I have a confession to make. One that may make a pariah amongst all right-thinking book readers and reviewers.
I often read the back couple of pages long before the end of the book.
It’s a very old habit, and one that I’ve never been able to entirely break. (And since I read about a study that claimed that people who participate in this shameful practice still get the same enjoyment out of books as those who don’t, I haven’t worried about it too much.)
So, in reading Gone Girl, about 30 pages in, I felt that old tug. Just check the back few pages. Go ahead, do it. And I tell you, I’ve never been good at ignoring that voice when it insinuates itself into my head.
And this is a book where that knowledge from the last few pages definitely changes how you read the whole thing. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you (at least, I’ll try not to), but knowing the ending made me read the whole book very differently. And I enjoyed that. I think I would have been frustrated had I not known how it was going to end.
Sorry, I’m an unrepentant sinner.
Gone Girl is what, nouveau noir? Where everyone could be a little bit shady, and crimes are flying fast and witty? Well, it doesn’t have that noir turn of phrase that you get with the great classics of the genre, but the story is solid, and the twists and turns very enjoyable.
Nick Dunne’s wife has disappeared, in a struggle. He reacts inappropriately to some of the succeeding search. But did he kill his wife, or is there something else afoot? That wife, Amy, was the subject of a bestselling series of books written by her child psychologist parents. She was Amazing Amy to the world, and had attracted some stalkers in the past. Are they involved? And what about that diary?
I’m not sure I can tell you anything else without doing to you what I happily did to myself.
But Gone Girl was a fast read, an entertaining one, and if you like a twisted mystery, worth picking up.
Crossposted at Smorgasbook