Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl
From Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn:
Open quote 

A long exhale. 'What about Amy?' That is what I didn't take long enough to consider. I simply assumed I would bundle up my New York wife with her New York interests, her New York pride, and remove her from her New York parents -- leave the frantic, thrilling futureland of Manhattan behind -- and transplant her to a little town on the river in Missouri, and all would be fine."

After the jump, my review.

Grade: B+

As you can probably guess, all doesn't turn out fine. Amy ends up missing, on Amy and Nick's fifth wedding anniversary. All the evidence points to foul play by Nick.

The novel starts out with interleaved chapters from Amy's diary and Nick's reaction to Amy's disappearance. He-said, she-said. And what she said in her diary doesn't reflect kindly on Nick. The marriage is struggling.

The novel is on the surface a crime mystery. What happened to Amy? When will Nick be arrested? But a funny thing happens on the way to the arrest, trial, and conviction. The novel never abandons that he-said, she-said format, an examination of a marriage gone stale, then bad, then disastrous. If the crime mystery is a little too obvious, in the disaster of a marriage Gone Girl is at its best. In the words of Nick's lawyer, Amy and Nick are the most fucked-up people you'll ever know, even if you specialize in fucked-up people like he does. There are moments in the drawn-out climax of the novel that are over the top, but an over-the-top resolution is the only way this novel can end with any satisfaction.

So, read it for the crime story. Or read it for the love story. Or read it for the character study. Just read it.

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