Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Book Review
Gone Girl will have you debating one question to the last page, and maybe even longer… who’s the hero and who’s the victim?
Amy Elliot Dunne disappears on the morning of her 5th wedding anniversary to Nick Dunne. The combination of strange circumstances surrounding her disappearance as well as his odd–almost casual–attitude, Nick becomes the main suspect of the investigation. Learning about Nick and Amy’s history through Amy’s journal entries and never-ending plot twists in the present time.
**There are slight SPOILERS throughout this review, but I will never give away the ending!***
The novel alternates perspective every chapter between Nick’s and Amy’s first-person point of view. Amy’s entries begin as journal entries, which provide the reader with backstory on the couple as well as a direct connection with Amy, who is missing during the present time of the novel. These journal entries have a lot of personality, flair, and intimate details. As the reader is falling in love with the precious, carefree Amy, more and more nasty secrets are surfacing about Nick in the present time.
First-person narratives typically have a reveal-all standard where the reader knows and sees everything the main character sees. That’s not the case with Gone Girl, where both characters keep secrets hidden even from the reader. Flynn cleverly informs readers that secrets are being kept without revealing what the secrets are, increasing suspense and curiosity to an extreme. One of my favorite lines in the novel is the perfect example of this, occurring about 15 minutes into Nick’s initial conversation with the detectives investigating his wife’s disappearance. He admits to the reader that he is lying but we have no idea what he has lied about. It made me want to immediately reread the section!
“It was my fifth lie to the police. I was just starting.” -Nick Dunne
Another single line in this novel inspired my to write an entire blog post around it! Check it out here: Side Characters are People Too
My favorite part about Gone Girl was that there were not one but two main characters yet neither of them were likable.
Because the novel alternates between Nick’s and Amy’s perspectives, we find ourselves with two main characters competing against one another for our trust. Although Nick’s situation initially makes the reader sympathize with him, we become suspicious as the cops continue to unravel his story. **SPOILER AHEAD** Trying not to give too much away, I will say that the huge plot twist halfway through the novel is perfectly timed and executed. As soon as Flynn has every reader ready to put Nick in handcuffs, a shocking twist reveals he may not be as guilty as the cops believe.
Be sure to read the novel before watching the movie (even more so than normal). Both are excellent, but watching the movie first will ruin the suspicion and suspense Flynn has so beautifully written. I wonder if I would have awarded this book 5 stars had I read it before watching the movie, but because I cannot reverse time and I knew what was coming the entire read, I will give it 4 stars.
Overall, its an excellent read that even the most casual readers will enjoy!