Review: Gone Girl

Gone_Girl_(Flynn_novel)
I’m a huge fan of Gillian Flynn. I first read Sharp Objects, then Dark Places. Loved both. I saved Gone Girl for last, not necessarily because I felt it would be the “best”, but because I wasn’t really sold on the story’s premise. Not even the fact that it was Flynn’s most popular work and being turned into a movie could move me either. I didn’t feel like reading about some narcissistic character (an erroneous descriptor attached to Nick I later learned, the fault of some random review I glanced at on the internet. Nick isn’t so much narcissistic as a bit self-involved and hyper-aware of how others perceive him.) But then, after I read the deeply haunting Dark Places I saw Gone Girl on sale at Costco and thought, “Oh to hell with it. I may as well.”

And boy am I glad I did.

I don’t know if my family can say the same.

You see, I lost myself in this book. I neglected chores, became a couch barnacle, barely ate, and turned into a grunting conversation partner, my eyes always stuck on this…damn…book! Finishing this story was like an exorcism for me, and I knew it. I had to get it all out as swiftly as I could. And I did. And my god, I want to go back and experience it again!

Okay. The back story and fan-girl gushing is done. Now to get to the important details. First, Flynn is an amazing writer with a very modern voice and an uncanny ability to catch nice succinct vignettes that have you nodding your head (“Yeah! That’s totally how it is!”) For example, here’s an innocent bit from the beginning:

A group of loudmouthed white-haired ladies, each trying to talk over the next, a few of them texting, the kind of elderly people who have a baffling amount of energy, so much youthful vigor you had to wonder if they were trying to rub it in.
And even if you haven’t seen this in real life, you can just SEE it, because Flynn sets scenes and characters so effortlessly (sometimes in just the space of a few lines, a few words) that it takes hardly any effort on your part at all to catch on to her thinking and envision what she does.

I’m trying to write a spoiler-free review, but I know many people who have reviewed the book must have commented on whose “side” they were on. Nick or Amy’s. Well since you’re reading myreview, I want to be more coy about my thoughts, because if I really got into how or when I started to sympathize with either character (or both) I might ruin things just enough. This story is really too good to be allowed such a horrible act. Suffice it to say, like ALL of Flynn’s work, things are not always as they seem, and you may very well find yourself changing your mind about things…more than once!

There was even one point where I felt like Flynn was poking fun at me as a reader. “Oh-ho! You thought things would turn outthis way, didn’t you?” Cue loud wet raspberry sounds.

Last point, and again, I have to be vague, but wow. The ending was amazing. I’m almost certain the film just doesn’t do the story justice. Overall, Gone Girl is just an amazing examination of marriage, connection, perception, and even identity. I mean, it had me looking very honestly at my life. It was disturbing and unnerving, and like any of Flynn’s books, the story just stays with you long after you close the cover.

Read this book. Just read it. You owe it to yourself.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Gone Girl

  1. ajoobacats says:

    Great review, I was lost in Gone Girl too, so totally relate. I’m not sure I can bring myself to watch the film as the book will always play better in my imagination. I hope Flynn is working on a new book, I’m getting withdrawal symptoms!

  2. Oh, I know! Maybe THAT was the real reason I put off reading Gone Girl. Because I couldn’t stand the thought of not having new Flynn books to read! 😛

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