Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
What It’s About:
On the morning of Nick Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, his wife Amy goes missing. The police immediately suspect Nick. The mystery unravels as we get to know Nick in present time throughout the investigation and Amy through her past diary entries.
This isn’t normally the type of novel that I read. I’m always reading Stephen King (or Dean Koontz when I need something lighter than King) or the tons of quite good young adult fiction that’s floating around these days. But sometimes I grab one of these best seller types for proper “adults”. I really did enjoy the story in this book and would possibly read one of Flynn’s other books in the future (after Doctor Sleep, of course).
This book is pretty much impossible to talk about without spoiling the entire story so I’ll have to focus more on the characters. It’s definitely the story that had me hooked. I always prefer when the main characters are likeable in books and in Gone Girl they definitely aren’t. Nick & Amy got on my nerves. They’re both writers (absolutely nothing wrong with writers! I’d love to be able to be a writer!). But sometimes I find this a little annoying in books. I know you often “write what you know” so that’s why books so often feature writers (hell, King is the worst for this & I love his stuff). Nick & Amy are both a little pretentious & totally selfish and the things they do and the way they act just didn’t feel very realistic. The way they bicker is more like a couple who has been together for YEARS & maybe had kids and all that – it’s hard to believe a marriage is so awful after only five years but, then again, they both seem like extremely hard people to live with. Amy’s parents are odd, her ex-boyfriend is weird, and past situations involving Amy are too far-fetched. For a smart guy, Nick is a dope who does some idiotic things. The best character is Nick’s twin sister – she provides some laughs. And the main investigator is okay. But none of the characters in the book felt “real” to me, even though they were very well written. Gillian Flynn does do a great job fleshing them out & I felt I knew them very well by the end of the book – I just didn’t “like” them.
The story, however, is great. Lots of twists & turns that constantly keep you guessing. I take ages to get through a book but I finished this one pretty quick as I wanted to know what would happen. I liked how the story is told from two sides (Nick’s story as it happens & Amy’s story through her diary). It was an interesting way to get to know the characters. Unfortunately, the first half of the book was better than the second half and the story does fall apart a bit. Then… The ending. I won’t say a word but that must have divided people. I wasn’t crazy about it but it sort of makes sense. It will be interesting to see what they do with the movie. It could make a very good movie if done right. It’s being made by David Fincher so it has potential. However, it’s also starring Ben Affleck so… Maybe not. SO wrong for the part of Nick! Rosamund Pike doesn’t seem a bad choice for Amy, though, so we shall see. Oh, and Doogie Howser is in it, too.
Gone Girl is an exciting psychological thriller that constantly keeps you guessing with its twists & turns. Flynn has written a very entertaining story that seems destined for the big screen so I’m not surprised that we’ll be seeing the film soon. The main characters, although unlikeable and almost impossible to relate to, are richly developed & very complex and you’ll feel like you know them by the end of the book. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a thriller with a good mystery you won’t have completely figured out by the second page.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Seems like people have been going nuts over this book. I might give it a chance, though I’ve heard a lot of people say what you’ve said–that the characters are very hard to like. I’m trying to decide if that would bother me too much…Lol.
Well, I’d probably recommend the book anyway as the story really was enjoyable. I normally HATE books with such unlikeable characters but, in this case, I’d say the story does make up for it. And, if you’re anything like me, I prefer to read the book before the movie and the movie will be out next year. 🙂
I’m curious as to why your score’s only a 3.5/5. You didn’t seem to have anything negative to say other than the characters are hard to like. There are lots of books with unlikable characters, but there’s no one out there like Amy Dunne. She’s a literary character in a class of select company. Stephen King’s written a lot of books where it’s hard to find anyone to root for. I think Nick’s sister is very likable, if you’re looking for someone with a semi-normal p.o.v., but this book is just masterful. I think it had the best mid book WTF moment I’ve ever experienced. This was my book of 2012 (of course now that I finally read The Fault in Our Stars, i’d bump it to #2). The movie version of this with Rosemund Pike and Ben Affleck as the Dunnes and David Fincher directing comes out next year. I’m glad you went out of your normal zone and tried it though. Flynn is dark and twisty, but she’s one of the best young authors out there.
The Fault In Our Stars was very good – reviewed that one a little while ago as well. 🙂 Of all the books I’ve reviewed on here (maybe 5 or 6? I stick mainly to movies!), most were 4/5 & I had to admit that I enjoyed them all a little more than Gone Girl (although 3.5 is still a good score!). 🙂 The story was very thrilling & the book was great fun to read but I DO have a hard time with unlikeable characters (yes, even from King. In my review for Joyland, I had a rant about just HOW much I hated the characters in Under The Dome, making it one of my least favorite King books). Agree that the sister was my favorite character in Gone Girl – I don’t know the actress playing her from anything else but I really hope she’s right for that part. I think Flynn is a very good writer based on this book, though, so I wouldn’t say no to reading another book of hers.
I was ribbing you, I know you’re fair and I was mostly glad you read it. Flynn is amazingly talented and young. She used to be a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly. Her other two books are very very very dark. This is the least dark book she’s written, but she GETS the dark side of the moon of the human psyche better than anyone I’ve ever read. I miss Stephen King’s EW columns lol. They were so random and crazed. The best thing he’s written in years is this little single (you can find it in the Kindle store for like a buck) called Guns. He wrote it after the Stonybrook massacre and it’s basically this rational (I know, odd for him, right?) look at guns and their place in society coming from a guy who’s owned them his whole life. I wanted to bear hug the man.
My book club read this and overall we probably scored it about as much as you did. The idea and the way it is written is very impressive but some of the storyline is quite contrived in order to make the mid-book WTF (as sleeplessdave calls it) work.
Yep. Exactly! It was a very enjoyable read but… Yeah. Some things just didn’t work. Fun but far from perfect although I think she’s a very good writer so certainly wouldn’t avoid other books of hers.
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Great review lady, just checked it now. We scored it similarly. It was an entertaining read for sure!
Yep! Was hoping to LIKE the characters a bit more but the story was exciting. 🙂
I don’t know if Flynn knows what it is to write about a likable character…
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