Blair's Reviews > Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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's review
May 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery-thriller-etc, read-on-kindle, netgalley, 2012-release
Read from May 16 to 18, 2012

Gone Girl is a tense and fast-paced psychological thriller centred around a damaged, destructive marriage. It opens as Nick Dunne has just discovered his wife, Amy, has disappeared in strange circumstances on the couple's fifth wedding anniversary. As Nick looks back over the history of his relationship with Amy, the narrative switches between his perspective and Amy's diary entries, which paint a very different picture, particularly of recent events. It quickly becomes apparent that all is not as it seems - Nick, who is immediately the prime suspect, admits he is lying to the police; Amy's diary grows darker and darker. Has Nick murdered Amy? If she is still alive, then where is she? And does anybody know (or, indeed, tell) the truth about the pair's stormy, passionate relationship?

Beyond the above, it's incredibly difficult to discuss what happens plot-wise, because there are so many unexpected twists, and I really do think this is a book that wouldn't be anywhere near as good if you were to read spoilers beforehand. I'm very glad I didn't know what was going to happen - it made the whole experience so much more thrilling. Flynn plays with the reader's perceptions brilliantly, making you constantly switch sides, question the veracity of both Nick and Amy's accounts, and try to second-guess the characters.

Amy: what an utterly, utterly brilliant character. I loved and hated her in equal measure and was fascinated by her every action. I started off disliking her - (view spoiler). Then, as (view spoiler). I could barely stand the tension in most of her chapters and had to restrain myself from skipping to later parts of the book to see what would happen.

Nick: oh, how I HATED Nick. I loathed him from the beginning and this feeling only intensified as the story progressed. It's a great credit to the author, however, that I still found his strand of the narrative compelling and readable, and never wanted to skip over his chapters. Still, he is a straight-up, pure-and-simple misogynist, despite all his protestations. He spends the entire book hating and belittling women and I desperately wanted him to get his comeuppance. That said, his characterisation raises some interesting moral questions - he may be a contemptible human being, but does he deserve to be reviled for things he hasn't done?

The ending: all-round fantastic. Things are wrapped up perfectly for these two characters. Ultimately, when all is said and done and the truth of events is revealed, they both get the endings they deserve... and that's all I'm going to say.

Minor negative points: I'm not especially keen on the title - there's got to be a better description of this story than 'Gone Girl', surely? She isn't a girl, for a start, she's in her late thirties! Also, although I find the cover design aesthetically pleasing, I don't feel it does anything much to communicate what the book is about. If I'd seen this in a bookshop, I would probably have assumed it was a young adult novel, and wouldn't have picked it up.

It's been a while since I read a book I liked this much that was also so entertaining and readable. Gone Girl is an easy read, and you don't need to be concentrating on every tiny detail to understand what happens, but it's still very well-written and ingeniously put together. It's a superior example of the mystery/thriller genre and the word 'compelling' doesn't do it justice. As long as you don't mind reading about deceitful, tricky characters who you will dislike at least some of the time, this is a highly recommended read.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Arah-Lynda Great review Blair....added to my TBR.

Nicola I did keep reading 'Gone Girl' as 'Gossip Girl' in your review, so I see what you mean about the YA connotations! Have you read Gillian Flynn's other two novels? I really liked them both, and your review has nudged me into reading this newest one.

Blair I hadn't actually heard of her before I came across this one, but I'm pretty interested in her other books now! Will be keeping them in mind for the future.

message 4: by Tuck (new)

Tuck flynn's first book is a masterpiece of southern gothic. her 2nd, not so much Sharp Objects

Kristine Brancolini I'm just starting this book. After waiting and waiting for it at the library, I finally bought it. So far, I love had. I had to make myself go to bed late last night. Regarding the title: I think that comes from Amy. "Girl gone" is how she would describe herself in her journal. In the very beginning, she writes, "I met a boy." Nick is not a boy and she is not a girl, but that's how she thinks about them. Boy. Girl. Creepy.

message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy I hate the title, too!

Damian Dubois I think seeing this in the local paper and remembering that you had read it prompted me to go out and give it a try. Just finished it and thought it was a very good read. And I also liked 'likeable' Amy and thought for sure she was going to get some type of comeuppance at the end...

Andrea yeah, the title is just not right

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