Book Reviews

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Book Review

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Book Review Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Genres: American Literature, Fiction
Original Publication Date: 2012
Source: I purchased this book
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

Is Amy a gone girl? 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 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 has created a series of children’s books called “Amazing Amy”, based on their own daughter.

But on their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears from the Missouri home she shares with Nick, leaving behind signs of a struggle.

Amy Is Missing. Why Is She Gone?

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?

The Novel’s Structure

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 not a fully fleshed-out character.

As a matter of fact, most of the characters are pretty loathsome, and at least one of them is a certifiable psychopath.

Final Analysis

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.

However, I admit that I was sort of disappointed with it. So I find myself ambivalent about the ambivalent ending!

Only read this link if you already know the ending and want to see a great discussion about it. It contains spoilers:

Gone Girl Ending, Explained.

Please read this article but only after you have read the book:

Gillian Flynn reflects on ‘Gone Girl’ Legacy and the Growing Appetite for Anti-Heroines in Books

If you just enjoyed this review, please read my post about Marie: A True Story.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn was the chief TV critic for Entertainment Weekly. Her first novel was Sharp Objects. Her latest novel, Gone Girl, is a massive No.1 bestseller. The film adaptation of Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, won the Hollywood Film Award in 2014.

I love books, writing, film, and television.


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