Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: borrowed from the library via my Kindle
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
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?
YOU GUYS. THIS BOOK. How do I even review it?
If you are a living person with even a passing interest in books, you've probably heard of Gone Girl by now. It's this summer's most-hyped new release. It took me forever to read it because I am cheap, and thus do not buy a lot of books, which means I had to sit on the library's wait list for a while before I could get my hands on it. But it was worth the wait. I hate admitting that I have given into the hype surrounding a talked-up book, but this book joins Harry Potter and The Hunger Games in my "hype-happy books that I adore" category.
The tough thing about this review is that I can't tell you much about the book without totally giving away the good stuff. And there is SO MUCH good stuff.
I'll put it to you like this. The book is broken into 3 parts. During the first part, I was completely intrigued as it bounced back and forth from Nick's POV, to Amy's diary entries. I couldn't decide how I felt about the characters, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure that out. I felt like the author was doing great things with perspective, so much so, that I thought that must be The Reason why everyone loves this book. I made a lot of notes to myself like "characters have skewed perception of self" and "Nick as unreliable narrator" etc. etc.
And then the end of Part 1 came and it was like
and I stopped making notes to myself, because the time for thoughtful analysis was over. It was time to devour this book without mercy.
This book is not just great because of its issues with perspective (though that is part of it). It is great because it is so unbelievably twisted. I literally said, "OH SNAP!" out loud at least a half-dozen times. Flynn has done an amazing job creating a thriller/mystery that is not based only on the action. This is extremely character-driven, which I think is a tough thing to create when you're in the thriller genre. I'm dying to read some of her other novels now, in the hopes that I can see this writing style replicated, even a little bit.
The ending. I've heard it debated: some people love it, others hate it. I am in the love category. I think the best word I can use to describe it is haunting. You want to know what comes next, even though you know it's going to be dreadful. It sticks with you, that's for sure.
I'm leaving my talk about the book there, because I can't give it away. It's going on my favorites shelf. You need to read this. And then you need to discuss it with me, because I want to know what everyone thinks of Nick and Amy. I have so many opinions to share!
*Also: I already read that this has been picked up as a movie, with Reese Witherspoon producing (and possibly starring). I desperately want to see this on screen, but I am terrified that Hollywood will ruin it. Also, I think Rachel McAdams would be a way better Amy. And Bradley Cooper is the ultimate Nick, amiright?