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About the Book
author: Gillian Flynn
release date: May 24, 2012
format: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook
pages: 416 pages
publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Book Type: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary.
Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.
Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? (From Goodreads.com)
This is a joint review as Jess and I both read the book, and by read, I actually mean we both listened to the audiobook in our car/truck while driving to various destinations.
Jess began listening to the book before me and she kept sending me GRR messages. I found that hilarious and let her vent, because I had nothing to contribute except for the fact that I have been wanting to read the book for a very long time. The more I got the messages, the more I was told myself that I needed to see if my local library had it. And lucky for me they did; the book God was looking after me that day.
This book is one of the biggest hits I never really had any intention of reading. For some reason, it just didn’t catch my attention enough to pick it up. Then, I saw the EW cover (it’s haunting!) and read the article where Ben Affleck talked about the author rewriting the third act for the movie. And something about those things intrigued me so much that it started an itch in my brain. So when I saw the audiobook at the library, I grabbed it up.
And to be honest, the first few disks were slow going. A few times I thought, “This book isn’t for me.” But, I persevered. It was background and trying to orient myself into the story of Nick and Amy. I tried not to make assumptions, since obviously this wasn’t going to be cut and dry (if it were, it wouldn’t be a mystery thriller people love reading!). Plus, there was a lot of cussing, so I had to listen to it in the car sans kids. I didn’t mind the language, but hearing it out loud over and over will definitely test your limits.
Before I knew it, something happened – I started thinking about the mystery and trying to figure out what was going on and where the story was going to go. All.the.time. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Flynn has this amazing ability to give you the story in bits and pieces and you don’t even notice it is happening, but it is all an insane collection of layers that created this entire tangled mess. I finally had to quit listening to the audiobook and pick up the e-book, because I couldn’t get the story fast enough.
And then… part two.
The second part of the book just starts the downward spiral into the rabbit hole. Without giving too much away, Gillian Flynn completely flips the script and you are left with your mouth hanging open going “what.the.hell.”
This is where the brilliance of the author comes in. She called it in an interview building up this story in Legos and then knocking it all down and that is exactly what it felt like. The psychological aspects of the book were so intriguing, so unpredictable that I couldn’t help eating it all up. I figure out plots pretty easily, so not ever knowing what was going to happen next was like a breath of fresh air. You are never given enough information to form a proper conclusion. You have to push forward, to learn more.
The characters are beyond flawed – it volleyed back and forth between who I hated more. One definitely won out in the end, but it was a close race. It took these people who looked like the perfect couple who had everything and showed the underbelly of depravity.
I have to admit I hated the end. It wasn’t bad, the book is amazing, it just really pissed me off. Days later I was still raging over it. This is one reason I cannot wait to see the movie, to see what changes were made. Either way, this book is definitely a standard mystery thrillers should measure up to.
If you do listen to the audiobooks, realize there is lots of cussing. However, the narrators were perfect choices for Nick and Amy.
Right off the bat, I knew that something was off kilter about all that was happening and being said which seems odd, so let me clarify: I knew there was something off with Nick the moment he was introduced, the minute his thoughts began to bleed through the speakers of my truck. When his sister, Margo, came into the picture I had the same uneasiness; the way they interacted was somewhat incestuous, which is funny (?) because he addresses the issue in the text. I just couldn’t get my read on Nick and as much as I wanted to like him—I just couldn’t. And then the diary entries from Amy—I wanted to like her too, but she seemed so fake and superficial. I remember screaming at my stereo saying “Ugh! Gag me with a spoon!” she disgusted me so much. But it didn’t stop me from wondering what was going on in her pretty little blonde head.
I became so engrossed with the story that I kept messaging Jess asking her this or that or I would give her this theory or that just speculating what I thought was going on. I found that I didn’t want to read anything else but I also didn’t want to take the discs out of my truck because I looked forward to what wonderful mystery I would be met with that day.
Let me pause here to just give a well deserved round of applause to Gillian Flynn. Seriously, her writing is phenomenal and she is great at literally leaving you on the edge of your seat, gritting your teeth—it happened to me every.single.day.
Okay, back to the task at hand…
Before I knew or was even ready for it, I was punched in the face with the right hook that the story threw at me…and let me tell you, it was the best hit I’ve ever taken. EVERYTHING changed everything, and I found that I was rooting for Nick and wishing for the demise of Amy because well, she isn’t so nice; I’ll just leave it at that.
Part Two, I was almost positive that I knew what was going to happen, I kept telling my invisible companions what Amy was doing or what Nick was fixing to do and I did a happy dance in my seat when I turned out to be right. I kept with my insistent questioning to Jess but she wouldn’t tell me one thing, except that I was perceptive (which I am, just saying) in piecing together the clues or riddles or whatever fragmented piece of information we were offered. I found myself having a lot, A LOT of WTF moments and they didn’t subside either.
By Part Three, I had this horrible sensation take over me because I knew, I just knew that something awful was going to happen to Nick. At this point, I was fully Team Nick and Team Let’s Kill Amy—which I realize seems somewhat morbid, but if you only knew what this book put me through…
I could just feel in my bones that something wasn’t right, and well….BOMBSHELL!!!
Yes, I realize that I am leaving you with a lot of cliffhangers, but that is what this book has done to me. I’ve been an emotional wreck since I finished it; I have now an even bigger book hangover than before. Actually, when I finished it I screamed and yelled and had a cussing fit with my stereo. I know it wasn’t my stereo’s fault that it ended the way it did, but I was so freaking MAD at how it ended that I couldn’t do anything but yell. I even hit and strangled my steering wheel because I was so pissed—to the point that I was seeing red. I’ve never had a book do that to me and I didn’t know one could, but it was the best and worst thing all wrapped in one package.
(That’s how I felt after listening to the book and I’m sure Jess felt the same)
There is a lot of profanity and vulgar but honestly, it only adds to the psychotic saddisticness (I’m not sure that is an actual word—oh, well) of the story. The Nick and Amy are beyond flawed but they fit so well with each other and create this amazing toxic dynamic that is a ticking time bomb waiting to just explode. But it is like they said “we were meant for each other.”
And it clenches my basic needs for a thriller, mystery, suspense book that nearly stops my heart. Trust me, you are going to want to give this book a read or listen—whichever you prefer.
On a side note: can we just all appreciate how GREAT Ben Affleck will be as Nick Dunne?
I recommend anything Slipknot/heavy metal because you ARE going to want to listen to ANGRY music after you finish this book. It’s non-negotiable—you will understand.