Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown (Random House)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
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.
On the day of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne discovers that his wife Amy is missing. Told in alternating points of view, a stressed and frazzled Nick depicts quite the different story about his marriage than Amy’s telling diary entries. While Nick’s story is told mostly in the present (flashing back to explain bits and pieces of his wife’s relationship with his dying mother and woman-hating father), Amy’s diary starts in the past and moves to catch up to the present day action. As the story unfolds, the reader learns quite a bit of history about the less-than-perfect marriage through both unreliable narrators. When the police get involved and find evidence of foul play, it is up to the reader to discover what happened to Amy and decide whether or not Nick is involved.
I originally watched the movie (starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) and was so intrigued by the story I had to read the book. I specifically enjoyed the use of Amy’s diary in the movie, and as a writer I wondered if the book was written in diary form. Sure enough, the book takes turns telling each character’s side of the story, with a large portion of Amy’s story coming from her diary pages. This is a hard story to review without giving away any of the details, and is such a thriller that I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone. The movie follows the book pretty much scene for scene. I did appreciate the book’s characterization of Nick’s father, and I loved the correlation of the two characters as Nick began reacting with hatred toward the female characters. I also thought the book explained the ending better. I could relate to the characters’ decisions more, which was something that lacked in the movie. I walked out of the movie theater wanting to know more…so I immediately reached for the book!
Excellent dark story for mature audiences!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond