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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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2017 Southeast Region Writing Conferences

"Writer's Digest" is sponsoring writing conferences in Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee in 2017. The magazine's editors will be speaking and literary agents are scheduled to be on hand for one-on-one pitches.

For more information, check out these links:
      February 24, 2017 alabamawritingworkshop.com
      April 22, 2017  neworleanswritingworkshop.com
      July 22, 2017  tennesseewritingworkshop.com 
I received a tweet message from The Writer's Digest team about the conferences and thought I would pass along the information. An email contact was also provided: chuck.sambuchino@fwmedia.com.
If you are a budding or blooming writer, you might want to check out these opportunities.
----- Darden
Darden North www.dardennorth.com

New novel by Darden North - Release set for June 15, 2017

In "The Five Manners of Death" there are five ways to die. Surgeon Diana Bratton believes that homicide is the only one left. Then the police prove her wrong. Diana learns that murder is her family secret. After a construction worker unearths a human skull on the campus of the University of Mississippi that dates to the 1960s, an older woman’s desperate attempt to erase history counts down the five manners of death. Surgeon Diana Bratton is surrounded by bodies after the discovery of her Aunt Phoebe’s 50-year-old note detailing the five ways to die. Suicide, accident, natural cause, and one death classified undetermined are soon crossed of this list—leaving Diana to believe that only homicide remains. Then the police prove her wrong. 
When Phoebe is linked not only to that death, but to the recent deaths of two local men, Diana is torn between pursuing Phoebe’s innocence and accepting police theory that her aunt is involved in multiple murders. Diana steals precious time from…