"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. 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 mountain pressure from the police and the media - as well s 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?" GoodReads
"A seemingly perfectly married couple." What does that even mean? It turns out for Amy and Nick it meant they had both found their complimentary half. Both Amy and Nick are writers. They find in each other something absolutely stimulating and enthralling. Amy offers Nick excitement. Nick offers Amy... well, I'm not quite sure if Nick had anything to offer Amy except a sense of normalcy that Amy lacks in her fame infected world. And even so, to Amy that ends up as a suffocating, cage-like demise.
The description you most often hear about Gillian Flynn's novels is dark and twisted. But I am more inclined to describe Gone Girl as psychological account of unexpected and riveting madness. What Gillian Flynn does best is to unravel her characters to their innermost psychopathy and then reassemble them in their absolutely humanity. The bittersweet effects of these developments lie within the cracks of imperfection that Nick and Amy carry deep within their disturbed souls.
What I love most about this novel is its multiple perspective narratives. I believe that when you have one narrator with one perspective it is much easier to carry an opinion about what goes on in the novel throughout its entirety. When you're bombarded with multiple viewpoints, and all of which paint a larger, more intricate image of what actually goes on between two individuals, your opinion of what sums up the dynamic between Nick and Amy becomes absolutely more and more intricate and complex as the novel develops.
The novels opens and continues to almost half way with the story and background of Nick's life. Some of Amy's life is dropped here and there. For the most part, though, it's Nick's character development that you most get attached to uncovering. Amy is the softer side of things, and Nick is the quite brute. He's an introvert and internalizes most of their life events. He looses his job and forces Amy to make a decision that causes her more psychological disturbia than pain. Ultimately, Nick becomes the foe of the novel and all your sympathy is directed towards Amy.
You often hear about how novelists create a sympathy, and even empathy for their anti-heroes, one such clear example is Humbert Humbert from Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov. Gillian Flynn's genius lies in this exact place. Just when I had fully formulated a sympathetic inclination towards Amy, she turns Amy into the unexpected sociopath. I laughed several times from the shock of Flynn's creativity. It was humorously disturbing, to be sure.
The lengths Amy will go to, to avenge herself from Nick and his actions upon her life is no longer riverting, but exciting. At times it is also redundant to the point that you just have to say "alright, I get it, Amy!" As a result, I lost a bit of momentum for Amy's character development. Until, Nick and Amy find their own ending, which will surprise you yet again.
I found this book supremely psychological, refreshingly creative, intelligently intricate, and definitely human in so many ways. I am now a fan of Gillian Flynn.
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
First Published: 2012