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review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Written By: Word Nerd - Mar• 05•13

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn


Release Date: June 5, 2012

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?

Gone Girl exploded onto the book scene.  Rated the best book of the year by a number of sources (including my favorite, BookPage) and the darling of book clubs around the nation, I felt like I was missing a huge cultural touchstone by not reading it.

My first clue that it might not live up to the hype was when, after a six week wait at the library, I was able to read a bit and then put it down when bedtime arrived.  It was interesting, but not un-put-down-able.  I had read about 5% of the book when I said, “I wonder if….” and, yep, I had figured out the big twist.

Was the book fast paced? Yes. Did it have a lot of psycho twists in it? Yes.  Was it a good book? No.

My verdict:  Skip it.  In addition to a complete WTH ending, Gone Girl positively glamorizes an abusive relationship.  If you issued this book with a main character gender flip, you would have a torch waving, pitchfork wielding crowd calling for a boycott.  I understand that it is fiction, but reprehensible behaviour in fiction is still reprehensible.

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