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Gone Girl Paperback – April 22, 2014
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“An ingenious and viperish thriller . . . Even as Gone Girl grows truly twisted and wild, it says smart things about how tenuous power relations are between men and women, and how often couples are at the mercy of forces beyond their control. As if that weren’t enough, Flynn has created a genuinely creepy villain you don't see coming. People love to talk about the banality of evil. You’re about to meet a maniac you could fall in love with.” —Jeff Giles, Entertainment Weekly
“An irresistible summer thriller with a twisting plot worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Burrowing deep into the murkiest corners of the human psyche, this delectable summer read will give you the creeps and keep you on edge until the last page.”—People (four stars)
“It’s simply fantastic: terrifying, darkly funny and at times moving. . . . [Gone Girl is] her most intricately twisted and deliciously sinister story, dangerous for any reader who prefers to savor a novel as opposed to consuming it whole in one sitting.”—Michelle Weiner, Associated Press
“Gillian Flynn’s third novel is both breakneck-paced thriller and masterful dissection of marital breakdown. . . . Wickedly plotted and surprisingly thoughtful, this is a terrifically good read.”—Boston Globe
“Gone Girl is that rare thing: a book that thrills and delights while holding up a mirror to how we live. . . . Through her two ultimately unreliable narrators, Flynn masterfully weaves the slow trickle of critical details with 90-degree plot turns. . . . Timely, poignant and emotionally rich, Gone Girl will peel away your comfort levels even as you root for its protagonists—despite your best intuition.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Gillian Flynn's barbed and brilliant Gone Girl has two deceitful, disturbing, irresistible narrators and a plot that twists so many times you'll be dizzy.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Flynn is a master manipulator, deftly fielding multiple unreliable narrators, sardonic humor, and social satire in a story of a marriage gone wrong that makes black comedies like The War of the Rosesand Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf look like scenes from a honeymoon. . . . It is, in a word, amazing.”—Yvonne Zipp,Christian Science Monitor
“Gone Girl [is] a thriller with an insane twist and an insidiously realistic take on marriage.”—New York
“Brilliantly constructed and consistently absorbing . . . The novel, which twists itself into new shapes, works as a page-turning thriller, but it’s also a study of marriage at its most destructive.”—Columbus Dispatch
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I realize that this novel is not for everyone. It's about very flawed people, who do terrible things. Gone Girl is gritty, violent, and at times cringeworthy. (Desi's mother's 'signature scent' makes me wrinkle my nose in disgust still.) Gone Girl is uncomfortable. It's not a feel-good story with a happy ending. (Or is it a happy ending? That's open to interpretation.) Gone Girl is original, smart, and staying.
The characters will stay with you long after you've finished.
But the biggest problem I have with the book [spoiler alert] is how the main character fakes rape/assault. So many, many victims remain voiceless because they don't think someone will believe them. And in fact, the victim is often doubted or suspected of not being entirely true. So WHY celebrate and go crazy over a book in which all the accusations are false? Moreover, the main character has done it repeatedly. Portraying that situation in the media does a disservice to every rape/assault victim who hasn't been heard or believed.
I wish I understood why people liked this so well. The writing at the basic level wasn't particularly strong. Neither main character had any redeeming qualities. I finished it and wondered why I even bothered.
Top international reviews
It took me a good 15/20% to get into the story but once I did I was hooked. I have to admit up until then I kept changing my mind about what happened but then it started becoming quite obvious.
It was around this point that I started changing my feelings towards the main characters - Nick & Amy - too. At first I was disliking one and warmed to the other, but then it completely reversed even with everything that kept coming out of the woodwork about them. Go though - I absoutely loved her and her wit all the way through!
I enjoyed the story but I wasn't totally struck on the writing style. I found the use of so many brackets quite distracting as I had to go back and reread the sentence at points. I did like the diary format though and it wasn't confusing for me going from past to present. The ending was a bit abrupt, though I think the story was the right length and there would have been information overload if it carried on.
All in all it was a gripping read and a 4* from me.
As time goes on you find out what is in store for Nick and not only has Amy become more devious she is in control of what happens to him, she has been very patient plotting and planning and to say more will mean too many spoilers. If you like a dark twisted tale this is for you, and throw in a toxic relationship well for me it was a no brainer
Let's begin with the positive. The first half is very well-written and builds the tension very well. 'Did he?' / 'Didn't he?' is very well worked through the first half.
As the second half unfolded it became not only a bit predictable, but also repetitive and fragmented. My edition had 460 pages and by page 300 I was just getting bored. I persevered to the end, and wished I hadn't. The ending is just wrong! It would never end like that if this happened in real life. OK it is fiction, but come on!
For my sins I am a budding author and read this book as part of my plot analysis of best sellers. We (budding authors) are encouraged to put a twist in at the end. Gone Girl doesn't have a twist - not really. What happens at the end left me thinking "Really? Are you for real? Why on earth would you end it like that?" I was left thinking: oh I get it; her agent wants her to write a sequel to Gone Girl - that's why it ends like this. Two-book gig kind of thing. Nope. And please don't write a sequel to this!
There are other strong positives however. The author is very good at creating a reaction in the reader. I was certainly most uncomfortable at times about the way she describes the way that long-term relationships go through twists & turns - and how the partners can see these in quite dramatically different ways. That is just good writing!
So (in my humble view) Gillian Flynn can write exceptionally powerful prose - I just find her plot construction very weak. I think she just ran out of ideas, and thought (probably under pressure of a publisher's deadline) "got it - know how to write the ending quickly." Mistake.
Firstly let me explain why Gone Girl only received four stars. This book was so close to a five-star rating but then the ending appeared. The book should have ended much sooner, instead I was left with an extremely disappointing ending. There were so many places the book could have stopped that would have left me in suspense or even wishing that the writer had written more. Instead I wish Flynn had stopped sooner.
But that is the only bit of moaning that you will get from me!
The book’s narrative is divided between the two main characters – Nick and Amy. Nick’s narrative begins from the day Amy goes missing, while Amy’s narrative (her diary) starts five years ago, on the day the couple met.
The story begins slowly exploring Nick and Amy’s relationship, their marriage woes and their financial troubles. While Nick is constantly questioned by the police and by Amy’s own parents. The second half of the story speeds up the pace as the characters reveal their true personalities and motives into Amy’s disappearance – and there’s a revelation, which was a shock.
The revelations in the book make it impossible to choose who is to blame for Amy’s disappearance. You think you have it figured out, your finger is about to point at someone, and then your theories get destroyed.
This book will make you question how well you really know someone. Do you know the real person or the mask? What motivates them?
Overall you may despise the characters, think that Nick and Amy both deserve each other but you will be completely drawn into this book as you are manipulated by the characters and begin to attempt to solve the crime yourself
There is a lot to enjoy in this book - I haven't seen the film yet so no idea how it compares - but the reason it's a 4 for me is the ending left me a little disappointed. I can't tell if there's a likelihood of a sequel or if the author has deliberately left it in this open-ended way which allows you to come to your own conclusions about what the future holds for her characters. I suspect it's the latter and judging by the reactions of my book club, some will love and some will hate that.
One of the better books I've read this year, will be looking for more of this author's work.
The characters are superbly drawn to illicit an ever-changing perspective of them, from intense dislike to sympathy, from sympathy to vigilance, and from vigilance to dislike. This is a story of manipulation and retribution with Amy and Nick, our two main characters, playing a power-dance of threat and revenge. The subtilities are wonderfully imagined and the precarious interactions are played out in the media where desire and action are keenly observed.
The writing is extremely clever and the layers that are developed are impressive. I understand why this book has received much applause, however, I did feel it lacked pace at times.
I would recommend this book.
And yet it was hard for me to care about this pair; I rooted first for Amy, then for Nick, but, pretty soon for no-one.
I say I didn't care, but I did want to know what happened to this pair who wholeheartedly deserved one another. The end seemed so implausible that maybe, in the skewed world of these two it was what might really have happened.
I really enjoyed the writing and will read more from Gillian Flynn but I hope to like at least one of the characters a little next time.
One of the most interesting things is how much you don't like Nick or Amy. Both are quite annoying, unreliable narrators, who put forward different perspectives on their relationship, and you find yourself trying to guess who is telling the truth. Just as you're sure that Nick must be guilty, there is a plot twist. I had read a spoiler for this twist so the impact was a bit diluted, but I don't think I would've seen it coming.
The second part of the book departs a bit from plausible reality, but is still good as you wonder how it's all going to turn out and if Nick will go to jail, especially as he makes mistake after mistake. I actually kind of wanted him to go down for Amy's murder, he was so annoying.
The only real downside to this book for me was the end. It seemed to go on and on, and then ended with a bit of a fizzle. I don't believe that Nick would've done (or not done, no spoilers) what he ended up doing (or not doing), it just didn't seem that realistic. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining read which leaves you wondering whodunnit, and has lots of layers and things to say about relationships and women/men/parents/the media etc.
I'm not sure exactly how it got so massively successful as it's good but a bit implausible. I would recommend it though.
I am happy to say this isn't the case with Gone Girl.
Firstly, I loved the writing style. It was clever and witty, and made some great observations of modern relationships. The plot moved along at a good pace, with plenty of interesting characters.
I loved the twist, and that it was at the midway point.
Lots of people have complained about the ending, and this was one of the reasons it took me so long to start reading it. I hate an unsatisfying ending!!!!! On this occasion, I would have to disagree with those reviewers. Maybe, because I wasn't expecting a complete resolution, it didn't bother me as much as it would have. So, don't be put off, the ending wraps up all of the loose ends, you just don't get to see how it all pans out long-term, though I could hazard a guess!
I will definitely be reading more from this author.