Crown Publishing Group (May 2012)
395 pages, $25.00
I went on a bit of a Gillian Flynn binge this past summer. It started with Gone Girl and I worked my way backwards. I just had to read all of her books.
I love, love, love how the tables were turned on the evil-man-husband, victim-wife formula. To write a woman like that is really disturbing, but satisfying. Women can be just as nasty and fucked up as men. Yes, indeed. Her books excel at portraying the dark side of men and women. Sometimes so much so, that you have to regroup when finished. None of her characters are likable and aren't expected to be.
The psychotic, perfectionist wife frames her husband for her kidnapping and murder on their fifth wedding anniversary. Sounds somewhat straightforward and simple, right? Not so much. She was so totally off the hinges. The lengths to which she goes to take down the husband is insane. You know she was planning this for a long time. Faking a diary that goes all the way back to...what, her teen years?...portraying herself as a loving, caring, placating wife; planting evidence of her husband's (Nick's) infidelity, and so much more. All in revenge for the husband having a lover and thus, cheating on the wife (Amy Dunne). Now, that is commitment. A dangerous combination of sociopath and perfectionism.
There were, however a few things. There were some scenes that were totally predictable; thoughts of 'what was that about' in terms of plot. It didn't really pick up till halfway into the book, but what a turn. The ending-pretty sadistic, but lacking something, kind of expected.
But, I loved this book. I kept saying to myself out loud-Jesus, this woman is crazy! I can't believe she did that! You think it's one story, you like Amy-she's sweet and unassuming, then-Bam! something else entirely different than what you were led to believe. This is a great psychological mind-fuck of a book.
It won an insane amount of awards and received a lot of press.
Also, a movie is in the works with Ben Affleck as Nick and Rosamund Pike as Amy. I loved her in The Libertine.
You can read more of my reviews at Goodreads.