Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Anne Ferber (03/24/13): This book is a compelling look at a marriage of two neurotic personalities who start off falling in love by misrepresenting themselves to each other and then, behold, can't stand each other once their true identities are revealed after two years of marriage.

Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott, on their fifth anniversary join in a battle of the sexes, the likes of which we haven't seen since The War of the Roses. Amy is far and away the winner in the "who's crazier" contest, but Nick is no innocent. His flaws seem to generate from the simple knowledge that he is a man and entitled to have an adoring wife, and does not quite get the complexities of a "women's needs and wiles."

Although the book is written in alternate chapters of "he said, she said", we do not meet the real Amy until the second half of the book which is the context for the first of many twists, keeping the reader turning pages like an electronic rolodex machine.

Since I do have a background in Psychology, I will go out on a limb and state unequivocally that Amy enjoys a narcissistic, borderline personality disorder, which means that she is only interested in creating an environment peopled with poor souls who must do their utmost to cater to her and only her needs. She has no patience or compassion for the welfare of others or their needs. She is also bright and resourceful, making her illness that much more toxic. The only redeeming factor from the reader's point of view is the knowledge that she will never be satisfied, and all the destruction she causes in her wake will never lead her to anything resembling a state of contentment or peace.

That said, I think the ending is justified. In this case, the characters are getting the fates they well deserve, except of course, the child. God help him!
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton (11/02/12): Gone Girl is not your usual boy meets girl, gets married, breaks up story....although it seemed like it could be half-way through the book. it was the second section that really pulled me in and kept calling me back to read and figure out the twists and turns this story would take. I liked that it was NOT predictable, right to the very end. I would love to discuss this book with a psychologist or in a literature class, to explore how the book series "Amazing Amy" made the real Amy into an "actress" who played "roles" and would do almost anything, it seems, to have her life appear to others as "happily ever after." I am also motivated to read other Gillian Flynn novels. I liked her writing and the way the book was organized, slowly uncovering the story through different people's voices. It was not really all believable, but, it is a very readable story.
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss (10/26/12): This was a really fun book! The two characters, Amy and Nick are both models of absolute psychos, each one crazier than the other. They are both intelligent and have this love/hate relationship that makes for a very interesting plot. One minute I am siding with with her and one minute I am siding with him and then I am angry at both of them. I don't want to give the story away, but in the end they both get what they deserve --- each other! Any psychologists out there would have a field day analyzing these two "characters."
Rating: *****

Gail Reid (08/11/12): Gone Girl, this summer's best-selling, psychological thriller, grabbed me immediately with its character development, dialogue and plot twists.

A young married couple, Amy and Nick, alternate narrating chapters about their married life which has fizzled in the past 3 years. These 30-something New Yorkers are victims of the recession. So when both of their writing jobs are phased out, they move to Nick's Missouri hometown where he buys a bar with the remains of his wife's dwindling trust fund.

On their 5th anniversary, Amy disappears. There are signs of a struggle and blood at their house. Did Nick do it? Where is Amy? There is no body and no ransom.

This book is not for everyone. The language can be very rough and the ending is somewhat disappointing. But Gillian Flynn is an enormously talented and insightful writer with an acute understanding of both the male and female psyche. The mystery creates such a page-turner that I was tempted to skip all my responsibilities and read through to the end!
Rating: *****

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