It almost requires a game board to show how Nick and Amy move through this book … the game Ms. Flynn has in mind is a two-sided contest in which Nick and Amy tell conflicting stories … Like many a less clever unreliable narrator, Nick likes lies of omission. The reader has to figure this out very gradually, because Ms. Flynn is impressively cagey about which details she chooses to withhold … Gone Girl is Ms. Flynn’s dazzling breakthrough. It is wily, mercurial, subtly layered and populated by characters so well imagined that they’re hard to part with — even if, as in Amy’s case, they are already departed.
Flynn’s particular specialty is ‘unlikable’ narrators: Not freakish killers, but ordinarily selfish, resentful or sarcastic types, the kind of characters that readers often seem to dislike because they offer an uncomfortable reflection of their own mundane shortcomings … Gone Girl has two such narrators, the halves of a broken marriage...and the novel has two mysteries: What happened to Amy, and what happened to Nick-and-Amy? … For the first half of the novel, these two contradictory yet strangely harmonized accounts of the marriage’s decay command most of the attention … You couldn’t say that this is a crime novel that’s ultimately about a marriage, which would make it a literary novel in disguise. The crime and the marriage are inseparable.
One of these narrators has to be unreliable. Maybe both are. It becomes apparent in a series of stunning reveals and whiplash reversals that these characters, like the book they're in, aren't what we thought they were. Gone Girl is a story about men and women who live double lives not because they're secret agents or jewel thieves but because as human beings they're incapable of being who they appear to be … Gone Girl is a hall of mirrors where everything is an empty reflection, including the people who live there … Its content may be postmodern, but it takes the form of a thoroughbred thriller about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships.