It almost requires a game board to show how Nick and Amy move through this book … the game Ms. Flynn has in mind is a two-sided contest in which Nick and Amy tell conflicting stories … Like many a less clever unreliable narrator, Nick likes lies of omission. The reader has to figure this out very gradually, because Ms. Flynn is impressively cagey about which details she chooses to withhold … Gone Girl is Ms. Flynn’s dazzling breakthrough. It is wily, mercurial, subtly layered and populated by characters so well imagined that they’re hard to part with — even if, as in Amy’s case, they are already departed.
Flynn’s particular specialty is ‘unlikable’ narrators: Not freakish killers, but ordinarily selfish, resentful or sarcastic types, the kind of characters that readers often seem to dislike because they offer an uncomfortable reflection of their own mundane shortcomings … Gone Girl has two such narrators, the halves of a broken marriage...and the novel has two mysteries: What happened to Amy, and what happened to Nick-and-Amy? … For the first half of the novel, these two contradictory yet strangely harmonized accounts of the marriage’s decay command most of the attention … You couldn’t say that this is a crime novel that’s ultimately about a marriage, which would make it a literary novel in disguise. The crime and the marriage are inseparable.
I found it as irritating as imagined ... By the time the train ride was over, I felt I was reading something truly sick and dark ... The sick and dark of Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, is less in the plot (which is a masterpiece of cuckoo-clockwork), more in the book’s vision ... That the emotional violence is rendered in smarty-pants chirping makes it more grating than painful ... it is also a maniacal power fantasy that panders to female anger and fear ... What remains unclear is how the book regards its nauseating fantasy ... Either way, it’s difficult to appreciate the book without participating in the fantasy, without living, for a time, in the horrible hive brain that the book so successfully invokes ... But this book seems a little too enamored with Amy’s view of the world, and misuses its power as much as its protagonist misuses hers.
One of these narrators has to be unreliable. Maybe both are. It becomes apparent in a series of stunning reveals and whiplash reversals that these characters, like the book they're in, aren't what we thought they were. Gone Girl is a story about men and women who live double lives not because they're secret agents or jewel thieves but because as human beings they're incapable of being who they appear to be … Gone Girl is a hall of mirrors where everything is an empty reflection, including the people who live there … Its content may be postmodern, but it takes the form of a thoroughbred thriller about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships.
Gillian Flynn's third mystery is burned-coffee black and flavored with cyanide. (As far as I'm concerned, those are compliments of the highest order.) … While Nick is a compulsive liar who can't stop grinning like a fool for the TV cameras, there is no sign of Amy's body. He's either more adept at covering his tracks than he first appears, or he's being set up by the woman who fell for him at first sight … Flynn is a master manipulator, deftly fielding multiple unreliable narrators, sardonic humor, and social satire in a story of a marriage gone wrong.
Amy disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, leaving behind a mischievous scavenger hunt, and things spin wildly out of Nick's control … Through her two ultimately unreliable narrators, Flynn masterfully weaves the slow trickle of critical details with 90-degree plot turns. By the time Nick lawyers up, goes viral on YouTube and gets his big TV interview, you'll have no idea if or how he'll get Amy back – or whether he should want to … Timely, poignant and emotionally rich, Gone Girl will peel away your comfort levels even as you root for its protagonists - despite your best intuition.
Gone Girl is an ingenious whodunit for both the Facebook generation and old-school mystery buffs. Whoever you are, it will linger, like fingerprints on a gun … Nick and Amy aren't what they seem; Flynn's characters bloom and grow, like beautiful, poisonous plants. Amy is a particularly beguiling species … Flynn has the enviable ability to marry pop culture tropes with the themes and atmospherics of classic literature – think the Bronte sisters on staff at TMZ.
A perfect wife’s disappearance plunges her husband into a nightmare as it rips open ugly secrets about his marriage and, just maybe, his culpability in her death … Nick has to acknowledge that he hasn’t come close to being the husband he liked to think he was. But does that mean he deserves to get tagged as his wife’s killer? … One of those rare thrillers whose revelations actually intensify its suspense instead of dissipating it. The final pages are chilling.
There’s the evil you can see coming—and then there’s Amy Elliott … Flynn masterfully lets this tale of a marriage gone toxically wrong gradually emerge through alternating accounts by Nick and Amy, both unreliable narrators in their own ways … Compulsively readable, creepily unforgettable, this is a must read for any fan of bad girls and good writing.