Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Review of: Gone Girl
Book by:
Gillian Flynn

Reviewed by:
On November 3, 2014
Last modified:January 2, 2016


"Gone Girl is, without a doubt, a page-turning thriller from the first until the last. Flynn has crafted a very clever and intricate tale that really resonates."

It won the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2012 for Best Mystery and Thriller novel, and now it has been adapted into a widely successful film by David Fincher. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has been gracing headlines since its release over two years ago, and it is bound to remain a much-talked-about topic like a fishhook that has latched onto your thoughts with Flynn at the end of the line pulling at your conscience. That actually sums up the reading experience of Gone Girl quite nicely. Flynn is an expert chess player and the reader is a mere pawn. She knows where she wants her readers to be placed on the board, and she knows exactly how to achieve her goal.

Gone Girl chronicles the relationship and marriage of Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot. On the day of their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears from their Missouri home, leaving behind a scene telling of an incredible struggle with no trail to follow. Nick tries desperately to prove his innocence, although scattered clues reveal anything but. As the investigation continues, troublesome facts of the state of their marriage surface– and Nick is left fending off the animosity of a town whose suspicion of his guilt is growing every day.

It is difficult to thoroughly review Flynn’s novel without spoiling its contents, yet this is a book that cannot be discussed in detail because its allure is derived from the mystery and chaos surrounding Amy’s disappearance.

The first part of the novel is noticeably less exciting than the second and third, but that is not to say it is boring. Flynn has an engaging writing style that really drives the narrative. She has created distinct voices for Nick and Amy, and she did it without compromising her own style due to her talents at crafting a double voice. Nick and Amy’s narratives carry a genuine authenticity; however, readers are also made aware of Flynn’s subtle authorial voice throughout in the strategic splicing of chapters and the intentional withholding of information. The audience is strung along as she doles out tidbits of knowledge like breadcrumbs, and just when you think you’ve figured things out, she hits you with another twist. That’s what this book is: a high speed chase in the dark on a winding road with curves in the pavement that you can’t see until they are in front of you.

Nick says on the very first page, “I picture opening [Amy’s] skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down her thoughts”, and that’s exactly what Flynn has done, not just to Amy, but also to Nick. She pulls apart the minds of what seems like a sweetheart couple, and she does it completely unapologetically with gloriously dreadful marital concerns, and an abundance of personal problems doled out in big spoonfuls to both of her main characters. Nick and Amy are not the cookie-cutter amiable protagonists that demand a reader’s sympathy. Rather, they are flawed, and they are quite unlikable, but intriguingly so. They are the characters that you love to hate.

Gone Girl is, without a doubt, a page-turning thriller from the first until the last. Flynn has crafted a very clever and intricate tale that really resonates. I haven’t divulged much in terms of content, and for good reason. You’ll have to read the book and meet Nick and Amy yourself, for their story is unlike any other, and it is definitely one that is worthy of your time.

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Avid reader and dog-petting enthusiast.