Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  • Title: Gone Girl: A Novel
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery/Mind Screw
  • Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 030758836x
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297859383
  • ASIN: 030758836X
  • Author's Website:

Have you ever looked at a couple and thought, "Wow! They're the perfect couple. They've got the perfect marriage. I wish I had a relationship like them."?

We don't see what goes behind when a couple is behind closed doors. We don't see how they treat each other when nobody else can see. We don't see what they don't want us to. We really don't know if that perfect facade is simply that, a facade.

How many times have we heard over the course of the years, "Oh, he seemed the nicest guy. I can't believe it." or "They have to have made a mistake. She would never do that." on the news about a rapist or murderer? The truth is, we don't know and many of these people are very clever and hide their true natures behind a facade and work very hard to preserve their perfect image. But are they perfect? Are they who we think?

">On the flip sides, sometimes the most obvious suspect is wrongly accused. Remember the Atlanta Olympic bombing? Richard A. Jewell, a security guard working the Olympics found a pipe bomb and saved countless people from injury and death. Later the media turned on him and falsely accused him of planting the bomb to look like a hero. It would be 10 long years later until the Govenor Sonny Perdue would publicly thank him on the behalf of the state of Georgia for what he did. He was a hero.

When Nick Dunne's wife, Amy, goes missing he becomes the prime suspect. Amy's parents are shocked as are his sister and many other residents of the small Missouri town. Most thought the couple were golden, but as the story progresses we learn not all was perfect in paradise. In fact, it was far from it. The question is was it enough to send Nick over the edge?

So see if you can figure out what happened to Amy before it is revealed. After reading this book, you may think twice about the grass being greener on the other side. The ending is a total twister. One person called it a total mind screw.   


Before I properly start this review, I'd like to thank Ms.Flynn for creating such a utterly fun and wonderful book club read. Out of all the books I've done a group read of, this was by far one of my favorites. I'll even forgive her the lack of chapter numbers or trackable chapter headings. (By the way, please don't do this again.--I am willing to resort to bribing you in order to get you to promise to never ever leave off chapter numbers or distinguishable chapter headings again--It's an online book club moderator's nightmare!)

As we paced ourselves at approximately 50 pages a day, we analyzed, we predicted and we discussed what we thought was going on and who did it. We even questioned our own sanity a little along the way. I think this is definitely a book that is best enjoyed in a group setting and I have to admit if I hadn't been in charge of writing all the questions for this one, I might not have continued it. (I know the horror of it all.) Some people may be freaked a little by the ending, but the majority of us loved the mind screw. I wonder what that says about us? lol

 So in this book you get two very distinct perspectives--that of Nick and that of Amy Dunne. Nick's perspective starts just moments before Amy's  disappearance is noted. We find out how Nick found out his wife was missing and his story picks up from there. Along the way he starts to gradually tell us what happened between the couple over the years and what condition their marriage was in at the time of  Amy's disappearance. Amy's perspective is given through her diary and begins around the time she and Nick met and starts working its way to the day she went missing. We get two totally different views of the marriage and the events that led up to the disappearance. It was an interesting contrast because Amy's diary starts off with her lighthearted and happy in the midst of falling in love. Nick's prospective starts off with him not particularly happy with his wife or his marriage and feeling a little trapped.

At first I felt kind of sorry for Nick. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but his actions around the disappearance are rather odd. From the third chapter he confesses to lying to the police. Additionally, he's not extremely upset, but as we get to know him, we learn that is the type of person he is. He's private and doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve. He keeps things close to his heart. He hates confrontation and is a people pleaser. I kept toggling between thinking he was guilty and thinking he was innocent. The fact he lied to the police and I didn't know what about bothered me.

Amy's diary portrays the image of a woman who loves her husband and is trying to hold on to what they had. Trying to get their marriage back on track. She talks of how she didn't just go for the first guy she saw and waited for the right one to come along. She talks about her first impression of Nick, how they met and how he fit the bill of the guy she wanted to marry. She describes the kind of marriage she wanted and, as we page through the diary, the marriage she ended up with. While hers goes from happy to sad, Nick's goes from sad to reminiscing of the happier days of their marriage and thinking fondly again about his wife.

What we know from the beginning of this tale are a handful of things. Nick and Amy's marriage wasn't perfect. The day she disappeared was their anniversary and she had planned one of her elaborate annual treasure hunts which would end in Nick finding his anniversary present. Nick hated these hunts because Amy expected him to know little details about her which he just never did. Not because he didn't care about her, just because he wasn't wired that way. One of the first things that struck me as I began reading this tale was how little this couple seemed to know about each other. Amy seemed to be attempting, ironically, to understand her husband better this year. She finally seemed to get that Nick was never going to do well with these hunts that were all about her and had finally geared the search more toward him. Perhaps trying to make him perhaps remember better days, but was it too little too late? What really happened that day? See if you can guess before the truth is revealed. I double dog dare you. :)

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. As I said, this is a book which I feel is much more fun when read in a group environment. If you don't have a book club of your own, I encourage you to try ours at Goodreads. Here's a link to our discussion of Gone Girl: I hope you love it as much as I did.

Interview with Gillian Flynn created by the Waterstones Book Club:

My picture collage for Gone Girl:

1 comment:

  1. It reassures me every time I see a well-written negative review of this book. I was looking forward to reading it so much, and then once I actually started reading it, I hated it. Just because a book is well-written doesn’t mean it’s worth reading. I don’t understand what so many people see in it. I thought it was awful.

    Irene Jennings of Fishing Lodges Alaska


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