Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – review

June 26, 2012
By

Gone Girl is going to be the hit of the summer.

The book that boring woman in HR will tell you her book club is reading once they’re done with the third E.L. James.  The one your mom will say ate up her whole week at the resort.  The novel your girlfriend or wife will be forced to read by her insistent, usually wrong friend, the same one who said the Twilight series “isn’t as sexist as everyone says, people should just calm down already.”

These things are all going to happen to you and around you very soon, dear reader, and it’s gonna plant some seeds in your brain, seeds that have Doubt clearly marked on the envelope they came from.   Well, the Nerd’s here to tell you not to water those seeds, that this is a book that you, a discerning and righteously skeptical fan of all things deliciously dire and brutally intelligent when it comes to your murder books, are gonna wanna read, a book that not only will be a hit but also deserves its hitdom, something few books can look me in the face and claim anymore.  (A couple of sets of guilty-as-hell ears are already burning from this review…)

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s third novel following the stellar Sharp Objects and even more exceptional Dark Places, opens with Nick Dunne’s wife going missing on the morning of their fifth anniversary.  He’s handsome and his wife is blonde and pretty, and after a few days the media and public start singing that refrain that every good true crime TV junkie knows by heart, “The husband did it.”  But as we get deeper into Nick’s head in the days following the disappearance and get some outside perspective through some of Amy’s old diary entries, the circumstances behind the vanishing start looking more fucked up than we could ever have imagined.

Gone Girl is one of the most masterfully plotted books I’ve ever read.  Its structure, the timing of its reveals and twists – fucking perfect.  But what puts it over the top for me is its hugely complicated and surprising characters and its astoundingly assured voice.  At its heart Gone Girl is a great, good ol’ fashioned melodrama, but in its presentation, with its complex psychology and awareness of its very specific world from top to bottom, you’d think you were reading the latest Franzen novel or something.

I implore you, dear reader – be you man, woman, child, or fucking beast – to pick this sucker up.  It will suck you in in no time and then proceed to hit you hard and often.  Gone Girl wrestles with big themes like the tabloid media, male and female identity, the current recession, and marriage, eventually forcing us to wonder just how well we can know the person who sleeps beside us at night, all while making us rip through the book like its the trashiest of trashy pulp fiction.  So get on the fucking trolley toot-sweet, before you over-hear Linda giving away the best bits in the break room to Gail, who isn’t even listening, just paging through People, hoping to see what celebs order the same drink as her from Starbucks.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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3 Responses to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – review

  1. lynn kostoff on June 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Definitely planning to pick this one up; sounds like the kind of premise Patricia Highsmith liked to work from. Thanks for the review

  2. Nerd of Noir on June 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    You’ll dig it for sure, Lynn.

  3. Patti Abbott on June 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Great, great novel. But not for those who like likable characters.