Wednesday, June 6, 2012

book review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The backstory: Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn's third novel.

The basics: Nick and Amy are unhappily married. On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. Flynn tells their story in alternating chapters of Nick's reaction to Amy's disappearance, and his role as a suspect, and sections from Amy's diary stretching from their meeting to present day.

My thoughts: Gone Girl is a novel best enjoyed when you read it knowing little. Watching this story unfold was as thrilling as the story itself. As suspenseful and intriguing as the plot was, I was also enamored with Flynn's writing. She masterfully builds these characters as both deeply flawed and understandable. Telling the story in alternating voices, but in different times, provided the reader with historical perspective on the couple, a sense of their today, and insight into both of them and the different ways they viewed their marriage over time. Throughout the novel, Flynn drops clues that the reader doesn't know the whole story, such as "it was my fifth lie I to the police. I was just starting," and "I'm a big fan of the lie of omission." Trying to separate fact from fiction was intriguing and kept me guessing.

Favorite passage: "Dorothy has one of those '70s kitten-in-a-tree-posters--Hang in There! She posts her poster with all sincerity. I like to picture her running into some self-impressed Williamsburg bitch, all Betty Page bangs and pointy glasses, who owns the same poster ironically. I'd like to listen to them try to negotiate each other. Ironic people always dissolve when confronted with earnestness, it's their kryptonite."

The verdict: Gone Girl is a thrilling, mysterious, awesomely deranged tale of a marriage. Flynn kept me guessing throughout the novel, but more importantly, she kept me marveling at her mastery of language, suspense, story, character and pace.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 432 pages
Publication date: June 5, 2012
Source: publisher via Edelweiss

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Gone Girl from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.)

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

24 comments:

  1. You had me at "awesomely deranged."

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    1. Ti, I don't recall ever liking characters who were so fucked up as much. It shouldn't be delightful, but it absolutely was.

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    2. Jenny, thanks for making sure I'm not the only one who was delighted by such deranged people!

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  2. I think the tension in this book might kill me. Which could be good! I'm reading Sarah Foster's Beneath the Shadows which has a similar vibe -- v gothic, very tense, disappeared spouse...

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    1. Ooh..I have that one for review too. I seem to be loving thriller lately, so I'll have to wait for a time I can fully devote myself to that one!

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    2. Can't wait to see what you think of it when you do get to it -- I'm mostly liking it!

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    3. Only mostly liking? Maybe I'll wait for your review before deciding;-)!

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  3. Yes, it was definitely deranged! I'm glad you loved it!

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    1. Sometimes deranged can be so so good!

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  4. Wow! Sounds like Flynn weaves so many different elements (alternating voices, diary entries, etc) in this one. Usually books that try to do too much fail for me, but I've read so many positive reviews that I'm itching to try this one out. I'm with Ti - haven't read great 'awesomely deranged' characters in a while!

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    1. It was so nice to see a book that was well written and deranged, rather than simply being deranged for the sake of being deranged! I really enjoyed this one and hope you do too!

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  5. I'm a big Gillian Flynn fan and have this waiting for me on my Kindle but I feel like I need to finish the book I'm reading first. I can't wait!!!!

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    1. Jenners, I think you'll like this one! I've owned her first two novels for years and now will finally make time to read them this summer!

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  6. Man, I loved this book. It's easily going to make my Best Books Read in 2012 List. LOVED this book!

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    1. Natalie, I'm so glad you loved it too. It was such an exhilarating, enjoyable read!

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  7. oh boy...another great one by Gilian Flynn -- I loved her other 2. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Diane, I'm eager to read her other two, which I've owned for years. I hope you enjoy this one too!

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  8. I haven't read anything by this author yet but I keep reading the same thing: her books are great. I'm going to give her a try. Great review.

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    1. Vasilly, I hope you like it. I'm certainly looking forward to her prior two novels!

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  9. I've had my eye on this one and you just made it an official must read for me!

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    1. Yes! It is such a gripping read. Enjoy!

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  10. This sounds brilliant, I keep hearing good things about it. From your review it sounds really good and I like the way that the writer misleads the reader.

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    1. Lindsay, I hope you find time to read it!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!