Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reviewing Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

A friend says, “I just finished reading Gone Girl. Have you read it? You have to read it. I know you'll like it.”

I've known this friend for many years and she knows me well. And so I buy a copy.

I don't read the back cover blurb. I just flip the book open and begin to read and immediately I'm thrown into a mystery. The narrator has little rhyme to his life? He usually wakes on a whim. Yet, today he has woken precisely at 6 AM.

Why? What kind of a career can afford him that type of leeway?

Then I read page 5: 'I used to be a writer.'

The narrator is a once-upon-writer, his wife (Amy) is a writer and so are is in-laws. In fact, Amy's parents have created a children's series inspired by their daughter. No, more then inspired by. The fictional Amy seems to be a new and improved version of the real Amy.

As Amy writes: 'I can't fail to notice that whenever I screw something up, Amy does it right.' (P. 36)

My friend knows of my passion to become a writer. I pause to wonder if this overabundance of writers is the reason my friend thought I would enjoy this book.

But it's more then that...

Gone Girl is about a relationship. The couple is young and attractive. The ingredients for a romance and yet it is a thriller.

'Isn't that what every marriage is, anyway? Just a lengthy game of he-said, she-said?' (p. 544)

I love stories that throw you for a loop like that. You wiggle your way into the comfortable pages. Everything is so familiar. You feel so at home. And then wham bam you're sent reeling. Stephen King writes this type of story very well and so does Gillian Flynn.

I admire other aspect of Ms. Flynn's writing as well...
In chapter one the narrator wishes that he could be in his wife's head. Then in chapter two he is. He's reading her diary, in fact. How much more in her head can he get?

Ms. Flynn continues to play with her main characters in this manner. For example, Amy disappears in one chapter and Nick reappears in the next.

What is the overriding theme...?

A promising happy-ever-after marriage breaks down set against the US economy. An economy that was so promising but that is slowly sliding into bankruptcy—people are losing their jobs, grandiose malls echo from abandonment.

Everything is disappearing in this book: Amy, Nick's future, Nick's dad, Amy's parents' money...

Favourite quote...


'She chirps the last bit as if that were all to say about a book: It's good or it's bad. I like it or I didn't. No discussion of the writing, the themes, the nuances, the structure, Just good or bad. Like a hot dog.' (p. 377)


Back cover blurb:  On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and plans are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears. As the police begin to investigate, the town golden boy parades a series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?

More...


Next Monday...

Writers, do you kill your darlings?

Author journey...
I cared for children in a Day Care setting for approximately fourteen years...
I've always enjoyed sharing my love of reading with the children in my care. It has been too long since I've had an opportunity to do this. However, I've been asked to led a story time on Friday, July 10th from 10 to 11. I'm excited. And, yes, a little nervous. I think I will use this opportunity to try out one of my newly crafted picture book manuscripts. 
Wish me luck. : )

4 comments:

tess said...


I enjoyed Gone Girl and find it surprising how many people I've talked to say reading it was a total waste of their time. Come on, people. Not everyone in the world is gorgeous well-adjusted and rich.

I like the mystery of the disappearance and putting the pieces together. The ending happened as it should. I saw no other outcome. *smiles*

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your comment, Tess. Yes, it's true--not every reader is going to enjoy every book. That's why we are so blessed to have a world full of books. : )

Laurie Buchanan said...

Leanne - Thanks to you, GONE GIRL is now on my reading list. Oh, and as a non-fiction writer, I definitely don't kill my darlings (but if/when I write fiction, you can count on it)...

Leanne Dyck said...

I hope you enjoy reading it, Laurie.

And I can't wait to share what I've learned about 'killing your darlings' with you--next Monday (July 13th).