Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? (via Goodreads)
I started this book right after I finished Carter Beats the Devil. The characters in that book were smart and witty and had genuine fascination for the world around them. If I ever throw a dinner party, they’re all invited. The main characters in Gone Girl? I loathe them. I’m not sure I’ve encountered characters that were as self-centered and as contemptuous of the world around them as Nick and Amy. (Bret Easton Ellis’ characters come close, but even Patrick Bateman shows appreciation for certain things.) Additionally, they’re non-communicative liars with poor decision making skills. I can’t say I enjoyed experiencing the train wreak that is their marriage, but it did make me appreciate my husband more.
What pulled me through this book was not the did-he/didn’t-he plot, but the reaction of the media and community to Nick. I dislike it when the media claims that a possible suspect is looking or acting guilty. The scope of human action includes more than what we stereotypically conceive of and this book relies on the reader to make certain judgements because the narrators are utterly unreliable. It was an interesting enough stunt to keep me reading.
The main twist of the book was somewhat inevitable, but the execution was fairly well-done. It was a very quick read. Flynn’s writing doesn’t get int the way of the story, though Margo’s nickname of Go threw me off nearly every time she came into a scene.
Despite the utterly loathsome characters, this isn’t a bad book, but I’m not sure I can really recommend it either.
Genre: Psychological thriller
Why did I choose to read this book? Everyone else was reading it.
Did I finish this book? (If not, why?) Yes
Craft Lessons: If the reader doesn’t like the main characters, it’s probably good if other characters in the book don’t like them either.
Format: Kindle ebook