Monday, April 2, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Grab on to your bra straps and belt buckles, faithful readers. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, will take you on a rocky ride.

My first piece of advice: read NOTHING about this book that contains any semblance of spoiler, because you do not want it ruined for you. This review will contain no spoilers, I promise.

But that will make it a little difficult to write, so bear with me.

Gone Girl is told in the alternate voices of Nick and Amy Dunne, who are about to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Nick comes downstairs, where his wife is making crepes for breakfast. The next we see, he is at The Bar, the name of the bar he and his sister, Go (short for Margo) co-own, when he gets a call from a nosy neighbor. The front door to Nick and Amy's home is wide open. Nick goes home, discovers overturned furniture, and does not find his wife. Amy is a girl who is gone.

But what happened? Was she kidnapped? Murdered? What does Nick know? What does anyone know?  What happened to Amy Dunne?

You quickly will discover that Nick and Amy are complicated, separately and together.
My wife loved games, mostly mind games, but also actual games of amusement, and for our anniversary, she always set up an elaborate treasure hunt, with each clue leading to the hiding place of the next clue until I reached the end, and my present. It was what her dad always did for her mom on their anniversary, and don't think I don't see the gender roles here, that I don't get the hint. But I did not grow up in Amy's household, I grew up in mine, and the last present I remember my dad giving my mom was an iron, set on the kitchen counter, no wrapping paper.
Nick's wife goes to the trouble of setting up a treasure hunt, and he is resentful. It's too much like what her parents did. His own were unromantic.

Nothing is as it appears in Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn weaves a great mystery, and by "great," I mean you will be whipped senseless by this book. I would love to pick her brain to find out how she conceived Nick and Amy Dunne, two characters you will love, hate, love again, and probably wind up hating. But in a good way. They are thoroughly detestable and unlikeable, yet you want them to win, for lack of a better word. You want Amy found, Nick absolved, and their anniversary celebrated. But in Gillian Flynn's world, life is messy. REALLY messy. And what you think and expect and hope from people often doesn't happen. Except from Go, who will give you hope in humanity.

Stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW and pre-order Gone Girl, which will be released June 5th by Crown Publishing Group. Then come back here so we can discuss it, because this book must be discussed.


Thank you to Net Galley for the ARC.

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