Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I recently finished Gone Girl (just in time for Valentine’s Day!) and agree it was quite the read. Very gone girl indeed! Absorbing and twisted with well thought out yet surprising developments and excellently depicted characters – with a unique play it back journal entry style and point of view alternate takes.(Grammatically incorrect – thanks Amy). I especially enjoyed the pair of detectives -Boney and Gilpin, who may have been in over their heads with this one!
I was thinking about movies and couldn’t place a female lead until I listened again to the year’s best Podcast and heard a library colleague mentioning Reece Witherspoon. That would be a great fit (I think of her in Election). Some other movies that crossed my mind while reading this were: High Fidelity, American Beauty, Basic Instinct, Magic and, maybe most of all, The Game (w/ Michael Douglas). And maybe the play Deathtrap. I couldn’t help think of Nancy Grace circa the Scott Peterson case as well with the Ellen Abbott character. But with any great book it’s the nuances and thoughts of the characters you are privy to and the acute descriptions that make this one to read (before a movie based on it comes out).
The story opens in Carthage, Missouri where Amy and Nick Dunne, displaced (from NYC) and unemployed ex-writers have returned to reside in a McMansion near the Mississippi, enabling Nick to tend to his ailing parents and work at a bar he owns with his twin sister, Margo. From here, on their fifth wedding anniversary Amy disappears in an apparent abduction; possibly a set up…
But this book is so much more and truly is a masterpiece of psychological intrigue; with a marriage gone really wrong, a what is going on here?! and what may possibly develop next? plot that tumbles ever forward. It is hugely absorbing and the characters are very believable – from Nick’s sister Go and her stark directness to Amy’s annoyingly alike parents, Rand and Marybeth, both psychologists who have been living off the royalties of the Amazing Amy series, children’s books that may have run their course. Other characters have memorable bit roles while Amy herself gives new meaning to terms for a clever, manipulative spouse. Anniversary treasure hunts with disguised clues are just the tip of the iceberg here with the games she plays.
I haven’t heard anyone who has not been impressed by this book, which is unforgettable and merits its praise as one of the year’s best (and probably a rereading by me). This story is gripping and diabolically twisted with a sharp, modern edge (and really funny at times too). Maybe a disclaimer is in order: not for everyone – adult situations, sexual content and language and an addicting plot that will not let you down easy while confounding and surprising.
A whirlwind of a novel.