"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review #5: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

It's impossible to review this book without spoilers, but since I think I'm the last person on Earth to read this, I'm not too worried I'm going to upset anyone. Either way, fair warning: spoilers ahead.

Told in alternate voices, a technique I'm not a huge fan of, Gone Girl details the disappearance of Amy Dunne, the beautiful, smart wife of Nick Dunne, on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. Naturally, Nick is the prime suspect, because the husband is always guilty, but, like any good guilty husband, Nick proclaims his innocence. Of course, it's a lot harder to look innocent when it turns out that you've spent the last year sexing up one of your community college students. One of your very young, very immature community college students. And it certainly doesn't help that your wife is actually alive, has actually faked her own disappearance and death, and is a complete and utter psychopath.

Gone Girl was a runaway hit a couple of years ago, and Boss finally convinced me to read it. The beginning grabbed me right away, and then when I figured out what a total whackjob Amy Dunne was, I was really interested. But Flynn started to lose me long about the time Amy befriended the two drifters at the campground, and when Amy called her old pal Desi (also a total nutterbutter) for help, I felt like she had lost sight of who Amy really was.

I know that much has been made of the ending, and while I wasn't nuts about it, I also don't know how else Flynn could have wrapped this all up. It felt like she wrote Amy in to a corner when Desi showed up, and didn't quite know how to get out of it.

Gone Girl was good, but I felt it could be better. The potential was there for a really chilling story, and I just wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be. Perhaps if it hadn't had so much hype for so long, I would have enjoyed the story more. Still, I'd recommend it as a good read. And the movie looks like it's going to be great.

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