of the year. With the characters of Nick and Amy, Gillian Flynn has created the most eloquent and well versed of plot devices: the unreliable narrator. The timelines flash back and forth between Nick on the day of Amy's disappearance, and Amy's diary entries from the early years of their marriage leading up to the present day, only with such conflicting accounts of their marriage, it's impossible to know who is telling the truth. It's not until midway through the book that you get to a breakthrough, and it's a jaw-dropping one at that. But even after the big reveal, Flynn still weaves a tension, uncertainty and suspense that stays with you right until the very last page.
The characters are not only realistic, but frighteningly so. My opinion of both Nick and Amy was constantly changing, fluctuating with every new piece of information revealed about them. This isn't a book that has a slow start. It's not a book that you have to read a few hundred pages to 'get into' it. The actions starts and pulls you in right from the get go.
With regards to any 'disadvantages' the book might have, I will only say this: on first reading it, the ending wasn't necessarily what I had hoped for. I can't really explain any more than that without giving everything away, but after closing the book, I did feel a tiny bit... shall we say, cheated? Only on deeper reflection, I think that the ending Flynn wrote was actually a rather more chilling, even devastating, finale than that which I would have wanted. I found myself still thinking about it days, even perhaps weeks, after I had put the book down. It had a sinister feel to it that literally leaves me with goosebumps when I think about it now. So actually, not a 'disadvantage' at all really!
So there you have it. With 'Gone Girl,' Gillian Flynn mixes toxic dialogue with two characters that are very much on the edge, and the result is a chilling, acerbic and witty portrayal of a marriage gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Summary: A book that you look forward to picking up, and put down with extreme reluctance.