When Gone Girl came out in 2012 and was greeted with yelps of praise throughout the mystery world and beyond, I was, at that point, overdosed on mystery, having put in two terms as a reader of mysteries for the Edgar nominations, as well as having produced seven (one never published) mysteries of my own. I was also at the beginning of the very long bout of research and writing that would eventually produce my non-mystery Civil War novel And the Crows Took Their Eyes.
So I ignored the hullaballoo raised over Flynn's novel. I continued to ignore it when it was made into a movie--even as more and more people talked about it. I soon realized I was adding to the list of things many people do that I've never done-- never bowled, never watched Seinfeld, never had a mani-pedi, never read Gone Girl.
But at some point in the past year, I seem to have acquired a copy of the book. Whether it was a loan from a friend (Louise? Allegra?) or a copy picked up at the library book sale, I no longer remember. But it still didn't tempt me. It's been languishing on my TBR pile while I've been doing a lot of re-reading--a safe bet in perilous times. I've also been busy editing for my class and for a client--a mystery novel, as it happens.
So what compelled me finally to pick up Gone Girl, wipe off the accumulated dust, and start reading? I have no idea. But I began it Thursday afternoon and finished it 24 hours later --breaking only to meet my online class, eat meals, and not much else.
The book grabbed me so hard that I spent yesterday afternoon in a kind of a trance, feverishly reading to see how it all worked out.
The plotting is brilliant--and fiendish. The characters are multi-layered, compelling, relatable, funny, terrifying, and everything in between--and beyond.
It's a masterful piece of work--not unlike the title character. But most of you probably knew that.