As I’ve mentioned before, I love to read novels but I also listen to audio books during my hour commute to work every day. Usually when I chose novels to read, I gravitate toward the science fiction and fantasy realm. When picking books for my car ride, I like to branch out a bit more, including some of the classics (ones that I’m ridiculously embarrassed to have not read yet), thrillers, foreign translations, and also some contemporary fiction.
The audio book I most recently finished was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I picked it up since friends and coworkers had given both the book and the new movie outstanding reviews.
Here’s the Story…
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 mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as 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?
This book is disgusting. A spectacle of everything that’s wrong with modern relationships and a gross display of how horrendous individuals can act toward one another.
That being said, I loved it!
Admittedly, I was hesitant at first. The book begins with comments from the husband, flowery, almost poetic descriptions of his wife’s head. It’s a little creepy, psychotic almost… As you get into the book, Flynn cuts down on the flowery stuff and sticks with a very real and grim storytelling style. The novel uses a unique perspective, flipping back and forth from the husband’s first person narrative, to the missing wife’s diary entries. Flynn weaves an intriguing story that leaves you on the edge of your seat, never really knowing what is fact or fiction.
As a warning, this book is not for the young reader, covering many disturbing topics including rape, murder, kidnapping, as well as physical and mental abuse. The author also utilizes a bright vocabulary of foul sexist language and the book involves several explicit sex scenes.Although the writing style is somewhat harsh, it is very fitting for the setting and topics covered in this novel.
The thing I loved most about this book is the fact that, while you’re reading, you never really know who the “heroes” and the “villains” of the story are. The book manages to tear every character down to their most basic instincts, revealing their very worst. A father driven toward insanity. A mother focused on fame and greed. A husband led down a road of abuse, lies, and rage. This book lays everything on the line for the reader as you follow the treasure hunt of clues, slowly picking each character apart. Through all of the hatred and lies, you also discover some of the characters’ best parts. Their cunning, control, brilliance… and their love.
I give this book five out of five stars!