Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone GirlTitle: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Published: 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pages: 432
From: Barnes and Noble

“Marriage can be a real killer.” This first sentence to the inside cover summary of Gillian Flynn’s most popular novel Gone Girl describes the novel, and marriage within the novel, to a T.

Nick Dunne and his wife Amy moved to Missouri after both losing their writing jobs in New York City. They rented a house along the river, and eventually started rebuilding their lives. Amy’s parents, published writers, provided her with enough money that she gave it to Nick to open a bar with his sister, Margo. Slowly, their lives seemed to be coming along nicely. That is, until the door to their house was left wide open and Amy was gone.

This threw Nick into a game of staying out of prison because, obviously, he was the main suspect. And, all the evidence pointed to him. But, did he really do it?

There are so many corners to take, some easy and others sharp, that Flynn takes you on a ride. The novel, split into three main parts, looks at different perspectives: Nick’s first person, Amy’s diary entries and Amy’s first person. I love first person, especially with someone like Flynn writing, because you get thoughts without reasons. Thoughts without reasons are more real, because people may think something, but they don’t really try to explain it to themselves. With first person, you take it for what it’s worth when it’s on the page, and Flynn takes advantage of that.

However, something I didn’t like with this is that sometimes I felt like Flynn threw things in just to explain something away, like Amy’s ex-boyfriend. Overall, it felt a little contrived, like Flynn was trying too hard to make things fit together nicely, that it didn’t quite work. I got this feeling with her second novel Dark Places, but didn’t with her debut Sharp Objects. I think this might be because with the first, you just write without thinking of the audience, and your stamina and expectation is tested once your first work is out in the world.

At the same time, I didn’t care too much about that. Mostly because Flynn managed, just like in her debut novel, to keep me guessing until the very last sentence. I love a good book that lasts until the very end, but rarely do I find a book that lasts until that final punctuation mark, and Flynn pulls it off with flying colors. The thoughts the characters have, and what they say, made me think so much long after I closed the thick, black binding and wrapped the paper cover overtop. The psychology of the characters got me so deep into the story it was difficult to come back out.

Read this. I don’t say this very often, but I demand you to read this book. There is so much to think of, things like marriage, relationships, how the mind works, society, that you can’t stay away. Not to mention, Gone Girl, published in 2012, was a New York Times best-seller forever. So go! Buy or rent or borrow this novel and spend your next weekend cozying up with a glass of cold lemonade and vodka and read this book.

Gillian Flynn’s most popular novel can be purchased in-stores and online at Barnes and Noble, or online at Recently broadcasted, Rosamund Pike is to play Amy in the film adaptation of the novel, to be released in 2014. For more murder mysteries, check out Tana French and Agatha Christie.

For other reviews on Flynn’s best-selling novel, check out Chapter of Dreams’ review here, and Shelf Love’s review here.

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