Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Gone Girl

Summary: Marriage can be a real killer. 

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 

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. -- Crown

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn was probably the book at the very top of my wish-list for summer reading. Fortunately, one of my best friends mentioned that she had a copy and offered to share it with me (even before she read it!) I dropped everything (including the book I was half-way through) and immediately started reading it. And then I didn't want to put it down until I was finished. The only issue I had with GONE GIRL was that I didn't want it to end.

Like many reviewers, I can't rave enough about GONE GIRL. I am pretty sure it will go down as one of my top books of the summer and most likely 2012. In fact, I have a feeling that it might go down as one of my favorite thrillers ever! It is truly that good and that unusual, and I loved how it messed with my mind. GONE GIRL is one of those books that you can't stop thinking about and so want to discuss with a friend. It will remain in my thoughts for quite awhile, and that is one very good indication of a great book.

I hesitate to even try to share what happened in this novel because it is truly a one-of-a-kind book and one that should be experienced knowing little, if anything, about it. You can read the book's description from the publisher or just jump right in. For those of you who like to know a little about the book, it's a story about Nick and Amy, a very dysfunctional couple, whose marriage is on the brink of collapse. On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears under some pretty shady circumstances; and naturally, Nick is the prime suspect.

I adored how Ms. Flynn told this story. The book alternated between Nick's story and Amy's diary, and frankly, I loved (and hated) both characters. What I found so refreshing about both of their sections was how the author incorporated so many smart observations on marriage. There is no doubt that as far as thrillers go, this is one of the very best I've ever read. However, I found that GONE GIRL is also a great piece of contemporary fiction with so much food for thought about complex relationships. In addition, I was extremely impressed with how funny this book was. I certainly wasn't expecting a thriller to have so much humor, but Nick and Amy both were so messed up and their thoughts were just insane (and ultimately made me laugh!)

As I read GONE GIRL, I really couldn't get a grip on a lot of things... but I mean that in the best possible way. I had no idea who to trust -- Nick or Amy, who was telling the truth (I knew Nick wasn't!), and who was good or bad. And I loved the book for this! The characters and the story were so twisted and I loved how disconcerted I felt reading this novel. For the most part, I honestly had no idea where this book was going; and I admit that I was shocked by the outcome.

GONE GIRL is the first book that I've read by Gillian Flynn, but it definitely won't be my last. I can't wait to get my hands on her other novels. She has major writing skills and she knows how to weave a fascinating tale, but it's so much more than that too. In GONE GIRL, she created some complex characters who do some very twisted things, and I have to wonder how Ms. Flynn came up with the ideas for this novel. Seriously, have you seen her author photo? She looks so nice and normal, but she obviously has a fantastic imagination!

I will be recommending GONE GIRL to everyone I know who enjoys thrillers. I think it's on just about every recommended summer reading list that I've seen, and rightly so. This book is a must-read!

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Beth F said...

ARGHHHHH. Ok. I must, must, must get my hands on a copy of this book.

bermudaonion said...

I've heard you raving over this book and now I'm really excited about it. I can't wait for my copy to come!

Serena said...

This is a book that's on my radar after so many rave reviews.

Alex said...

This book must be good. I have a reserve for it at the New York Public Library and I am the 1067 person waiting for one of 47 copies. Maybe I should just buy it.
Great review, thanks.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

My husband is reading it now and can't put it down!

Amritorupa Kanjilal said...

I've been hearing so much about this book! I must get myself a copy!

Please do visit!

Unknown said...

Finished the book a couple of days ago. Now I am reading a slow period piece that is good, but nothing like Gone Girls. I love the darkness of Gone Girl and the unpredictability. It was so unlike any book I ever read. I wish I could find another like it.

Kelly-Belly said...

Sounds like I'll have to add it to my wish-list! : )

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

Thought I was the only one who hadn't read it...glad to see other commenters haven't either!!! Must. Read. Now.

Marg said...

There is so much positive buzz about this book! I am going to have to add it to my list to get to in due course!

Anonymous said...

This is up for vote with my book club. I would love to read Gone Girl. Thank you for your wonderfully detailed review.

HamptonWife said...

I read Gone Girl quite quickly...thought the beginning and middle sections were just incredible...there were so many twists and so many ways this book could have ended...sad to say the ending fell flat for me :( I do recommend it, but am I the only one who didn't like the end?

HamptonWife said...

I read Gone Girl quite quickly. I loved the beginning and the middle...It was a real page turner with a lot of twists...there were so many ways this book could have ended, so maybe that is why the ending fell flat for me :( I still recommend it for its intensity and terrific writing.