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Gone Girl: A Novel
Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 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? With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
So I'll admit that with some novels, I will shift into kind of a quick-scan mode to sort of get the gist of things and get to the end quickly. Some books are well-suited to this tactic, others absolutely are not. Gone Girl would fall into the "absolutely not" column. There is so much going on here and the author does an incredibly nimble job playing with the reader's expectations. This is an engaging novel with gasps and shocks to spare. Not for the faint of heart, but a great read.
Fascinating and complex in a way that makes you look at the small simple moments of life in the weirdest way. I've been struggling with what to say about this book. It is hard, as I don't want to give anything away… Although I originally did not want to read this, as I thought "trouble marriage? yeah, that is NOT what I want to fill my head with at all." Thankfully, and weirdly, that is not what your head really gets filled with (even though that is infused into every page) - instead you get sucked into the thought process of these two… um, without giving anything away, "interesting" people. The character development and crafting of this story are truly extraordinary! (Though I would have hacked down some of the first 140ish pages. That just kind of dragged on a bit.) I loved getting into the heads of these two, even if once inside I did not always like what I saw. But what I ultimately found the most talkable was in looking at this extreme couple, we see… um, "points to discuss" about marriage in general. So, yeah, not your typical book in any way, but great to read and lots to discuss. Really, really good pick for a book club for sure!
By Forrest Leo