Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

At just under 20 hours, I think Gone Girl is the longest audio-book I've listened to, and the actors did an excellent job. One of the reasons I was drawn to reading (or listening to) Gone Girl is because I've always enjoyed when an author writes a story with each character's perspective. It gives readers insight into what each of them might be feeling and thinking. I also heard The Girl on the Train, which I read last year, dubbed as the "next Gone Girl" and since I thoroughly enjoyed listening to that book, I figured why not give Gone Girl a try?

The story of Gone Girl begins the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary, when Nick comes home to find the house a mess and Amy is missing. Chaos ensues and so does an investigation into her disappearance, and everyone suspects Nick. Most of the story is written from his perspective in the present tense and I started to feel sympathy for him despite him being a self-absorbed writer hung up on the golden days of magazine editing before the advent of the Internet. Then, about halfway through the story we get Amy's take on things told in the past tense which is when things get real interesting. She's also an out of work washed-up writer, and as a born and raised New York City woman, she is struggling to find her place in sleepy town of North Carthage, Missouri. She tells us her life through journal entries that gives us some real, raw insight into who she is - something that Nick and other characters never got to see.

We of course think that Nick did it, and then start to wonder if he had help. Was he set up, and by whom? What really happened to Amy? Who is she, really? Or maybe Amy's ex-boyfriend from high school who lives an hour away killed her. Or was it her former best friend and stalker? Maybe she's not really missing? Oh wait, she is missing and presumed dead because we found evidence that proves it, for now. At every twist and turn, Flynn leaves the reader thinking one thing and then suddenly questioning that thought and wondering what will happen next.

I wanted to strangle both Nick and Amy for being idiotic characters who should've seen what was right in front of them in the entire time, especially at the end. If I had read the physical copy, I would've slammed it shut and thrown it on the floor in frustration.

After listening to this, I can understand why The Girl on the Train was dubbed as the next Gone Girl because of similar main characters. Yet, I think they are very different novels and Gone Girl is a much cleaner, better written story.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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