Book Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

A book review by Tim Bruck

Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn’s 2012 genre-blurring crime thriller novel. The book is split between our two protagonists, Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot-Dunne. They’re a married couple originally from New York City that— after both losing their jobs as writers— are forced to move back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri to take care of Nick’s dying mother. The novel starts on their fifth anniversary when Amy suddenly disappears. We alternate between Nick’s present-day thoughts and opinions and Amy’s early-relationship diary entries. Slowly but surely, the plot unravels following twist after twist, until halfway-through when crucial details to the mystery are revealed. Flynn uses a deft hand portraying her characters as unreliable narrators, shifting our opinions of them back and forth through the entirety of the book.

Once again, Flynn uses her novel to expertly play with gender and gender roles. This marriage acts as a battle of the sexes, until finally the playing field is somehow radically equalled. One of the most surprising parts of Gone Girl is the outright women-hating. A majority of the characters all have disparaging things to say against women and femininity— including and especially the female characters. Even with the midway reveal, that allows our female lead more agency, misogyny still runs rampant. Though there are great moments of feminism within Gone Girl, they’re hidden under a deep, dark fog that stuggles to dissipate.

Gone Girl was accessed via the Libby app.

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