Anyone who’s walked into a book retailer sometime in the last few months has spotted it somewhere under the Bestsellers, Top Picks, Must Reads, so on and so forth. Besides having Gone Girl shoved in my face every time I walked into a bookstore myself, I’d heard talk of Charlize Theron playing the female lead in the film adaption, and Reese Witherspoon signed on to produce, as well, and that happened to spark my interest a bit more. Put these variables together and you have me, three weeks ago, finally picking this one off the shelf and wondering what I’m about to get myself into.
Here’s what we get from Gone Girl at a first glance:
Marriage can be a real killer.
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.
The synopsis given is the perfect kind of vague, or really, the more annoyingly sort of vague. What it doesn’t tell you is there are alternating point of views given from both the husband and wife; Nick’s POV starting off the day Amy goes missing, while Amy’s starts off with frequent journal entries dating back from the day she met Nick. The first half of the book centers on helping the reader to figure out the pair of lovers, while also working to uncover clues and hints that might give away what have really happened the night before Amy went missing and who might actually be responsible for it all, promptly followed by a twist in events and a focus on Amy’s whereabouts to the date.
That’s when things really start unraveling.
Without giving too much away, I can say that Gone Girl is much better than everyone and their mother leads you to believe. It’s crazy, vengeful, twisted, and my favorite, deceptive.
It isn’t often that we’re thrown into a world where our main leads are both compulsive liars, or actors, depending on what side you’re on. It also isn’t common to have to ask yourself which of the two is really the villain. And this is the beauty that is Gone Girl.
There’s crazy suspense lacing the entirety of the plot, and it makes for plenty of time spent asking yourself what you actually believe, and what you should believe. Gone Girl is different because it isn’t made crystal clear. Readers are given bits and pieces of memories from both point of views, both sides played out interestingly different and both believable. The key to this book, I would say, is actually getting to know your character before you take a word they say for truth. This, of course, serves a problem as both characters prove faulty multiple times and leave you thinking that maybe both of them are just senile and the story is nothing but a demented daydream.
My favorite part of Gone Girl is, as wrong as it may be, Amy and Nick’s relationship. Between lies and infidelity, these two never fail to come back to one another, and while the very idea of them pursuing a relationship is mad, you can’t help but want them to pull through things. Their relationship is poison, but enticing nonetheless, and it is what’ll keep you reading for the most part.
All in all, Gone Girl is a story of love and lies gone wrong and shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
One word to sum this one up? Addictive. One statement to keep in mind? You might just scare yourself out of the idea of marriage.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★