Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Author Darden North reviews "Gone Girl," a novel by Gillian Flynn


A five-star review is often defined as amazing. "Gone Girl," a novel by Gillian Flynn, is indeed amazing, mostly because of the amazing Amy Elliott Dunne. 

The mark of an intense, imaginative author (Some reviewers call Flynn creepy) is that she has the mastery to make the reader either strongly like or dislike a character. Strong character development does not turn up lukewarm; it has to be either hot or cold. This reader took an immediate dislike to the selfish, manipulative Amy Elliott Dunn, Nick Dunne's antagonist, his wife of five years. 

I would nominate Amy as one of the coldest females in modern fiction, and, perhaps, the cheating Nick as one of the most vulnerable, flawed males. To me, what is truly remarkable about storytelling (and maybe real life) is that some may disagree and consider Amy Elliott Dunne the hero.

The work is written in first-person and told almost tit-for-tat by Amy and Nick. It includes enough foreshadowing and foreboding to make the unexpected plot twists plausible. 

This is my first Flynn novel. I was drawn to "Gone Girl" by a recent article in "Entertainment Weekly," detailing production of the movie version and the author's involvement. 

My one criticism of the story is that it ended too soon. Maybe the movie will fix that.


----- Darden North is the IPPY award-winning author of four novels, most recently "Wiggle Room." He lives in Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife Sally where he is a practicing physician. His website is: www.dardennorth.com. 

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