Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn
Release: May 24th 2012
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary, Adult


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?


Well hot damn, I didn't think a book could actually make me change my mind so freaking much with me still enjoying it. 

The author obviously places the blame with everyone, so that you have no choice but to suspect and/or dislike any one character at some point in the story, and you are confused as to whom you actually want to actually take the blame and get to feel the concussions for it. Hell, even after finishing, I still don't know which ending I would have rather seen. 

So, in terms of characters this novel is really fishy, because with the exception of Go, I hated every character for a short period of time. But, I think that is excellent storytelling, daring to make your characters, especially your protagonists, so unlikeable, and in the end it made the story seem very realistic as well, even in as surreal a setting as this one. 

Speaking of, I love murder mysteries, I really do. I love to be kept guessing and trying to figure out clues myself as I go along. There wasn't very much of that since the clues were impossible to figure out for outsiders, so I had to be told constantly what was going on, which sucked a bit. However, I think the plot twists really more than made up for that, because around the halftime mark, shit just starts hitting the fan non-stop. I'm serious, guys. There is no pause in between to actually digest any of this, nope, you'll be forced to race right on ahead and crash into the next plot twist that is going to punch you in the face so hard you'll be seeing stars till Christmas. What the hell even. I didn't think a book could still surprise me this much at every turn, but ... here we go.

And I think it is this, ultimately, that makes this such a great read. You never know what to expect, and then you make up your mind about a character, and what you are very sure is going to happen next, but the next thing you know is actually something completely startling that makes you change your mind yet again. It's aggravating in a way, but also kind of thrilling.

I will say, though, that it isn't that gripping until halfway in. It's not boring during the first ca. 150 pages, but compared to the rollercoaster ride that is the second half, the first one is extremely dull. It's still nice enough to want to read on and such, but, you know, I can imagine it could be lame for others and thus, inspire feelings of I don't want to read on. So, here's what I say: Read on. Do it.

Ultimately, I'm not sure I would have picked this book up had my English teacher not recommended it to me and let me borrow her copy. Nevertheless, I am glad she did and I'm glad that I have such a big sense of obligation to read it, and read it fast since I wouldn't want to be a sleazebag that borrowes something and then takes ages to return it. And giving it back unread would have been totally out of the question. So, even though I don't usually read contemporary Adult murder mysteries, and I really am a creature of habit so stepping out of "my" genres is always a little awkward for me, I very much enjoyed Gone Girl. Do with that what you will, but I can really recommend this book if it sounds remotely interesting to you.

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