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Showing 1-10 of 35,658 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 43,815 reviews
on February 4, 2016
So I can't remember the last time I read a thriller, or if any of the books I've read prior to this one even qualified as a thriller. I took a chance because the last fantasy book I read, I hated, while damn near the entire rest of the fantasy community loved it, convincing me I must have something wrong. In short, here's a review of the thriller Gone Girl by non-thriller reader.

I'll be right up front and say the first half of this novel was quite a slog. It moved at a glacial pace, but the subject and plot was interesting enough to keep me plodding along, and new develops popped up often enough that I felt just "okay" about it right til about 50%. Then things hit the fan, and I gotta say, it was pretty exciting to read.

How exciting, you ask? Exciting enough that when I got finished with my workout at 3pm, I looked at TV, my video games, all my chores, and grabbed up my kindle and went to reading. I read for five straight hours, sitting on my bed, like I was a little kid again before video game consoles ever existed, unable to put this book down. That's how exciting it was.

Then the ending hit, and that ending just absolutely sucked. It feels like Flynn was just writing along, and then out of nowhere goes "Yeah, that'll do." Straight mid-thought it felt like to me. Not even a cliffhanger, more like you were watching a movie and then just randomly clicked it off halfway through with no intentions of finishing. It left me totally bewildered and unfulfilled.

Yet here I am giving this book 5 stars, and the reason for that is that 50% to 99% of the book that kept me so enthralled that I just couldn't put it down. I haven't read a book like that since A Clash of Kings, and if I'm not going to give a 5 star rating to a book that makes me read for 5 hours straight, then my standards are all jacked up.

So yeah, in short, first half was so-so, ending sucked, but that last half is gripping and such a ride that it makes it all worth it. I think I'll try another thriller.
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on December 8, 2013
I really struggled with the rating on this review. I was caught up in the story thru the majority of the book (5-stars) but the ending was so abrupt, so disappointing (1-star) that I refuse to give it a 5-star rating.

***SPOILERS***

The first part of the book is based on the disappearance of the wife (told from the husband's point of view) and the beginnings of the marriage (told thru diary entries of the wife). The husband doesn't appear to be suitably sad over his wife's disappearance, and her diary entries paint him as a less-than-loving husband who may have married the wife for her money. But something is off; you would think these entries would make the wife very sympathetic but they don't. You can't quite put your finger on it. And I found myself saying "I hope he didn't kill her" because even though it seems he may have, he is more sympathetic than she is...curious.

The second part of the book makes it clear that the wife is a major-major-major manipulator. She is really an awful person. But the husband has a nice, young mistress so he's a cheating jerk too. You start getting a little more insight into this marriage and it is an awful one. But what should be the punishment for being a horrible husband? Who gets to dole out that punishment? No question about it, Nick is a lousy husband. But I found myself thinking "well, who wouldn't be if they had such a crazy wife?!" And when Amy starts to suffer a little bit (at the cabin, with Desi), you don't even feel sorry for her because she is such a repulsive person.

So now we're at the third and last part of the book. We know what happened with both Amy and Nick. And because we've been conditioned to expect everything to get wrapped up neat in a nice bow, I found myself waiting for it...and waiting for it...and waiting for it. It doesn't come. To add insult to injury, the story that had been so engaging now becomes ridiculous: the pregnancy just was not believable; what was the deal with the dad's mutterings? why was Amy whispering in his ear? Are we sure it's not Desi's child? How to pay for IVF? No husband consent for IVF? What about the guy in the casino? Casino's have great security and nothing was caught on tape with Amy and Desi? Desi is loaded but there is no security tapes at his cabin? This ending felt rushed and incomplete and (worst of all) unsatisfying.

I totally get why some folks gave this book only 1-star; it's the frustration factor. I was really into the book and enjoyed it until the end.
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on August 13, 2014
Can't give Gone Girl more than 1star. In the beginning, I liked the main character(s), and thought the author's diary technique unique. This became tiresome after awhile, though, because neither character had a unique tag or pattern.

The author telegraphed too many of her "twists" and the story quickly unraveled. (Spoiler ahead). Worse, after Amy was revealed to be a straight-up sociopath, I found it impossible to identify with her or any of the characters. I didn't " like" anyone in the story, and there was no one to root for. Just a collection of selfish jerks.
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on July 9, 2016
A fascinating missing person/murder mystery, flawed only by unrealistic characters. Gone Girl tells the story of Nick Dunne, Midwesterner turned New York City magazine writer who falls in love with the Amazing Amy, a beautiful perfect little rich girl, and who moves back to Missouri after both he and his wife get laid off. Amy is not who she seems; she is not the Amazingly Perfect Amy on whom her parents based their careers writing children's book series, and she has, in reality, lots of resentment and anger toward her parents. Though they gave her a huge trust fund, they needed almost all of it back (borrowed) to pay off their mortgages and debts. Now living in the Midwest, which Amy views as Hell on Earth, Amy also discovers that her "perfect" husband, who has long since stopped being perfect, is also having an affair. She decides to get back at him by staging her murder, getting him implicated, and then actually killing herself after he's in jail. She changes her mind about killing herself, and that's when the story starts to get even crazier than Nick thinks Amy is. She has apparently been lying her entire life, making up stories of stalkers, rapes, etc. and ruining the lives of her friends, boyfriends, acquaintances if they got more attention than she did. Now Nick's girlfriend/mistress is getting more attention, so Amy decides to put it all back on herself. She stages her "kidnapping" and disappearance, leaving clues for Nick on their annual anniversary "Treasure Hunt," that let him know she knows about his infidelity. Then she goes and seeks out an old boyfriend, whom she claimed tried to commit suicide in her dorm room after she'd broken up with him, and tries to hide out with him, only to discover that he's controlling, like her, only worse, and her husband turns out to be a better choice.

We're supposed to like Nick, I guess, but he's just a misogynistic adulterer who wants everybody to love him, especially women, and I found myself disliking him immensely. I think we're supposed to stand back in awe at Amy's Amazing Feat of One Year Planning Her Disappearance and Fake Death, but I found myself disliking her so much, not just the Diary Amy that she claims to have invented, but the Real Amy, who's so incredibly stupid that she ends of getting herself held hostage by the former boyfriend. The poor cops are just morons who stumble around playing Good Cop Bad Cop and being manipulated by Nick and Amy both, but especially by Amy after she returns. I disliked both of these protagonists, and didn't believe any human being on the planet could possibly be so clever as to think of absolutely everything that police and reporters and lawyers might think when investigating a case like this. I read it for the story to see how it turned out, but it ended up being too clever for its own good, which made it convoluted and unbelievable.
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on January 25, 2014
I read, and read, and read to find a point. The beginning was slow, got rather interesting in the middle. I even mentioned I was reading it to people. About 75% through I was bogged down. Where was the point? I didn't have any empathy for the characters. It was a very long book and as the ending came into view, the points were lost, the plot was lost and I was insulted. However, there wasn't an end. Instead it was a slow painful death (which I guess was the point). I was annoyed by the waste of my time and the cost of the book. IF you are looking for a good mystery with an interesting plot, identifiable characters, don't get this book. Try Agatha Christie.
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on February 3, 2015
True to life. Just finished it. Stayed away from the reviews so as not to pollute my own views. Like other reviewers, I became "disenchanted" toward the end with a certain plot twist. But then I finished it. And couldn't sleep. Because I know someone like that (no spoiler alert), a sociopath. A true sociopath. I know what it is like trying to have a relationship (or not) with one. I know the lengths the sociopath will go, unbelievably so, and how it changes the person being played, how the person being played acts, reacts, accepts or rejects. While it may not have been the packaged ending some hoped for, it was not an unbelievable ending. Some guesstimate that 1 in 25 people are a sociopath. I didn't give it five stars because maybe I hoped it would turn out different. A fairy tale ending so to speak. But in the end, it is true to life if one is really dealing with a sociopath.
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on February 21, 2017
Was really torn over what to rate this book....4 or 5 stars. First, I haven't seen the movie so my opinions are strictly on the book. It started a bit slow.....not boring, just slow. That may be more on me, as the reader, trying to figure out the author's style and the voices of the main characters as they take turns from one chapter to the next. Next thing I knew, I was nearly done with the book. I am a huge fan of true crime and mysteries. This is one of the most devious, twisted thrillers I've read...and on that alone I have to rate it 5 stars. Seriously...everything we read seems like a knockoff from someone else successful formula. One hit book on vampires and suddenly that's all that's out there....know what I mean? But this was wickedly delicious and so cruel and twisted...and so believable, so thought out....It's was crazy good! My only doubts on the rating was the ending.....2 pages and I was so disappointed....ticked, disgusted, disappointed. After thinking about it over night,I may have softened my view on the ending. I still don't like it, but maybe I understand it more from the context of the characters and not from what I wanted to happen. Would I read this author again? Oh yes!
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on October 19, 2014
I think there have been only 2 books that I didn't finish because I didn't like them. For the life of me, I can't explain why I actually finished this one. I hated it! There is not one likeable or redeeming character. I hated the endless stream of consciousness, internal monologue in every chapter! I hated the ending! I can't imagine why so many people have liked, much less loved, this book. Will I read another book by this author, absolutely not. Needless to say, I don't recommend this book or author to anyone. And I can't believe I'm writing such a harsh review. I've never written one even remotely like it, but then I've never spent so much of my valuable time on such a worthless activity. Can't imagine I'll watch the movie either.
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on October 5, 2014
I think that the author really did not mean for this book to be a thriller or a murder mystery. Because it actually focused more on characterization than anything else. It was a study, a dissection of a relationship, a sociological examination of what happens to people in a marriage, especially when those people are basically unhealthy, even mentally ill. It also strives to analyze the differences between men and women, how they see the world and each other and how they interpret each other's behavior and deal with rejection and disappointment and anger. As such a study the book works pretty well. As a mystery I found it lacking. I didn't think there were any real surprises other than Amy's behavior at the end of the novel which was inconsistent and confusing and contrived. Basically unbelievable. I know I would have enjoyed the book more if I had had a character that I could root for and care deeply about. And if there was exoneration and peace for that beloved character at the end. That's the kind of story I really enjoy. But that was not the author's intent and she has the right to tell the story as she imagines it, to get her own message out as she sees fit. The writing was wonderful, exciting and unique.
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on May 25, 2016
Gone Girl, now long past its accolades (even an Oscar nomination for Flynn!), is a kind of book whose greatest attribute is how speedy and digestible it is. Even as someone who wouldn't say I enjoyed the book, the way it moves and gives you things to think about is to be admired - I found myself arguing with friends, relatives, coworkers about themes of this book, and considering how easy and quick it is as a read, that makes it more than worthwhile to dig into. That being said, I found it so insanely preposterous. The book follows Nick, a recent transplant to the south from New York after losing his job, dealing with his missing wife in what rapidly becomes a national scandal. Without trying to give too much away, we'll say our central couple each does plenty wrong, and as its cunning center of gravity, Amy, wriggles and manipulates her way through the books machinations, I didn't think of it as a statement of our times (because both characters lost their jobs) or as an interesting view of romance (the way these two torture each other), I just found it ridiculous. It's full of cunningly dark developments - from Ellen Abbott, the Nancy Grace-like succubus of national tragedy, to a long gestating stalker with excellent surveillance equipment - and rather than getting swept up into their ingenuity, they turn into one nutcase bit of highwire plotting after another you can't stop reading just to see what the author imagined next. That's a compelling force in and of itself - it's almost the reading equivalent of hatewatching. Yet as the book barreled towards an ending of utter insanity, I couldn't help but think (1) the book might have been considered misogynistic if it had been written by a man, and (2) the book might have been considered misogynistic if it was a little more believable. Still, I got through it in record time, and there's no doubt it has a personality and daring all its own - all of which make it completely worth the time I spent reading it.
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