For The Someday Book

Book Review: Gone Girl

Posted on: August 4, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Crown Publishers, 2012, 419 pp.

0806_gone_425This was a great summer thriller, and a perfect escape novel. I don’t often read thrillers, but this one came highly recommended, and the story was eloquently written and intricately told.

Nick comes home one day to discover that his wife Amy has disappeared. There are signs of a struggle, but no signs of where she might be. The story is told in alternating chapters, one voiced by Amy, the other by Nick. The story unwinds the intricate, tangled web of their complicated relationship, even as it details the efforts by police, family and Nick to find out what has happened to Amy, whether she is alive or dead. Without giving anything away, let’s just say I started out liking both characters, then disliking one, then liking that one and disliking the other, then back and forth again, and ended up uncertain if I liked either of them anymore–and it didn’t matter, because I was already so attached to them that likability was no longer relevant.

Flynn’s prose was a big step above the average thriller. For example, I just loved this little bit, voiced by Nick:

It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. … I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. (72-73)

This particular example drew me in because I resonated with the sentiment, but the book is full of other keen observations that add to the interesting characters and plot.

Gone Girl is summer reading at its finest. Go and enjoy it.

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3 Responses to "Book Review: Gone Girl"

I have this book on my shelf. I need to read it. Flynn also wrote sharp objects which is another good one.

I am almost finished listening to it. It is frustratingly good.

I enjoyed this book. I like the kind of thriller that makes you close the book and think “didn’t see that coming!”. It is well entertaining

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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