“Da fuq did I just read?”
You too can have this reaction when you enjoy Gillian Flynn’s amazing noir novel Gone Girl for yourself! Not particularly a fan of Noir, a friend pointed out Gone Girl to me as a quick read when I found myself in a literary rut. Quite the page turner and outcome guesser, this book never failed to disappoint, and while I found myself overly done with both sides of the story by end, I was totally and completely satisfied.
Gone Girl is a classic style murder mystery done in the style of Noir meets CSI meets Reality Show. The story begins told from two different perspectives. The first, that of Nick: The husband, and the accused. After recent double layoffs for him and his gorgeous wife Amy, Nick is informed of by his twin sister of his mother’s rapidly declining health issues back in his home town in Missouri. He uproots both him and his wife, indicating that she was not the most willing of parties to this change from their Manhattan lifestyle, and that’s when things start to get weird. After investing all that is left in his wife’s trust fund into opening a bar with his sister, the story begins to jump years and omit details as Nick deems important. Constantly the pleaser, you can get the feeling that Nick is trying his hardest to make sure the reader likes him as well.
Then we have Amy: The wife, and the victim. The pampered daughter of rich parents who made it big off of a series of books called “Amazing Amy” about a picture perfect little girl, where the moral of the story always ends up do as Amy does because Amy is perfect. The real Amy is full of flaws and self-doubt, as any woman would be, despite being raised in the shadow of Amazing Amy. Her narrative starts several years before the setting of Nick’s narrative, in diary format. It weaves the tale of falling in love with a man who starts out as one thing, and as relationships tend to do, it becomes something quite another. Her narrative skips large amounts of time, and eventually catches up with Nick’s: The day of her fifth wedding anniversary, and the day of her bloody kidnap (or is it murder?).
The narratives are both refreshing breaks from the norm, the plot keeps twisting and turning to the point you may have literal motion sickness, and I loved it. I diligently ignored both motherly and wifely duties for an entire day because it was physically impossible to put this book down. And the ending! Do yourself a favor: Read this book with a group of friends, because you are going to want to talk about it, dissect it, and quite possibly read it again to find all the little things you missed the first time.
5 out of 5 stars, a knock out! Highly recommended!