Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If I were Gillian Flynn’s husband, I’d sleep with one eye open. Flynn, a former TV critic for Entertainment Weekly, and bestselling author of the exceptional and exceptionally sinister psychological thrillers, Sharp Objects (2007), Dark Places (2010), and this year’s Gone Girl, just seems to be a little too in touch with her creepy characters.

You’ve heard of that teen-parenting prevention program where high school kids are given a fake, perpetually crying baby to care for? The teen-marriage prevention equivalent of the crying baby would be required reading of Gone Girl.

If you've tied the knot you know that the mettle of the marital bond is not measured by how good the sex is, but rather how well each partner deals with the skid-marked underdrawers, bounced checks, and screeching in-laws. In Gone Girl main characters Nick and Amy Dunn’s case, it’s the depths of deceit and venomous vengeance that define their bond.

When she was a kid, Amy Dunn was the inspiration for Amazing Amy, the precociously perfect little star of her parents’ long-running, bestselling series of children’s books.  All grown up now, she is a beautiful, brainy, “trustifarian” who composes personality quizzes for the women’s market. Nick is the handsome, hayseed who escapes to New York and becomes a pop culture writer for men’s magazines. They are the beautiful people, the perfect couple.

That is until they both lose their jobs, and Amy’s parents take back her trust fund, and Nick and Amy have to move to Nick’s backwater hometown to care for his violently mentally ill dad and Nick’s mom who is slowly succumbing to cancer. Could it get more dismal?


Amy disappears under suspicious circumstances, and as Nick says when the investigation revs up, “Everyone knows it’s always the husband. Just watch ‘Dateline.”

Then the real fun begins!

Did Nick kill Amy? 
Was there another woman involved?
Did Nick’s violent dad off her? He’d threaten her before.
Did Nick’s sister kill Amy because she could see how miserable her beloved brother had become in his marriage?
Did one of the psycho-fans of the Amazing Amy book series kidnap Amy? They’d stalked her before.
Did Amy’s x-college boyfriend, who Amy had charged with rape, come back for revenge?
Was Amy dead?

In a brilliantly choreographed back-and forth ballet between Amy and Nick’s narrative, Flynn (pictured) lays bare just how low we humans can go, and our irrational capacity for rationalization. This one will mess with your mind, and make you think perhaps that horrible past relationship you suffered through wasn't all that bad!

Gone Girl is a fun, albeit sick read!

1 comment:

  1. A dark and cunning Thriller with psychological suspense . Good twist in the middle.Not all is what it seems.
    You would want to think about the story when you have finished reading it .
    But why such an ending? hard to swallow.