Gone Girl

By now, I am the second or third person to review Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for this site, so there’s a good chance I am not going to say anything the others haven’t said. But even so, let me add to the chorus of voices – this book is fantastic.

I can’t describe this story of a missing wife and a husband under suspicion too much, because navigating Gone Girl’s hairpin twists and turns is a huge part of the book’s appeal. Reading it felt like walking down a dark, winding hallway, knowing that something unpleasant was waiting to jump out at me but not knowing where it was or when it was coming. That being said, “warped,” “disturbing,” and “gripping” are three pretty good generic-yet-accurate words to use.

Flynn has taken a story that we’ve seen rehashed on cable news dozens of times and added insight, complexity, and a surprising amount of innovation. It’s clear she spent time and thought plotting how her story would unspool and it is equally clear that her efforts paid off. The way she structures Gone Girl, alternating present-moment chapters narrated in the first-person by the husband and diary entries from the (missing? dead?) wife, gives it every bit as many cliffhangers as a pulp novel and cleverly shrouds some of its best facets until Flynn is ready to reveal them.

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