Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/26/2014
Book blurb as seen on Amazon:
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. 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?
Critiquing this book is kind of like showing up to Times Square on New Years Day as the street cleaners are sweeping up the confetti and yelling, “Let’s start the party!!!” Most of you have probably already read this novel, and certainly don’t need me to advise you on whether you should read it or not. There’s been enough hype from the book and the movie that it doesn’t need my help, but I’ll add my own two cents anyway.
Thrillers and crime novels are far, far from the types of books I usually read, so as a genre, I wasn’t very excited. And truth be told, this didn’t encourage me to pick up any others. I still don’t like thrillers or crime novels. But Flynn did do something that pulled me in. Her ability to develop a character study of even the minor characters in just a few sentences was amazing. I not only understood and sympathized with the characters, everyone of them, I recognized myself, or people I knew, in them. It was uncanny how she could peel apart the layers of a person and expose them to the world for all to see.
And her ability to write characters wasn’t her only strong point. In fact, she had no weak points. Plot, suspense, characters, were all above reproach, as was the writing. Never once did I think, “That could have been better.” I love it when a novel keeps me fully invested and I don’t get distracted by poor writing.
The only negative I have to say, besides the fact that I don’t generally like books like this, is I kind of predicted the main plot twist just from reading the blurb. Which was no big deal, because it didn’t ruin the story or anything and I didn’t know for sure what the rest of the story would bring. Basically, no suspense ruined.
And the ending was satisfying, if totally messed up. Actually, this whole book was messed up. It went from character studies of normal people to some pretty crazy stuff, which kept it interesting. I didn’t really like either of the main characters. Heck, I don’t think I liked any of the characters, but I still wanted to know how it ended. Flynn didn’t disappoint. There is no real happy ending for anyone, just an ending. I don’t know if she plans a sequel (which would be even more messed up) but maybe it would offer a more conclusive ending. At any rate, I’ll imagine my own resolution, which may be what Flynn intended. Not that I didn’t like the ending. It was . . . appropriate. Kind of like life. The end of one story is the beginning of another.
My Review: 3.5 stars (I took off a bit because I didn’t like the genre. If I had, it would have been a 5.)