Gonna keep this short, since everybody and their mother’s first cousin twice removed has already reviewed this (and also because if I say too much, I’d be spoiling it, and this is a book whose enjoyment is predicated on not knowing what’s coming). I waited on my library’s hold list for almost six months for this book, and I have to say, I’m kind of disappointed.
On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne disappears, leaving her husband Nick the prime suspect in her disappearance, soon to be considered murder. But that’s only the tip of the super fucked up iceberg. The story is told through the POVs of Nick and Amy, both in the present and in flashbacks, and both of them are highly unreliable narrators (understatement of the year). It’s a mystery of many layers. As the characters try to figure out what’s happened to Amy, we as readers have to also determine what (if anything) we can trust as correct info from Nick and Amy, or if there might be something missing from the narrative.
Honestly, in terms of technical achievement, this book probably deserves five stars. At the very least, four. Gillian Flynn’s brain is ridiculous. The way she structures her sentences, with cutting precision. The intricate plotting. The dense psychological character work. How both of those last two things dance around one another in ways both unexpected, yet strangely obvious after the fact (because it was the only way things could go, really). It’s kind of a masterpiece.
However — and this is a big however — it also made me want to stab myself in the eyeball from despair over how despicable the human race is. There’s nobody to root for here. So even if I might even say that this book has a perfect ending, an incredibly satisfying piece of closure to a wonderfully crafted book, I can also simultaneously say that it’s not really for me. I’m feeling a lot more generous with it right now than I did at the time, enough maybe even to up it to four stars, but I’m leaving it at three for now because I remember how awful I felt after finishing it.
If you understand this reference, we should probably be best friends.