Saturday, April 6, 2013

The great "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

I finished reading "Gone Girl" this week, and I must say I am better for the experience. Author Gillian Flynn takes readers on a thrill ride, only in a different way than in the standard mystery/thriller/suspense bill of fare. Her style concentrates on two people, Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott Dunne, and she details the smallest inner workings of their lives.

Oh, yeah, there is the detail about Amy going missing, you know, the whole "Gone Girl" thing.

Flynn takes considerable time to introduce the characters. Make that CONSIDERABLE time. She takes almost 100 pages to set up the timeline of the relationship between these people. That could be tiring trudging for many readers, but Flynn lets us have an enjoyable ride. Her unveiling of these people is done with humor and intricate skill. You read through the thrill of Nick and Amy first meeting, into infatuation, love, questions and ever-widening cracks in their marriage.

Then Amy goes missing, and the crime plot begins to play out. Now, I am not one to give away secrets about plot. (I think one of the lowest levels of humanity is the person who sits in a movie theater and stage-whispers, "Hey, listen to people scream when the guy jumps out of the closet with the chainsaw. It's coming in 3 ... 2 ...") All I will say is that Flynn builds up one magnificent story line, flips the script, and flips it again. The ending isn't close to what I expected. But that is one of the great things about this novel. There are surprises with almost every turn of the page.

I know, a lot of you are saying, "It took him this long to get on board with this novel?" Well, the title didn't grab me. I thought it was a nice chick book, one of the novels that the dominant gender in the reading world embraced. What changed my mind? I saw the list of Edgar nominees, and "Gone Girl" was there. Sold!!!!

If there is a complaint I have, it is that the novel loses some steam as it reaches its later stages. That complaint is only because the bulk of the novel is so riveting. There were many places where I stopped reading and applauded Flynn for her work. That quality slackens a bit later, but that flaw is like finding a paint chip on the Mona Lisa.

It is a marvelous read, and it is highly recommended.