by Gillian Flynn
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a paperback copy.
Gone Girl was incredible. Truly. But perhaps in order for me to explain how much I loved it without ruining the plot, I have to explain my reading habits.
I hate suspense fiction. Crime dramas, mysteries, thrillers, and romantic suspense are genres I avoid 99% of the time. Especially popular ones that everyone is talking about. Because I’m always disappointed. For a long time, suspense fiction was all I read and watched. James Patterson, Sandra Brown, CSI, Law & Order, and tons of Lifetime movies were my first choice in entertainment. And then, one day, suddenly and completely, I was done. Burned out. From time to time, I will pick up a book in these genres, but typically off beat and weird ones that deal more with human nature, with more grit and complex themes than the run of the mill who-dun-it plot and typically shelved with literary fiction than mystery fiction.
So, when Gone Girl was the hot book, I didn’t expect to read it. After awhile, I started hearing praise from people who, like me, don’t typically read suspense novels. But even after I added myself to the library waiting list, I wasn’t sold on it. When the book became available for checkout right before my vacation, in the middle of me packing for my move, I removed myself from the waiting list because I just didn’t have the time. I was on the waiting list for MONTHS, but it wasn’t that important to me. When I got to the hotel room with my grandmother in Ireland, what was she reading?! Gone Girl. And seriously, if you watch anyone’s reactions while reading Gone Girl, you know that you just HAVE to read it. Books that make people react like that are must reads for most of us. My grandmother reads great books and although our tastes differ greatly, we read many of the same novels, like The Book Thief, Hunger Games, etc. So when she told me I HAD to read Gone Girl, I finally caved and bought a copy while in Ireland. And of course, I had the same kinds of reactions.
I’ve never read a book that made me feel so conflicted while reading it. I wanted to scream at the end of every chapter in frustration, but for different reasons in each chapter and not in a bad way. I wanted to know what would happen next, but I needed to put it down and take in everything I just read. While reading, I would abruptly set the book down because I just couldn't take it anymore, only to stare at it a moment later, needing to continue because I needed to find out what would happen next. It was an insane ride. “Seriously?” “What the…?” “But..” “What?!” were all things I said out loud while reading. My grandmother thought it was hilarious because she knew exactly what I was talking about, having just read the book herself.
Unpredictable, clever, brilliant, fast paced, gritty, twisted, and incredible are just a handful of words I could use to describe Gone Girl. It was worth the hype, worth my time, and an absolute must read. It’s brilliant while also being an easy read, fast paced while also being precise and intricate. And, unfortunately, I refuse to explain why. The plot is amazing, but it’s one that I refuse to spoil, even if the tiniest way.
A few people have mentioned that it’s a bit hard to get into the story. I suppose I could agree with that. You’re not sure what you’re reading yet and neither person is all that likable. In fact, I hated Amy and distrusted Nick for awhile. But keep reading. It gets better and more involved as the book goes on. It’s not just an episode on a crime show, even though it kind of starts out that way. I promise.
“I’ve literally seen it all and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say… We are all working from the same dog-eared script.”
“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless automat of characters.”
“Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase?”
This completes the Romantic Suspense category in the Eclectic Reader Challenge for 2013.
Labels: eclectic reader, Review