Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn: Book Review

gone girl gillian flynn book reviewBroadway Books / Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl Book Cover Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Adult Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Broadway Books
May 24, 2012

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 review contains spoilers

THIS IS THE BOOK I’VE BEEN WAITING TO READ!!! Let me tell you something: Gillian Flynn is an amazing author, and as much shit as I’ve given her about Sharp Objects and Dark Places, I really have to give her credit for writing Gone Girl. Like, wow! This book was 400 pages of pure mind-fuck material; and as sick as it might sound coming from a guy, I loved every bit of this book. It is my favorite!

This book completely emasculates the male ego to the point of no return, and it’s a well-deserved emasculation for an asshole like Nick Dunne. Not very often do I come across books that end the way I wanted, but that was exactly the case with Flynn’s latest masterpiece. I don’t know whether that speaks to my obsession with broken marriages as a trope or the fact that, in some (unconventional) way, the woman is righted instead of criminalized and men are expiated for how shitty they can be. Okay, okay, so Amy Dunne was not innocent at all; we can all agree on that. But she is the victim, isn’t she? I’m curious to know what other people thought of Amy’s methods to avenging herself; maybe my inner-Feminist is coming out, but this book is really one of the best, modern-day cautionary tales I’ve ever read.

Over and over, night after night, I kept telling myself, “Nick is the asshole of the story, right?!” even though Amy is notably batshit in her own right. But Nick started it: He cheated on his wife, was a total douche-bag throughout the entire investigation and showed no concern for the whereabouts of his missing wife. He was the only one who knew what Amy was capable of, even though we as readers really couldn’t really believe Nick’s testaments.


The genius of Flynn doesn’t stop with this amazing crime fiction story, either; the fact that she worked this book with shifting perspectives between Amy and Nick was brilliant. Each chapter rotation gave way to new clues about their crumbling marriage, from start to finish—Flynn feeds her readers slowly with juicy bits that don’t give just enough information away to keep the pacing of this investigation and the horrific events leading up to it all the more exciting.

Whoever thinks women aren’t as capable of damaging their husbands obviously hasn’t read Gone Girl. As gratifying as it was to see Nick get what he deserves in the end, Amy’s methods are completely sociopathic. It’s like, instead of just divorcing Nick she tortured him slowly and meditatively; Amy made it known she is not to be fucked with!


I think what was most amusing about this book are the closing chapters where Nick desperately tries to get his wife back. Amy is too seasoned to be duped and manipulated by her predictable husband, and Flynn’s handy work with her villainess proves she’s created the ultimate indestructible woman. OMG, I LOVE HERRRRRR!

Because I have a heart, I’m not going to say I didn’t feel bad for Nick at certain parts in the story. I think it’s really important to note how well Flynn develops Nick as well; she really tapped into what strokes the male ego and suffocates it slowly. In Nick’s introspection, we witness the real vulnerability of a man who, for once, cannot overpower his wife by force. It’s a sad stereotype — men violating women in that way — but it certainly happens.


I don’t know about you, but this book really opened my eyes to how much I love unreliable and unlikable narrators. I mean, it’s not for everyone, but I think what most intrigues me about these sorts of characters is learning how they became that way. I love Amy’s crazy-ass backstory just as much as I enjoyed reading into Nick’s motives for why he’s such an asshole.

If there are any takeaways from this book it’s that infidelity pays BIG TIME. Gone Girl treats it with such true brutality, and Flynn illustrates how relationships are collaterally damaged by acts of betrayal. Let this book be a lesson to anyone who’s considered stepping out on their partners; if you see a copy of Gone Girl on their nightstand one day, you’d better shape up or run!

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Paris Close
the authorParis Close

Founding Editor. Give me Gillian Flynn or give me death.