Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Crime
Format: Hardcover
Year Published: 2012
Source: I purchased this book

Nick and Amy Dunne seem to have the perfect marriage. They are bright, very attractive, and talented writers. Amy is the daughter of well-known psychiatrists who have created a series of children’s books called “Amazing Amy”, based upon their own daughter. But on their fifth anniversary Amy disappears from their Missouri home she shares with Nick, leaving behind signs of a struggle.

As the media turn up to report the story of the missing beautiful “amazing” blonde wife, Nick’s problematic behavior comes under increasing scrutiny. He doesn’t seem to be the grieving husband that everyone wants him to be. As public suspicions turn  towards Nick, a closer look reveals the unraveling seams of the seemingly “perfect” marriage.

Both had lost their jobs in New York and had moved back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri. Amy was unhappy with the move. Nick was having an affair with another woman. Was this motive enough to want to harm Amy? Has Nick murdered her? Or is there any other reason for her disappearance?

This very popular novel is interesting in that alternate chapters are “written” by Nick and Amy. I found this a little confusing at first, since Nick’s chapters are at first written in the present and Amy’s chapters, are told in the past tense, by necessity, from sections of her diary.

There are several major characters in the book: Nick, Amy, Nick’s sister Go, Amy’s parents, Nick’s senile father, Nick’s selfish mistress, and several other key characters. As the story goes along, however, it becomes increasingly clear that none of the main characters are very likable, except perhaps Nick’s sister, Go, who is a not a fully fleshed out character. As a matter of fact, most of the characters are pretty loathsome, and one of them is a certifiable psychopath.

Flynn does have an amazing imagination, and is able to tell a great story for the most part. However, the book is quite graphic, and anyone squeamish about strong language and sex scenes should not read this book.

The ending, which I shall not give away here, has been controversial. Some readers have not found it satisfactory, partially because not everything is resolved in a tidy little way. It may be somewhat realistic, however, noting the strange, twisted relationships that these people have. I find myself ambivalent about the ambivalent ending!

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  1. Isn't it funny how some books stick with you and others don't? I eagerly anticipated getting this book from the library, devoured it, disliked the characters, and now can't remember the controversial ending.

    I agree with you that writing book reviews is too limiting and I have a more eclectic and flexible thematic approach with my writing. Glad I found you from Mama Kat's.

  2. The book is well written for the most part — Flynn does have storytelling flair — but the ending is somewhat unsatisfying. The characters are so unlikable that it is hard to care what happens to them.

    Thanks for visiting!