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?
I know I’m late to the game here. Not only was Gone Girl the Goodreads Choice Winner in 2012, it was essentially the book of 2012. It’s been turned into a movie and even now, it’s leading the way in terms of audiobook and ebook sales. Basically, everybody knows about Gone Girl, even if they’re not book people.
I have to confess that Gone Girl is one of the rare cases where I watched the movie before the book. Long story short, my cousins were visiting and we needed something to do and this was the only semi-decent movie playing in theatres at that time. Because of this, I knew the “twist” before I read the book. I really wish I’d read the book before watching the movie and I’d recommend others do it in the correct order.
I was afraid that the hype would ruin this book for me, but it didn’t. I absolutely loved it. First off, the concept of this book is completely in my wheelhouse. I love thrillers and whodunnit mysteries, so I knew I wanted to read it right off the bat. What I wasn’t expecting was how well the book would be written. Gillian Flynn’s writing is spot on. The book was impeccably written with the right balance of sharp, sardonic wit and humour.
There isn’t too much I can say about the plot before giving away spoilers, but I will say that the idea of marriage is EVISCERATED in this novel. Gillian Flynn absolutely crucifies the characters of both men and women, and there’s a lot of sexism. It isn’t something I could even be angry about because she was just as harsh about the realities of men as she was with women. However, even though the characters are unlikeable, I was still completely transfixed by their story. The writing was so sharp and a little scathing. Amy and Nick’s voices were entirely different, which is hard to do when the book splits between perspectives, but Gillian Flynn handles it like a pro.
This book is definitely worth reading. It’s so close to perfect in my eyes. I highly recommend it.