ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gillian Schieber Flynn is an American author. To point a few accomplishments, Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards — the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. The book is now an HBO limited series starring Amy Adams.
Flynn’s second novel, the 2009 New York Times bestseller Dark Places, was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. In 2015, the movie adaptation, starring Charlize Theron, was released. Flynn’s third novel, Gone Girl, was an international sensation and a runaway hit that has spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. Gone Girl was named one of the best books of the year by People Magazine. Nominated for both the Edgar Award and the Anthony Award for the Best Novel, Flynn wrote the screenplay for David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of Gone Girl for the big screen, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
Her newest release, The Grownup, is an Edgar Award-winning short story and an homage to the classic ghost story. Universal has optioned the rights to The Grownup.
There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
The title of the novel itself is a dead giveaway to the general direction the novel progresses along. Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary, and the journey that progresses to find the gone girl herself is maddeningly twisted, to say the least. Amy and Nick went from polar-opposite strangers, to crazy in love in New York to hanging precariously off the fraying edges of a troubled marriage in small-town Missouri. Told through alternating voices, a chilling investigation progresses, and day by day the skeletons in the closet begin to tumble out.
Gone Girl packs a winning formula, by frightening, enchanting, disturbing and intriguing its readers all at once. Flynn creates the most bizarre, complex characters that bounce off the page and seem so scarily real. Gillian Flynn’s greatest strength as an author lies in her ability to change the way her readers perceive her protagonists. The technique used by the author, in telling the story from multiple narratives, is both a clever and wickedly effective one.
Flynn is masterly at ramping up the drama to painful, almost unreadable levels, with each minor revelation about the police investigation or Amy’s backstory pitched perfectly to maximize the intensity of the reader’s response to it. With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Gillian Flynn’s skill as a writer is commendable. She creates characters that are completely distinct, and she alternates these viewpoints with incredible deftness and ease, building an intricate narrative – a complex crime – that is deeply disturbing but brilliantly executed. The big twist is perhaps not such a twist, but it is done really, really well – almost to perfection. The first part of the book makes you question what you know about these characters, their lives and their secrets. Everyone is unreliable; everything is questionable.
There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
However, there is a darkness that Flynn had in her previous works, a sinister force looming over the novel, and this is present in a much weaker, diluted form here. Gone Girl is much slower than Flynn’s first two novels, which makes it a bit disappointing for her regular readers.
That being said, Flynn is, without doubt, at the front of the pack of American thriller writers. The characterization, plot, dialog, description and social commentary are all incisive, snappy and precise without being too stylistically so. This story of a love story gone brutally wrong is a painful but utterly compulsive read.
In a nutshell, Gone Girl is brilliantly written and plotted mystery, a miasma of wretchedness and hate; a book that will be devoured but deeply, utterly abhorred. Giving it 3.9 out of 5 seems justified. This book is freely recommended to any reader who wants to get entangled in a thrilling web of lies.
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