My thoughts on Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster novel have been marinating in my brain for the past few days. I’ve written, erased and rewritten this review several times struggling to come up with what to say while cautiously tiptoeing around spoilers.
Amy Dunne is missing, her home torn apart. Standard protocol in the event of a missing persons case is to rule out the spouse. Unfortunately for Amy’s husband Nick, evidence continues to pile up against him and the fact that he’s less than honest with the police isn’t doing him any favors either. What does Nick have to hide? Can Amy be found?
Oh my God, the hype! I initially kept my distance from Gone Girl because I just assumed it couldn’t possibly live up to the heaps and heaps of praise placed upon it. After turning the final page, I felt like quite the fool. Flynn not only crafted an expertly paced thriller but she succeeded in knocking me on my ass with a plot twist I haven’t seen since the likes of Chuckie P’s Fight Club.
Opting to present the book through dueling narratives, Flynn creates structurally sound characterizations of both Nick and Amy as each chapter offers up a he said/she said dynamic. One chapter will spotlight Nick’s struggle in navigating through the media circus that develops following Amy’s disappearance while another chapter takes us back to the beginning of their relationship through Amy’s early diary entries.
I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my disappointment with the ending. It’s not like it didn’t make sense given where the story had taken me but I had my own thoughts on where it should have headed and while that’s no fault of the author, it left me feeling underwhelmed. Supposedly it’s been rewritten for the upcoming movie adaptation so I’m interested to see if it goes in the direction I had initially predicted.
Gone Girl was a pleasant surprise given it’s a book that has produced such polarizing opinions. I can certainly see some of the valid reasons behind the negative reviews but it’s hard for me to agree with them given how immensely readable I found her prose. I was hooked on this from the beginning and once that shift happens in the middle, it was pedal to the metal straight to the end.