Tuesday, March 19, 2013

REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Marriage can be a real killer.

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.

Hardcover, US, 419 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Crown (first published May 24th 2012)
ISBN  0307588364 (ISBN13: 9780307588364)

About the Author

Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master's degree from Northwestern University.

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My Thoughts
When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. the shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorian would call a finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily.

I'd know her head anywhere.

And what's inside it.

Amy and Nick have been having marital problems, and when Amy disappears amid suspicion, Nick is the prime suspect of what is a suspected murder.

This was a tough one to review, which is why I've waited so long to do it (I think it's been a couple of months). While it was well-written, clever, and engaging (keeping me reading, wondering what was going to happen next), there was something ultimately unlikable about it.

This book is written in the perspective of Nick, who is reeling from the disappearance of his wife on their anniversary, and the diary entries of Amy. Amy's diary entries take you through the years leading up to their anniversary, both the good and the bad, and it becomes clear that there was a lot of bad. Things don't look good for Nick, who seems to be a self-serving, self-centered worthless husband, and the evidence mounts against him, making it appear that he did indeed kill his wife and dump her body. But did he? You're never quite sure. And at other times you aren't even sure he is really such a bad guy. At times he seems genuinely confused and grieving.

This is one of those stories that has you going this way and then that, like a Dateline murder mystery. Yes, he did it! Wait, no, I don't think he did do it. Yes, he did! No, he didn't. Back and forth.

The characters were very well developed slowly throughout the story, the storyline was a winding road looping around on itself. There were a few plot points that were kind of preposterous, but overall it was a pretty enjoyable story.

My final word: When I asked myself what it was I didn't like about this story, I found the answer was simple: the characters. I couldn't stand them. By the end of the story, I was sick of them both and glad to be rid of them! But the story itself was pretty well-crafted and very clever. Overall I would recommend this story if you like to be kept guessing.

Buy Now:

Barnes and Noble

Cover: C
Writing Style: B+

Characters: B (well developed, but ultimately unlikable)
Storyline/Plot: B+
Interest/Uniqueness: A+

My Rating:

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