Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

After all the hype this book has generated, it seems redundant to say anything about it, but I finally read it and therefore, I’llgone girl review it.

As for its status as a page turner, Gone Girl does not disappoint.  Amy and Nick Dunne are a charmed (seemingly) thirty-something couple who lose their jobs after the recession hits and move back to Nick’s home state of Missouri from New York City.  Nick is happier; he’s back in familiar territory, and opens a bar with his twin sister and Amy’s remaining money.  Amy is not so happy.

On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears, and life gets exceedingly complicated for Nick.  He’s a prime suspect, and each newly found clue points ever more definitely to foul play on his part.  Sounds typical for a murder yarn?  Not for long.

The narrative veers back and forth between Nick’s account and Amy’s previous diaries, setting up a scenario of a relationship fraught with doubt and possible violence.  After a time, it becomes hard to choose whose story is believable, but equally hard to put the book down.

Gillian Flynn has a talent for exploring the darker sides of human psychology.  As such, her characters are damaged people, likely to be unsavory and unlikable at times.  It was a relief to finish the book because of this.  Gone Girl is not a feel-good type of novel. 

I do have to hand it to Flynn for having the nerve to create these characters.  Perhaps one of the main functions of literature is to unsettle the reader, to allow them views of others’ inner demons, and to walk away from a reading session dazed and confused.  For this, Gone Girl succeeds.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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