In case you don't know the plot, I'll summarize it: A young, once-rich couple lost their journalism jobs in New York City during the economic downturn. For a number of reasons, they move to Nick's Missouri hometown to start over. Amy is not at all happy about the move, and over time their marriage begins to fall apart. Then on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Who is responsible for her disappearance and what exactly happened to Amy?
Perhaps my expectations were too high, but here's the thing. I liked Gone Girl and thought the twisty minds of the characters were well crafted and definitely creepy. I was not, however, blown away by it. Very early on in the novel, I had two theories of what happened. By halfway through I had narrowed it down to one. When the big reveal occurred, it only confirmed my suspicions. I didn't figure out the details of the ending, but I had the gist.
The story is told in alternating perspectives: from Nick in real time and from Amy's diary entries. Flynn does an excellent job creating two distinct personalities and voices. I loved hearing about the same incident from two points of view. Unfortunately, unlike most readers, I didn't develop a clear picture of either character. Both Amy and Nick seemed elusive, and because of that I don't think I was particularly invested in the novel.
Regardless, I think I'm right in saying that fans of psychological thrillers won't want to miss Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn exposes the dark recesses of Nick and Amy's marriage, and it's a marriage like no other (or so we can hope). Even though the novel won't make my top ten list, I recommend it as a good read. My advice is to keep your expectations in check.
I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Random House Audio; 19 hr, 11 min) read by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborn. Whelan's performance was excellent, and her inflections and emotional range were well suited to Amy. Heyborn's voice seemed a little young, however, and I had to remind myself that Nick was a man in his thirties. On the other hand, Heyborn's characterizations were believable and nicely done. I appreciated that Whelan's and Heyborn's performances complemented each other, making the transitions between them smooth and natural. If I had been reading Gone Girl in print I might not have finished it, so that's a recommendation to try the audiobook.
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Published by Random House / Crown, 2012
Rating: B- / C+
Source: Bought (audio) (see review policy)
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