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Gone Girl
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on September 28, 2017
I first read Gone Girl on a camping trip in the summer of 2012. Even early into the novel, I knew that it was like nothing I'd read before. I remember reading this on my ancient kindle, straining to see the screen in the dim light of the campfire. I didn't want to put it down. I finished the book in two days, and I was sad to see it end. As soon as I finished, I wanted more. I ended up downloading Flynn's two other novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places, but they still didn't quite fill the void that Gone Girl had left. (Dark Places was better than Sharp Objects, IMO.) Ever since that summer I've been searching for another life-consuming whirlwind read like Gone Girl, and I have yet to find anything that measures up.

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.
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on October 18, 2016
I bought the book once, got about 6 pages in and returned it because I didn't like it. I purchased it again not realizing this until after and thought maybe it will get better so i read it. The beginning of the book was written strangely, the characters were unlikable and the ending was one of the worst I've ever read. The ending ruined the whole book and the main characters were boring, un-relatable and uninteresting. The whole book actually made no sense because the main characters didn't even like each other so there was no reason to go to the extent in which the book does. The middle of the story was bearable yet could have been so mich better! I wish I never purchased the book and can not return it.
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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 May 13, 2017
This book blew me away. It starts out as a murder mystery, then becomes so much more. There are a lot of little clues and red herrings along the way, leading you through an excellent mystery. The writing was great. There's some really awesome imagery, but I didn't like all the parenthesis.

I have to recommend not spoiling this book before you read it. Don't see the movie, just read the book. It's a mystery and the fun in reading it came from trying to figure out what was going on.

The beginning is a little slow. There's lots of backstory, and a lot of information to set the scene. There were things to keep me interested, things I noticed that I wondered about, but it wasn't until the half-way point that I couldn't put this down. Everything in the first half of this book it building to a serious turning point in the middle. Once I reached that part, everything changed.

I didn't like Amy at first because she sounded pretentious. You hear her side of the story, and get flashbacks of her and Nick's past through diary entries. As the first half of the book went on I started to like her and I started to believe that Nick had killed her. By the end, I was rooting for Nick.

The ending was satisfactory, but not entirely satisfying. <Spoiler> I really really wanted Nick to kill Amy in the end. It felt like she deserved it, but doing so wouldn't have given him a happy ending. There was a part of me that rooted for Amy at times, and there were even parts that wished Nick and Amy could have what they used to -- so a part of me was very satisfied with the ending, but at the same time, I know its all fake and so it's not really. </Spoiler> It's a very twisted book, but I loved it.
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on March 12, 2017
Brilliant! This is a crime thriller written with panache. Take a highly intelligent sociopath who leaves a tangled web of clues, with no stone unturned for both the police and this disturbed person's prime victim, and you have a 'can't put down' story. It's creepy and frustrating all at the same time, but very entertainingly readable all the way through - and I'm not normally into thrillers! The inadequacy of police being able to convict someone, media influence and a relationship of deception right from the start, all go into creating a hotpotch of injustice which extends to more people than just one as the story unfolds - people that this very sick person has been personally involved with throughout their life. Which is what made the book so frustrating for me, but engrossing, as well.
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on December 26, 2017
I loved this book so much, I wanted to leave at least SOMETHING. A page turner, on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, it all falls apart at the end. IMO
Until now, I’ve never left a review if I couldn’t give 5 stars. Knowing personally the tough process of bringing a book into existence, I didn’t feel right saying a thing if it’s not a five.
It’s sad, really. I’m not saying I could do it better (geez, seriously, this work is Amazing. Pun intended LOL). However, I think the author could have. I get it. I understand, and I’m sure Gillian has her reasons for the way it ended. It was just so..... anti-climactic. Like I seriously think one of them should have killed the other. Or at least left or or or .... idk, just throwing stuff out there.

Anyhow, I HIGHLY recommend reading Gillian’s work. The writing and story are incredible. Again, Until the end. The writing is still freaking awesome, the story just... lacks in the end.

Ok.. enough from me. Now go read it anyway. Really!
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on November 25, 2017
No spoiler here. It's not often that I devour a work of fiction, but I did this novel. Reminiscent of Josephine Hart's "Sin," which happens to be an old favorite of mine, I found this novel brilliant. Flynn has a skill for being the puppet master of her reader, getting me to change my mind about characters--even one's I had a real moral issue with. My initial feelings about this story caused me to put the book down around chapter four. While Flynn is a fantastic writer, witty, hilarious, plotted and psychologically skilled, I worried early on that I not waste time reading a story with such unattractive characters. But I picked it back up, curious about the heroin of this story and unable to find another novel that was as equally clever. I'm glad I saw this through. Oscar Wilde would approve.
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on April 3, 2015
Unfortunately, this supposedly unique story is a just a very derivative hack and shredding of a previously written story. But even if I didn't know this, I would have guessed it due to the uneven characterizations, story holes, illogic, and phenomenal amount of "dialogue" that did nothing more than summarize, summarize, and summarize the other story for the reader. There was so much unneeded dialogue, so much repetition, so many unneeded scene details that it was horrendous and even painful to plod through this trying-to-be-hip-and-icky-sick-profane-to-make-up-for-lack-of-originality-and-authorial-gumption quagmire.
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on January 10, 2015
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

I bought this book because of all the hype surrounding the movie and because friends were asking if I'd read it. It took eleven weeks to get through the first half. I read in bed and kept falling asleep so I was tempted to put it down for good. Then I hit the shocking mid-point and raced though the second half in about a week, dozing was no worry because this section made we want to know what would happen next, how would this be resolved? Questions that never came up in the first half because I didn't care about silly, petty Amy and wasn't so sure about the passive, people-pleasing Nick.

Usually if I don't like a book, I don't review it, but this one puzzled me. Why has such a flawed book generated so much buzz? The major flaws in my humble opinion were the snail's pace (the set-up dragged on insufferably and there was no significant twists until the mid-point) and the often confusing similarity in points of view that left the reader guessing about who was narrating.

What bugged me the most was the shallow, posturing behavior of both characters. They lied to each other, they lied to themselves, and they sure lied to readers. As I moved into the story, I soon saw that the behavior was a shell each one used to hide their true self from the other (and the world). Which they well should, because there were no decent people under those shells, although one was slightly more decent than the other.

I'm sliding into "spoiler" territory, so I'll just add this: Yes, the ending is disturbing and shocking, but by then I was so numbed from being with these poor excuses for human beings that I hardly felt anything at all. Which is probably the book's greatest flaw. If a story doesn't make you feel something, what good is it?
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on September 29, 2014
The stories of Amy and Nick are told in alternate chapters. The marriage of Nick and Amy turns toxic when they lose their jobs in New York and move back to their hometown in Missouri. Amy is unhappy, disappears and is presumed dead, with Nick the prime suspect.

SPOILER ALERT for description that follows. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. At first Nick is worried, then becomes alarmed, as does the rest of the town. Told from alternating points of view, Nick and Amy tell their stories through conversation (Nick) and a diary (Amy). However, their stories do not match. Amy is hiding out and uses her fake diary to lead police to believe Nick is her killer since she has "disappeared." Amy is running low on money when she is robbed by fellow guests of a motel. Desperate, she seeks help from her first boyfriend, Desi. He agrees to hide her but keeps her almost a prisoner.

Amy disappears under very disturbing circumstances. Nick and Amy Dunne were the golden couple when they first began their courtship. Soul mates. They could complete each other's sentences, guess each other's reactions. They could push each other's buttons. They are smart, charming, gorgeous, and also narcissistic, selfish, and cruel. The book ends with Amy writing that she is about to give birth to her son, and that she has written a memoir about her abduction by Desi. Nick had begun writing his own memoir exposing Amy's murderous, manipulative tendencies, but he deleted it when Amy (who knew he had wanted a child for years), revealed her pregnancy. The ending shows Nick and Amy back together, with Nick being kind and gentle, loving the thought of becoming a father. He decides that if he can return to being the man Amy fell in love with, he could be happy and make himself happy.

Things I liked are: Fresh language, humor, irony. Also the anniversary stories Amy conjures up to amuse Nick
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