Author: Gillian Flynn
First Published: 2012
Page Count: 415
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Get ready for this impressive thriller that ping pongs the reader between a husband and wife relationship that the police and reader must decipher in order to solve the case of the missing wife.
“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.” Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne have been married five years until Amy vanishes under very suspicious circumstances. As more unseemly details emerge about what really went on behind closed doors in their marriage, the police start to take a harder look at husband Nick. He claims total innocence about his wife’s disappearance, and even though everyone believes otherwise, could there be some truth to Nick’s story?
My best friend, who rarely reads, had decided to try this book. When I texted her a week later to ask how she liked it, she told me she threw it in her freezer after she finished…literally. It could still be sitting there right now, becoming a giant paper popsicle for all I know. Tack on the fact that everyone was in an uproar of excitement about the movie trailer release for this movie adaptation and I was very motivated to read this book. I get why she had such a strong reaction now that I am finished with Gone Girl. The plot is a complete mind trip. Each chapter switches back and forth between the husband and wife’s perspective of their marriage and the events leading to her disappearance. It’s a complete “he said, she said” situation and your brain wants to explode because you just can’t figure out who the real jerk in the relationship is. Well you keep reading, and not to spoil things, but in my opinion they are both psycho for their own reasons. Either way, the story keeps you guessing and you really cannot predict the crazy that Flynn cooks up.
While Flynn may have created the worst married couple in the history of literature, a red herring that I hated with a passion that I still can’t shake, and a psychopathic villain for the ages, her ending could not stand up to the rest of the books glory. It’s like Flynn spent all her time crafting these insane characters but couldn’t find an ending to match the personalities and the main story. The conclusion of the story seemed pretty unbelievable after all the strife and struggle. Sure, there are valid reasons for the characters’ choices, but I don’t think they would be enough to overcome the memory of what the characters’ have gone through.
The ending is really not as weak as I have lamented in this post, and should not be enough to deter you from this book. It was just a disappointment after a nearly perfect book. When I want to read a thriller, this is the exact book I want to read every time. Something that keeps you guessing and a story that fires you up. The characters fascinate you and you really don’t know how this story is going to end. I relish a read that is so good I can’t figure it out, even in the last twenty pages. You don’t have to be a fan of thrillers or mysteries; if you want a good book, this is it.
*Film Adaptations: (Starring Ben Affleck 2014)