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March 25, 2013 | by  | in Arts Books | [ssba]

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I don’t read enough thrillers. I get caught up in that whole “literary fiction versus genre fiction” narrative, and decide that I should be reading important books by important people: books with a higher purpose than simply entertaining. This is silly, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn manages to be a ridiculously  addictive thriller, fizzing with both literary experimentation and social commentary.

We start only knowing a few things for sure. Amy and Nick Dunne are married media professionals who both lost their swanky New York jobs during the recession, and have moved to Nick’s hometown in Missouri, buying a bar and renting a cheap mansion with Amy’s trust fund. Amy goes missing, and there are definite signs of struggle. We begin the novel from Nick’s viewpoint; a protagonist who occasionally admits that he is lying to the police without  specifying exactly what he is lying about. We soon switch to Amy, but Nick definitely isn’t the only one hiding things. It’s a cliché, but I can’t tell you more
without ruining it.

Gone Girl never breaks away from being a thriller for too long, but it does offer some boilerplate critiques of new media culture and “cool girls”. The critiques aren’t new, but Flynn brings her dynamic wit to these rants and the book is so well-paced that they barely register along the way. Many hated the ending, but I thought it closed the book well, taking what was only hinted at by the narrators to a satisfying conclusion.

[ssba]

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