Book Review | Gone Girl

Synopsis (via Wikipedia):

Gone Girl takes up the story of Nick and Amy Dunne’s difficult marriage, which is floundering for several reasons. Nick, a former journalist of some seriousness, loses his job due to downsizing. In a somewhat desperate state of mind, he relocates himself and his wife from New York City to the small Midwestern town of North Carthage, Missouri, where Nick is from. There, he opens a bar, using the last of his wife’s trust fund, and runs it along with his twin sister Margo. The bar provides a decent living for the three Dunnes, but the Dunne marriage becomes more and more dysfunctional. Amy loved her life in New York and hates what she considers the soulless “McMansion” which she and Nick are now renting.

On the day of Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick eventually becomes a prime suspect in her disappearance for various reasons. He used her money to start a business, increased her life insurance, and seems unemotional on camera and in the news.

First, I want to express my admiration for the author Guillian Flynn’s writing skill. She began the story in Nick’s point of view, describing how he knows his wife Amy’s head so much, inside and out. From there I had no clue what I was about to read next and I was intrigued, entertained. I wasn’t able to stop flipping through the story that I finished reading it for maybe less than 48 hours. Only a few authors can get people very interested as that. This is Flynn’s third novel but Gone Girl is the first that I’ve read and I never wanted to put it down.

The novel presents conflicting views: from Nick’s thoughts and from Amy’s diary, which is good, I think, because it is what keeps a reader curious and absorbed. There was a shift in allegiance. I really hated Nick in the first part of the novel. He was portrayed as someone who wouldn’t care about his wife’s feelings, someone who shows no emotion at all, plus it came out that he has been cheating on his wife for over a year. Amy in her diary, on the other hand, seemed like a very understanding wife. Any reader would almost believe that Nick has something to do with Amy’s disappearance. Everything gets twisted at the beginning of the second part, though, where unexpected qualities of Amy gets revealed. And by the time I got to the middle of the second part, I realized what a freaking psycho bitch Amy is. I began to hate them both. I hated them more in the end.

Some of the themes that are obvious in Gone Girl are infidelity, dishonesty, miscommunication, unhappiness and love (or the lack thereof) in married life. To tell it simply, it is a story of a miserable married couple. I think it is not suited for those who are engaged, or for those who are excited about their engagement. This book will make you think twice about getting married. The words used are also kinda reckless; there is a lot of swearing and sex scenes, making it inappropriate for minors.

It is easy and fun to read despite its being dark and heavy-themed. I give 3 stars out of 5. It’s thriller/mystery aspect extraordinarily good so if you are into that kind of genre, it’s definitely a must-read. I just really wish the ending had not been a cliffhanger like there was no resolution at all.

Here are some notable quotes from the book:

“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”

“Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”

“I don’t understand the point of being together if you’re not the happiest.”

“People say children from broken homes have it hard, but the children of charmed marriages have their own particular challenges.”

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”

Gone Girl is a Goodreads Choice winner in 2012. The screen adaptation, I heard, will come out in 2014.

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