Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (2012)

This is one book I hate to love, or love to hate. I don’t know which.

Which is totally normal for a book where the truth is, at the very least, a bit confusing. Where every single line is a lie waited to be overturned and replaced by another lie. Wow, how twisted!

This thriller has been so successful that I won’t go in details into the plot or the opening situation. Bad marriage, bad economy. A young couple loses their New York jobs and finds refuge in small town, Missouri. The husband opens a bar with the last of his wife’s money and the wife gets bored in a rented McMansion. Then one morning, on the day of their anniversary, the wife disappears in messy circumstances. And soon enough, the police gets interested in the husband.

Haven’t you read something like that about a hundred times? In newspapers as in fiction?

Yes, but Flynn knows it. From that moment on nothing will be as expected. Plot twist after plot twist, I dare you to take a break or even a breath in this breathless, suspenseful book, until the very last page.

Then after it’s over, I had to take a deep breath again and the realization hit me: this is the darkest portrait of a marriage that I have seen in quite a while. And so much cynicism!

If you’re newly wed or engaged, steer clear of this book, it might give you doubts about your partner.

If you’re single and looking for love, steer clear too, because you’ll look at every date and think that everyone you meet by chance is a scheming liar (or a psychopath) waiting to corner you.

So when is it a good time to read it? Perhaps if you have a few years of married life (either good or average), reading this book will show you how much worse someone else’s marriage can go. Or perhaps singles by choice will find themselves comforted in their choice.

It was really fun to read (especially the middle part after the initial situation has been turned on its head) but it eventually wore me down. Both spouses are not only unreliable narrators, but also very unpleasant characters. I needed to read something comforting afterwards, a nice narrator I could trust, a plot with a happy ending. A breath of fresh air after a dive in a breathless, dark pit!

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2 thoughts on “Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (2012)

  1. I whizzed through it and couldn’t put it down but ultimately didn’t like it, because I felt it reverted too much to the old standby of the conniving female who will do anything to snare and keep a man.

  2. Pingback: Beverly Lewis, The Covenant (2002) | Smithereens

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