Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Nick and Amy Dunne are supposed to be celebrating their five year anniversary. Amy always creates an elaborate scavenger hunt using places significant to them that ends with Nick's gift. This year, however, Amy has been abducted. Nick came home to signs of a struggle and an empty house. An investigation is launched and Nick quickly is labeled as the prime suspect, with no solid alibi for the time of the abduction and damning pieces of evidence coming out over the course of the investigation. The longer Amy is gone, the worse it looks for Nick as details of their less than idyllic marriage come to light. He rapidly goes from grieving husband to scumbag murderer in the eyes of the public. Nick has to either concretely prove his innocence or find Amy alive and well, both of which seem impossible, in order to salvage his reputation, his freedom, and his life.
Gone Girl is just a crazy, wild ride. It starts off innocuous enough. Amy is attacked and kidnapped in her home and Nick is trying to find out what happened to her. It alternates between Nick's narrative in the present day and Amy's diary, which dates back to when they first met. Then things get revealed throughout the story: the problems with their marriage, the fighting, Amy's unhappiness, and the cheating. All of these things coupled with Nick's inappropriate behavior, his blatant and numerous lies, and his general smugness leads the public and the police to believe he is responsible for Amy's disappearance. I thought I had everything totally figured out: Nick was a creepy psycho killer who murdered Amy, but didn't remember because of some mental disorder. I was completely sure and confident how it would end. Oh how wrong I was. At about the half way point, everything changes. It was like a slap in the face. Half of the information given in the first half is completely false and I had no idea where is it was going from there. The ending is also crazy twisty and infuriating. Even though it was unsatisfying, I liked it because I in no way predicted it at all. I see why so many people hate it, but surprise and a great story are pluses in my book.
Gillian Flynn has an insane mind. The story goes to places I never would have guessed and I tend to predict a lot of the books endings that I read. She also makes to pretty unlikable people sympathetic. Nick is a douchebag. He lies to the police multiple times, cheats on his wife, and is generally a smarmy, smug guy. He's kind of horrible, but he doesn't deserve to have his entire life ruined if he didn't commit the crime. Amy is a perfectionist and a type A personality. She's controlling, manipulative, and passive aggressive. However, parts of her story make her sympathetic. I can't really say much more without major spoilers. Anyway, her writing kept me reading through the night, desperate to know what happens.
Gone Girl is an interesting take on marriage and is the most unique and unpredictable novel I've read in a while. I personally can't wait for the film version coming out some time this year. I would highly recommend that you read it even though you will probably hate the ending with the fire of a thousand suns.
My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins