Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

From the back of the book: 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?

When it comes to novels,  I think that we as readers generally believe that we can trust the narrator. We may see the narrator lie to others within the novel, but I think that generally, we know that they're telling the truth to us, because we're the chosen few who get a glimpse of what's going on in that particular character's head.

That said, within the first few chapters of Gone Girl (which is told alternating between Nick and Amy as narrator), it becomes obvious that either one or both of the narrators are lying to us. Or at the very least, they're not telling us the complete truth. It shortly becomes obvious that small lies are building and building--but to what end? 

In the heart-racing second act of the book, we find out just how extensively we've been lied to, and a whole new world of possibility about Amy's disappearance opens up. And let me tell you, it's a doozy. It sort of feels like a descent into madness, as we begin to question everything we know as a reader, because even after we know the who, we don't quite yet know the why. That is, until Gone Girl moves into the skin-crawling third and final act, in which the reason behind it all is revealed...and it's even more creepy than I ever could have imagined.

Gillian Flynn was an author who was not at all on my radar before...but she certainly is now! It's been a long, long, long time since I felt so genuinely surprised by a book. Since I had no idea what to expect or what could possibly be coming next. I'm not sure I've EVER been as severely creeped out while reading a novel as I was when I came to the final pages of Gone Girl...and although it seems strange to wholeheartedly recommend a book for being creepy, I absolutely am. It's indescribable, and you just simply must read it now.

Disclosure Statement: I received a free ARC copy of this book through my NetGalley membership.I was not compensated for my time, or for my review. However, a copy of this review was provided to the publisher as a courtesy. As always, all opinions are my own--I couldn't lie about a book even if I wanted to!


  1. I have this book on my Kindle, but I only read a few pages to start with due to lack of reading time. I'm definitely going to try and make more time and pick it up and get further into it after reading your review. Thanks! :-)

  2. what a coincidence! I just finished this book last night (ridiculously late, of course, because I could not put it down). I have to admit, I was bored at first and had a hard time picking it up, but once I was about 75 pages in, I was hooked! my husband said that I made a "wtf" face often while reading this one... such a crazy and brilliant plot! Gillian Flynn is definitely on my radar now as well.

  3. Just ordered this one on Amazon, now I can't wait to get it!

  4. You make my library list grow and grow! Oh if I had time to read them as fast as you do... right now I read a few pages and fall asleep. Aaah life with a newborn.

  5. I'm waiting on this book from the library. Can't wait!

  6. I'm simultaneously intrigued and scared. I really wanna read it if it's that good, but I don't do well with creepy...

  7. Thanks Meredith!!! I needed a new book(or a few) to read!

  8. My comment could encompass so many already here...fall asleep after a few pages, intrigued and scared, can't wait to get it...
    I only heard about it in the last week while listening to the archived recording of book report radio (bookreportradio(dot)com), where they read the blurb, and an excerpt from the audiobook. It's shot to the top of my list (which let me tell you, is becoming longer by the week, as I hear of more highlighted books). Your review has just left me wanting to read it today! Amanda, if you're looking for more suggestions, you may want to consider catching the radio show (the schedule and stations are on their site)-there are so many good titles there.


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