Author: Gillian Flynn
Number of Pages: 395
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Release Date: May 24, 2012
“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?”
I have mixed feelings about this book, mostly due to all the hype that surrounds it with the new movie and its sudden rise to popularity. I began this book expecting an extremely fast-paced, dark thriller that I wouldn’t possibly be able to put down, but in actuality the story did not fulfill those expectations in my mind. I liked the novel as a whole, but it just seemed like an average, well-crafted mystery to me.
My favorite aspect of this story is definitely the dual perspective. With each chapter I felt my loyalties to either Nick or Amy shifting, especially in the beginning. I never really liked either of them all that much, and perhaps that led to me not being able to connect with the characters. Nick rubbed me the wrong way and Amy was much too artificial. The only character I sympathized with was Margo, Nick’s sister, because she was thrown into the chaos of this mystery simply because she was related to Nick. Despite the fact that they were very unlikable, there’s no denying that Nick and Amy had depth, personality, and experienced significant change (for better and worse) throughout the course of this novel.
Now, onto the plot itself. Because of all the hype surrounding this novel I was expecting a huge, astonishing twist. Don’t get me wrong, there are several twists, but none of them made my jaw drop or caused me to gasp out loud in astonishment. That’s my biggest complaint about this book, I think: nothing shocked me. I was really hoping that I wouldn’t be able to correctly predict anything about the ending, but unfortunately that didn’t end up happening. The ending itself kind of fell flat to me in general, actually. It was good, but it wasn’t the showstopper I was looking for. Maybe my expectations were too high going into this novel, but who can blame me? The amount of hype was incredible!
Overall, this was a good mystery novel, but it didn’t wow me like I thought it would. I enjoyed the interesting themes it explored (the dynamics of marriage, how truth can be twisted and masked, the manipulation of the media, how the media impacts the justice system, etc.) as well as the unique and thought-provoking dual perspectives. It was suspenseful at times but slow at others, and I thought that the writing was good but nothing spectacular. Gone Girl was an enjoyable, entertaining read, but it wasn’t the mind-blowing thriller I had hoped for.
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely! Despite my complaints, I did really have a great time reading this novel. If the hype monster hadn’t gobbled it up, I think it would have made a better impression on me personally.
What did you think of this novel? How about the movie? Let me know in the comments section below!