Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn — 432 pgs

In this mindbending and original thriller, Gillian Flynn takes us into the hearts and minds of a married couple that both terrifies and shocks. When Nick’s wife, Amy, disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, he’s stunned. The clues left at the scene of the disappearance look ominous and seem to point to the bewildered Nick. As days go by and Amy doesn’t turn up, the police begin to put the pressure on Nick, suspecting him of abducting his wife and killing her. It doesn’t help matters that Nick is a strange sort of guy who has had a complicated relationship with his wife, or that he appears too calm when on camera while pleading for his wife’s return, or with the police investigators that won’t leave him alone. What really happened to Amy and why does it seem like someone wanted to frame Nick? Just when it seems like his fate is sealed, a whole new drama unfolds as the other side of the story is told. Resentment, anger and insanity come rolling off the pages almost quicker than the reader can keep up, and when all the secrets come tumbling out, you realize what a master storyteller Gillian Flynn is. In this spine chilling and dark story, Flynn gives the readers the ride of their lives, leaving no stone unturned and no situation more bizarre. A compulsively addictive book, Gone Girl will leave fans hungering for more of Flynn’s writing and leave them turning this story over and over in their minds.

This book has been an overnight sensation, with everyone everywhere dying to read it. I initially wasn’t terribly keen on reading it because most thrillers leave me hanging. But from the moment that I picked this book up, I knew there was something more than compelling about it, and I’m glad that it was Sandy’s pick for our book club. Gillian Flynn is very adept at creating stories that you can’t put down, and this book cast its spell on me immediately. This is a hard review to write because it’s so easy to spoil the magic that makes this book work.

Nick is a handsome and charming workaday kind of guy. He co-owns a bar with his sister, and is really just a genial man who is questioning his marriage on the very day that he is to celebrate it. It’s clear that Nick has some issues with Amy and feels that she can be very hard to please, but ultimately, he feels a kind of love mixed with resentment towards her. When Amy goes missing, he’s filled with grief and fear. Who has done this, and why? It’s clear that all fingers are pointing to him, and the fact that he seems detached at times made me wonder. But Nick is a man keeping a lot of secrets that are bound to come out once the media and law officials get involved.

When the second section of the book opened, my jaw dropped with dread. I dare not say more than the fact that the speed of the plot and the twisted thread it wove had me turning pages furiously, wondering where Flynn was heading next. It was a labyrinth of darkness and evil come to rest upon characters that had once seemed benign and likeable. I think as a reader, it’s impossible not to rush through this second and third section of the book, knowing that strange and ominous things are ahead, and for my part, I just felt that it was like being thrown onto a roller-coaster in a straightjacket.

When all is finally revealed and you see the repercussions from the choices that the characters have made,  it’s hard to feel anything but confusion and loathing for them. These are very damaged people, and even the secondary characters have their demons that make them very hard to deal with. I sped through this book at breakneck speed, and when I finally turned the last page, I shivered with horror. This isn’t the kind of book that you can finish and forget; rather, it’s a tale that will linger with you in all its ferocity and insanity long after you’ve finished it.

I loved this book, and though it was very disturbing, it was excellent reading and kept me up way past my bedtime just trying to squeeze in one more chapter. It was fraught with extremely complex emotional and physiological situations, and I would have to liken its suspenseful coils to those of an anaconda: the more you struggle to resist it, the tighter it embraces you. Highly recommended for readers who want something new and very different.


This book was provided as a complimentary review copy.

27 comments:

Kathy said...

Heather, very nice review and well done in keeping the suspense in this story. I also read and enjoyed this book but found the characters very hard to like. This book was definitely a notch above most thrillers. Great review today!

Harvee Lau said...

I think I'll look for this one. Sound like an exciting read. Nice review!

bermudaonion said...

I'm dying to read this. Hopefully I can get to it soon. It actually sounds like just what I need right now.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I skimmed to the end of your review. So glad to see you liked it. I don't read many books of this genre but the reviews have me wanting to read Gone Girl. And now your review makes me even more excited to read it. I'm waiting for the paperback publication.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Yay!!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it also! I could not put it down and I can't wait to read more from this author. I read SHARP OBJECTS when it first came out years ago, and if you haven't read that one, definitely pick it up. Just as dark and twisted!

Sandy Nawrot said...

You know this book is still at the top of the bestseller list, and I'm so glad. She is an incredible writer and deserves the spotlight. I finished this one and immediately turned around and read Sharp Objects and still need to read her other book. She has one dark twisted mind, this one.

Wall-to-wall books said...

Yay! Great review! I read "Sharp Objects" by the same author and really liked it.
I have heard a lot about this one, I will have to check it out.

Anita said...

I haven't finished reading this yet. I'm @ a third in and while it's interesting it hasn't grabbed me yet. I will get back to it.
Your review is very good....so I better finish Gone Girl!!

Beth F said...

I skipped to your last paragraph because I haven't read this yet. I haven't heard one negative word about this book.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Sandy had to keep pushing me to keep reading, because I so bought into certain perspectives at the beginning, and as a result so disliked certain people. Of course, that all changed!!! Glad you enjoyed it!

Kathy said...

Great review and good job keeping the suspense going. I also enjoyed this book but found the characters distinctly unlikable. Good job on this one!

Suko said...

Thank you for not revealing too much about the book for potential readers, such as myself! This does sound like an extraordinary thriller. Terrific review, as always! (And I need to visit Sandy's blog because due to the mentions of her here!)

Amy said...

I think eventually I will read this book, but I haven't had a chance to yet. But wow there's a lot of interesting reviews out there. ;)

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

This book was seriously CRAZY. I loved it!!

Jenny said...

The last part that was not the "thrilling" part but was about the characters and the decisions made was crazy, and I feel like that whole dynamic added so much to the story too. But confusion and loathing is a great way to describe the reaction to them!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I have only heard one person who didn't sing this one's praises...and right this minute I can't think of who that was. I need to get this one...NOW. Great Review as always! :)

Steph said...

I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one! Obviously I have read many reviews raving about it, but having read one book by Flynn before (her first novel, Sharp Objects), I was a bit skeptical about this one because I didn't love SO. But if you, someone who doesn't normally love thrillers, found this one so good, then it must be worth my time! I will check it out for sure!

Diane said...

Why have I waited so long to read this one? I've loved all of her earlier books. Your review will make this one for Carl's RIP challenge for sure.

I just skimmed your review since I'll be reading it soon.

Audra said...

eeeee -- I'm sooooo excited for this one -- dreading it too, because I'm a total wimp -- but you've got me so giddy impatient for it -- I've got a request for it at the library but I might need to splurge.

Jenny said...

I have this on my Nook but I've decided I'm going to read Flynn's books in order. My plan is to build up my anticipation for Gone Girl, and also to appreciate Flynn's growth as a writer. :D

Jenners said...

I've liked Gillian Flynn since her first book and I'm so so glad this is such a big hit. It is hard to put down once you start … and I thought she knocked this one out of the park. Great review … though it is hard to not say too much to ruin anything for everyone else.

Athira said...

I am totally with you! I couldn't put this one down - it was so jaw-dropping. The characters drove me mad - they really are very damaged.

Ti said...

It WAS a different kind of book. I'll give it that. I found it to be way too predictable but it was also fun to guess at what kind of crazy would be next.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review! I had been looking forward to reading your thoughts on this one. It certainly was different from most thrillers out there. It kept me up, too, but it also kept me thinking about it for a while!

softdrink said...

I wasn't going to read this, either, since I'm not a big fan of dysfunctional marriage books, but I got hooked by the OMG factor. And it was totally worth it. I keep pawning off my copy on others to read.

Buried In Print said...

I like the way you've described this as labyrinthine: it makes me want to read it and unravel it! Nicely done.

I saw this on the library shelf the other day, picked it up and leafed through but ultimately left with too many other books...now, though, I wish I'd snagged that copy, because I'm sure someone else will have been smarter than I and will have done just that.

Amy said...

Your review is one of the very few I've read of this book because I knew early on (after reading a couple reviews) I wanted to read it. (I always like your reviews so I couldn't pass his one up!)
I worry that reading many reviews of a book I very much want to read will tell me too much about the book. And especially with a book like this one, I want to know VERY little going into reading it!
Your review gave me goosebumps and increased my excitement/interest in reading this book.

If I cannot get it at the library it might be a while since I 'm not going to buy it until it's in PB. But if that's the case, I'm going to read some of Flynn's earlier books...have you read anyof them Heather?

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