The Quick Non-Spoilery Bit
Gone Girl is part crime-drama, part psychological thriller that follows the aftermath of the disappearance of Amy Elliot Dunne, who has vanished from her home in a whirlwind of glass and overturned furniture on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Nick Dunne, her husband, becomes the prime suspect after calling it in, when his whereabouts that morning cannot be corroborated. His narrative and Amy’s diary entries provide a slowly more intimate peak into their unstable life together as the hunt for Amy and her kidnapper and/or killer heats up.
I picked this up finally because it’s becoming a movie this October. I’d heard about it before, it’s relatively popular, and I knew it was considered a dark and intense twist on a murder mystery. It certainly was dark and twisted, and it was reasonably well composed and plotted. I just could not connect to it. A lot of people really love Gone Girl with good reason, but I personally found it did not meet my expectations. Mystery fans might like it. Crime drama or true crime fans even more so. I’m not crowing from rooftops over it, and I think those that do are overstating its genius, but if it sounds at all interesting to you, it might be worth the read. I didn’t love it, but I can’t say I don’t recommend it. It just wasn’t for me. Thus, I give it 3 stars: nothing was objectively horrible about it, it just did not succeed as a mystery/thriller for me. I will probably wind up going to see the movie though. I really love the trailer:
I think it sets a good atmosphere, with the music all creepy playing over top for most of it, yet it explains the plot pretty well. The casting looks great too.
Now I’ll talk about the book a little more, but it’s hard to without getting more into the plot and getting more into the plot of a mystery novel inevitably leads to spoilers. So if you haven’t read Gone Girl and would like to, I suggest you click away now.
Ok? Here we go.
Here be Spoilers
Like I said, I didn’t hate it. I was just not into it. I started out thinking Nick had killed Amy. Then quickly shifted to think he didn’t, because I could tell I was supposed to be thinking he did. Then I was bored and flipped ahead to see if I was right and got a bit more interested when I read briefly that Amy was alive and had left under her own power. Part 2 was then much more interesting as everything up to and including Amy’s psychosis is revealed. I thought that this was a good twist, I just didn’t have the patience to wait for it. My own fault, I suppose, but I was about ready to put this book down around page 120, tired of waiting around for Nick and everyone else to figure out that Amy was alive somewhere.
I’m too used to the crime drama that can be consumed an hour, I think. One a one hour show, guessing the bad guy is half the fun, and you’re proven right rather quickly. Meanwhile you get the other fraction of your enjoyment out of the relationships within the crime-solving team. A lack of such likable characters is probably part of the genesis of my complaint with Gone Girl. I suppose, that the characters are not likable is the point, but it made it exceedingly difficult to find a reason to hang on in places where the plot, inevitably, as plots do, slowed down.
Part 3, where Amy returns, was rather fascinating. The depth of her depravity made Nick finally seem pitiable by contrast, and the ending was fittingly twisted and dark. It’s the only part of the book I wished had gone on a bit longer as months pass in a few short pages. I thought the ending fit the story, assuming the “we’re perfect for each other!” rhetoric was not meant in earnest, as I thought it completely misguided. I think it was meant, rather, as yet another example of how twisted their minds are, one final barb, just in case you weren’t feeling disturbed enough already.
And that’s all I have to say, I suppose, normally here is where I reiterate my review and give a recommendation, but hopefully the only people who’ve read this far have already read the book and don’t need to hear the it…unless you ignored my spoiler warning like a rebel. A a very sad, spoiled rebel.