Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alexis Reads: "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

I finished "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn in a candlelit room, the sickly sweet smell of caramel candles filling the house, lying on my back with the flashlight of my phone, which was held between my chin and my sternum, aimed at the quickly dwindling pages of the book. 

I've owned the paperback copy of this New York Times Bestseller for quite a few months now, but moving, starting a newish job, playing part-time actress, part time assistant cheer coach, and a recent addiction to Sid Meier's "Civilization: Beyond Earth" has left me little time to read. And that is a shame. Because as soon as the power went out and I settled down into the corner of my couch armed with "Gone Girl" and pure resolve to finish the book before the day was done, I immediately remembered why younger Alexis was such a bookworm. Books are AMAZING, people. Instantly I forgot that I am in a county being ravaged by fire and that I had no power, because I was in this tantalizing world of absolute insanity and there was no possible way I could leave until I had soaked up every last page. 

Nick and Amy Dunne are far from the perfect couple, a fact that becomes more and more clear as the investigation into Amy's disappearance on their fifth wedding anniversary goes deeper and deeper.In what I decided to call "tag-team storytelling" the reader gains valuable insight into both sides of the disappearance through the point of view of both Nick and Amy, who is mostly represented by past-dated diary entries. Through this diary we see Nick and Amy's first meeting, their first kiss, Amy's constant wish for Nick to be something more, her fear for their marriage, her anger at having to leave her luxurious Manhattanite lifestyle to move to Missouri when Nick's mother falls ill. Through the course of these interchanging narratives we begin to question ourselves more and more. Has Amy simply disappeared, or did something more sinister happen? What exactly is Nick's involvement in everything? Just like every true crime show, book, or movie, the husband is the prime suspect, with a trail of evidence leading directly to him, including wickedly clever details that not even he remembers or thinks of when speaking to the police. OR DOES HE?

Basically me, the entire book.
Gillian Flynn's writing is hypnotic at best, and thrill-inducing at worst. The whole book, which is
split into three parts that all end with the reader's mouth agape, eagerly turning the page to continue this story that has them reeling in disbelief, is clever, and perfectly thought out. As the story went on, I began to try to think two steps ahead of the narrator, searching for a flaw in all of these perfect plans, and I didn't find one. And where I  imagine the one plot hole, there was later a careful explanation and a few precautions previously taken to cover the necessary tracks.

Seriously, "Gone Girl" is such a smart book. It is full of twists, turns, pure insanity, and minute details that come back to haunt the reader later, but never for a second does this book let its guard down or let the reader out of its vice-like grip. Honestly, I didn't eat for 11 hours yesterday, because I forgot to, and honestly was a little scared that this book would get mad at me and exact its revenge if I put it down, even for a moment. 

I absolutely recommend this book, more than any book I've reviewed so far here on "I Am Unwritten", and I cannot wait to get my hands on Flynn's other two books, "Sharp Objects", and "Dark Places". 

Before I go, I would like to take a minute to thank all of the hardworking men and women that are out there fighting fires here in Washington state. This week three firefighters lost their lives protecting ours, and that is a sacrifice we, as a community, can never truly repay. So thank you to all the firefighters, from all of us.

Alexis Olmstead is a bookworm, actress, assistant cheer coach, and the mother of three fur children, Scout the Cat, and Haida and Brego the Huskies. She enjoys long musicals, anything involving Idina Menzel, Meryl Streep, or Anne Hathaway, spending time with her family and friends, and a good glass of whiskey. For more rants, raves, and reviews, check back sporadically. 


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