Book Reviews

Review: Gone Girl – February 2013

gone girlBoy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy murders girl?

I’ll start with a non-spoilery review, but feel free to leave spoilery comments. I’d really like to discuss the second half of the book.

Gone Girl is, on the surface, the story of a seemingly normal, vaguely unhappy married couple struck by tragedy – the disappearance of the beautiful wife, Amy. Told through the husband Nick’s first person narrative, as well as Amy’s flashback journal entries, the reader sees the portrait of a dissolving marriage, leaving Nick the prime suspect in Amy’s disappearance.

And then something happens. Part Two has a fantastically surprising revelation that shifts perspective and changes the game. I struggled with this novel, but I fought hard, and pushed forward, knowing there would be a decent reveal. I had sort of guessed at the twist early on, but that did nothing to dull the excitement of the psychological mind twists to follow.

I can’t say much else without spoiling the fun, but I’ll leave you with this – Neither character is necessarily sympathetic or likable to begin with, and so for me it was a struggle to continue reading. But I am so glad that I did, because Parts Two and Three were astonishingly insane in the best, most disturbing way possible. 3.5 Stars

Notes on Reading

Notes on Reading: Gone Girl

I’m about 20% through Gone Girl, or so my Kindle tells me. This is a novel I have heard g.r.e.a.t. things about. Everyone I know who has read it loves it. It has amazing reviews. I know there has to be a brilliant payoff.

And yet.

I am not a fan of either character. The wife, Amy, is too…just so. A rich and cultured New Yorker with the exact right friends and the exact right relationship. She’s a tad too controlling, a tad too pretentious, and a tad too needy. And the husband, Nick – well he’s just not likable. The way he talks about his wife and his marriage, with the tiniest hint of sociopathy, it makes it very difficult to sympathize with him. And I know this is exactly the type of characterization that Gillian Flynn intended, and I know that 80% of the novel is yet to unfold and I’m sure that I’ll gain insight and fall in love with the story eventually. But how do you barrel through until you get to that point?

Obviously I’ll finish the book, of that I have no doubt. But I wish it were a tad easier for me to feel invested in the outcome.