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Gone Girl: A Novel Audible – Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 42,930 customer reviews

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By William Merrill VINE VOICE on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the first few pages of Gillian Flynn's new novel Gone Girl, I was thinking, "This is it -- one of those rare novels that's unique and totally engrossing, cleverly plotted so that each new development has me astounded and eager to find out what happens next." Then the story continued as Midwestern husband Nick began to deal with his wife Amy's sudden disappearance and some gradually revealed details that might cast doubt on his own innocence in the matter. During that time, the book dropped down from the level of extraordinary to merely somewhat intriguing. However, once I reached Part Two of Gone Girl ("Boy Meets Girl"), it was like Ms Flynn kicked it up a notch, and the book became amazing again. Without giving any spoilers, Part Two unveils some major plot twists that cast Amy's status in an entirely new light. From that point on, the story moves along in powder keg fashion: the fuse has been lit, and it's only a question of how long 'til the explosion, and how much damage will be done when it happens. Flynn has a distinctive writing style that really involved me in what was going on with her two main characters. I had previously purchased but not yet read her Dark Places (after several recommendations). Now I will have to read it, and also get her first book, Sharp Objects. Only one warning, though: Gone Girl contains a fair amount of foul language. This was not a problem for me, but it might be for some readers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Does the ending of this book leave you a) wishing you hadn't read it in the first place; b) asking, "where's the resolution?" c) feeling thoroughly unsatisfied; or d) all of the above. Answer: d

Think of a life experience you've had that started great only to bomb out at the end. Like a promising date that was going really well--only to be ruined by a nasty argument at the end of the evening. You go to bed feeling empty, unfulfilled. That's what reading this novel was like for me. Starts great, quickly becomes a can't-put-it-down page turner, then completely fizzles at the end, leaving you unsatisfied with the novel's lack of resolution.

That said, I agree with most of the positive comments about the book: "Fiendishly clever," "Totally engrossing," Gripping and addictive." "Well-plotted," etc. Does Gillian Flynn have excellent writing chops? Does she masterfully develop psychologically complex, multidimensional characters? Present penetrating insights into the nature of modern marriage and relationships? Write pitch-perfect dialog? Absolutely. She just needs to learn how to finish. Develop resolution.

One thing Flynn might want to learn to use to her advantage in future novels is the "recency effect," which simply states that the last thing you see or experience in a given situation or event is more accessible in your memory, and therefore more likely to be remembered by you then those things that occurred in the beginning or middle of the experience. Given the novel's lack of resolution and totally unsatisfying ending, the last thing I remember about the book is my feeling of utter disappointment.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Amy and Nick are married for five years, but there is not much harmony left. All of a sudden, Amy is missing. And from there, a more and more surprising and devious plot develops, cleverly and elegantly put together by a very talented writer.

It is difficult to talk about the plot without risking spoilers. So let's say this: It is not a conventional thriller. There are twists and totally surprising developments, we are getting manipulated and are lied to by both protagonists. It's not only a thriller, the book is also about unconventional truths about love and marriage. Sadly, the ending is a disappointment. Best not to expect too much from it and just enjoy the reading of the novel as such.

The book is always straightforward and readable, but maybe there are a few digressions too many. I can't help but feeling that nowadays thriller writers feel the need to expand their books to 600 pages when 400 would have done just as well. That's stupid, because it automatically weakens the suspense.

Gillian Flynn really deconstructed love and marriage here a lot, so I have a suggestion for readers who would like to read a (shorter) crime novel which is thrilling, full of dark humor and lets you believe in love again: Heads Off (A Lisa Becker Mystery).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was totally engrossed in this book in the beginning. I liked the way the story was told from both Amy and Nick's perspectives; it made it difficult to know what was really going on because I wasn't sure who to believe. In Part 2 several surprises are revealed that make the story even more engaging...until it isn't. Towards the end of Part 2 the twists and turns stopped being intriguing and just seemed over the top. The characters stopped being flawed and interesting and instead just seemed incredibly unlikeable. And the ending is just terrible. I cannot stress enough how much I hated the ending. I have never read a book before that took me from not being able to put it down to wanting to punch someone in the face out of frustration. So my advice is this: if you really want to read this book, check it out at the library. Don't do what I did and pay the Kindle price!
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