“Gone Girl” Book Review

Gone Girl Book Review

Gabrielle Karmazin

Every day, we hear about tragic kidnappings and murders on the news, yet nobody ever fathoms that it could happen to them or their loved ones. The psychological thriller book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, originally came out in 2012. The book was later adapted into a movie in 2014 as it rose to fame. The story is centered around the disappearance of a woman named Amy Dunne on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary, and the subsequent investigation that follows. The book offers a compelling and unsettling look into the human psyche as well as a critique of modern-day relationships, gender norms, and the media.

The book is written in first person, where Amy and her husband, Nick, take turns narrating. This provides the reader with a peek into the minds of these troubled and complex characters. In the first part of the book, Amy’s narration is through diary entries that lead up to the day of her disappearance, meanwhile, Nick’s narration takes place during the days following Amy’s disappearance. Both Nick and Amy are unreliable narrators, and it becomes apparent as the novel progresses that both have motives and secrets they are trying to conceal.

While the book starts out with Nick cooperating with the police in hopes to find his beloved wife, as the book drags on, there is a shift as Nick becomes the main suspect for his wife’s murder. A number of clues that seem to link Nick to his wife’s disappearance are found by Nick as he looks for his missing wife. We are led on a wild and unsettling journey as the story progresses that reveals just how twisted and cunning both Amy and Nick can be. Towards the middle of the book, Amy and Nick are opposing one another, though neither of them is a protagonist or an antagonist. Amy and Nick are both extremely flawed characters.

Examining modern marriage and gender roles is another important focus of the book. Although Nick and Amy seem like the ideal pair on the surface, the story reveals that their relationship is by no means ideal. Nick is portrayed as the unfaithful and careless husband, while Amy is shown as the ideal housewife. Yet as we learn more about the depths of their relationship, it becomes obvious that both Nick and Amy are pretending and keeping their genuine selves hidden from one another.

Flynn also critiques the media and how it affects modern society in the novel. The media storm around Amy’s disappearance quickly gets out of hand as the investigation into her disappearance intensifies. The media is portrayed as a cold, calculating institution that cares more about ratings than the truth. Nick and Amy’s private tragedy becomes a national event as a result of the media’s obsessive chase of the story, with everyone from talk show hosts to amateurs offering their opinions.

In the end, the way that “Gone Girl” plays on the reader’s expectations is what makes it such an engaging read. When we think we have the cause for Amy’s disappearance figured out, the narrative takes another unexpected turn, leaving us unsure of whom to believe and what to believe. Flynn writes with clarity and intelligence, and she has a talent for developing complex characters. The novel is a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers because it is filled with sharp humor, insightful social satire, and suspense.