Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Review of 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn (Audio Book)

"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?"

A return to gardening this summer signaled a return to audio books.  'Gone Girl' was one I had been meaning to read for a while and just never got around to reading.  But now I have!

***Note: As usual, this review will contain spoilers.  Read at your own risk.***

This book is one of the more engaging books I've ever read.  I've never considered myself much of a reader of mystery novels, but after this... I think I need to try more.  I won't say that I'm hooked just yet.  Give it time.

I am floored by how intricate this story is.  Maybe to be clearer, I should say that I'm floored by Amy's attention to detail.  It's totally ridiculous.  Once you realize just what Amy is doing, you can't help but wonder how she thought about each and every problem that had even the smallest chance of happening and, more importantly, how to avoid it or spin it to her advantage.  She had Nick so cornered that I was more impressed by her level of plotting and cunning than I was creeped out and scared that she would even think to go to these lengths.

Despite how impressed I was, I absolutely hated both Nick and Amy.  I started out only hating Nick, but then I hated Amy closer to the end.  It just turns out that they're both terrible people.  Nick does nothing but think about himself.  He does this by essentially taking Amy away from her entire support system in New York (he doesn't give her a choice in the matter).  This is a big sign of abuse in a relationship.  He also, of course, cheats on his wife with a woman half her age (who also happens to be a student of his, but that's a whole other ethical debate).  Amy has a history of overreacting and has a tendency to ruin the lives of anyone she pleases.  Both are absolutely despicable.  

It's interesting how the stories with the most hateful characters tend to be the most engaging for me (take 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' for example).  

I loved this book up until the ending.  I was at the point where I just wished Amy and Nick would kill each other or get a messy divorce, but no, they dragged a kid into it.  I thought that this had crossed a line.  Someone in my life wisely said that you should not bring a child into the world if they are going to be a punishment that you need to bear.  Nor should a baby be given an agenda from the day it is born.  Nick and Amy's child is given both of these things.  This baby had the agenda to fix this irreparable marriage.  These two 30-something adults can't even fix their marriage in a normal or healthy way, so how can this baby be expected to achieve this desired result?  More importantly, this baby is born out of revenge.  The biggest "screw you" a couple can (but shouldn't) give.  Nick felt obligated to stay and raise his child.  I worry for this (fictional, I know) child born to a selfish father and a sociopath mother.  What kind of a childhood will it have?  Will it get enough attention and love?  What happens if it does something wrong?  How will Amy react?

Despite the ending, this is an amazing book.  I don't know if it's worth rereading when you know what happens, but we'll see.

I give 'Gone Girl':
Thanks for Reading!


1 comment:

  1. Neat review! Do you know if Flynn is planning on doing a sequel? Perhaps seeing how the child is impacted by the relationship of their parents and the events that occurred in the novel?


I love your comments! Comment away!