10 September 2012

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

I don't read mysteries all that often, but this one came so highly recommended by a friend of mine that I decided to check it out. The description also said that it was a compelling exploration of the ups and downs of a marriage, which seemed promising. And indeed, the book delivered. It's a terrific, gripping read, though it does peter out somewhat at the end.

I don't want to give anything away - and by the by, try to avoid reading or even glancing at the table of contents, because it does give a lot away, which is frustrating - so I won't say much about the plot. The basic story is that a guy's wife disappears suddenly, and the book begins by interspersing his account of her disappearance with her diary entries. Their marriage has been somewhat rocky, and the novel is heart wrenching in its portrayal of a floundering relationship. That, more than the disappearance, is what makes the book so absorbing, though the mystery is what makes it a page turner.

Without giving anything away, I'll just say that the final 1/3 or so didn't live up to the rest of the book - the psychology of it suddenly turned simplistic and not at all believable. Right as you're hurtling towards the end, when the thrill of suspense should be at its max, it starts to seem... juvenile? Prurient? It not only failed to convince me, all of the characters suddenly flattened into cliches. Disappointing, especially because the first 2/3 are so much fun. Still though - worth the read. Especially well suited for beaches or long flights.

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