Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WARNING:  I think this book is best read cold, knowing very little about what it is about.  I tried to be vague below but I do think I reveal some things that are best not known before reading.  So I would wait to read the review until after you've read the book.

Downloaded from Audible.com. Narrated by Julia Whalen and Kirby Heyborne.

I’m not sure what else there is to say about this book that hasn’t already been said. It was the ‘it’ book of 2012, and in my opinion, for good reason. It’s the twisty tale of a marriage gone awry. Nick Dunn comes home on his 5th wedding anniversary to find his wife Amy missing and signs of a struggle. As he talks us through, directly addressing his audience, the first few days of the police’s investigation, we the reader start to wonder just how reliable a narrator he is. But this is a book where things are never quite what they seem.

Things not being what they seem. This, in a way, was the theme of this book. Who are we really and is it the same person we present to the world - are we ever quite what we seem? Do we just project an image to the world? Do we just project an image to our spouse/significant other? What happens when that projection starts to lose focus and the truth of who we are starts to surface? Sure the characters and scenario presented here are extremes but these extremes are just window dressing for potential truths or at least interesting thoughts about relationships and identity. I found myself truly drawn into Nick and Amy’s world, riveted by their situation and made thoughtful by the underlying questions. There be layers here!

The layers kept me occupied enough that it didn’t matter that I did not like or empathize with any of the characters. I would normally say that the characters and my ability to empathize with them may be the number one criteria for determining my level of engagement with a book. Nick and Amy and their dynamic were so freakin’ interesting that it hardly mattered that they were both repulsive. The story and relationship spun was enough to satisfy. I am in awe of Gillian Flynn’s ability to think of everything and present it all in a coherent, well-paced story with flair. I wondered throughout the book how she was going to wrap it up and I think she got the end just right, disturbing as it may be.

In an attempt to characterize it, Gone Girl reminded me a little of In the Woodsin that they are both, ostensibly mysteries/thrillers but are really more concerned with the psychology and inner mind of its protagonist(s). Psychological Thriller perhaps?

Despite all the really great elements of this book, it was not a compulsive read for me. It was a page turner for sure but I wasn’t longing to get back to it in between listening sessions and I didn’t huddle in the corner with my ipod trying to avoid going to work or anything. So it wasn’t a perfect read but pretty darn close.

The narration on the audio version was done by two narrators – a male and female reading the two main characters, Nick and Amy. They were fantastic, hitting just the right tone for both characters.

Have you read Gone Girl? What did you think?

View all my reviews

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