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Gone Girl
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on February 10, 2013
I don't know how many times I've remarked to others that, given the unsolved murders vegetating in folders by the tens of thousands in cold case file storage rooms all over the country, you just never know who your neighbors and acquaintances really are; what they've done in the past, or are possibly doing now. Maybe even those you think you really don't.

Gone Girl is that remark come to life in modern society. The book is eminently readable from the first sentence. The two protagonists are husband and wife, Nick and Amy, each telling their story firsthand. Amy's, at first, is through a diary. Nick's is simple first person narration. They meet and fall in love, begin a storybook life in New York, then both lose their jobs and Amy's sizable trust fund disappears. After a move to Missouri, to Nick's hometown, Amy's New York persona seems to have adapted fairly easily to life in a small midwest town. But Nick is such a jerk to her! She's trying so hard and he doesn't appreciate it.

Nick, on the other hand, when it's his turn to talk, seems likable enough; if not a bit on the selfish side, and when you're in his POV, Amy seems a bit too prickly and thin-skinned. I went back and forth, feeling they both needed to grow up, compromise, sit down and talk out their feelings.

Not far into the story, Amy disappears. As with any suspicious disappearance, Nick becomes Suspect #1. With his twin sister as his staunchest ally, Nick fights to prove his innocence. However, Amy's diary is troubling in its depictions of Nick's behavior, especially in recent months.

(Note: Gillian Flynn's peripheral characters are recognizable and reflective of our society, especially where "true crime" is concerned. The Nancy Grace character, the media in general, the tabloids, the high-profile attorney, the search parties - all gave the book a very "right now in history" feeling.)

Then came part two of the book. It's a shocker. Let's just say - Scott Peterson has met his match.

I feel that at about the 3/4 point in the book the story got a little too fantastical, but it didn't ruin it for me.

I know the ending isn't popular with many reviewers. I hated it...but not in a "bad review" kind of way. Because as I thought about it more, I had to go back to what I said in the first never really know...
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on February 24, 2013
This is an “amazing” book. Gillian Flynn proves she is a master at understanding how relationships work – the subtleties and nuances and shifting perspectives and multi-layered power plays that are usually inherent in any long-term relationship or marriage. The mystery is good, yes, but the psychology is better; it is outstanding. This book is worth reading purely for its insights into complicated human relationships – the kind that onlookers and outsiders may not understand.

Excerpts as examples:
1) “Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase? So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognize each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.

“And then you run into Nick Dunne on Seventh Avenue as you’re buying diced cantaloupe, and pow, you are known, you are recognized, the both of you. You both find the exact same things worth remembering…You have the same rhythm. Click. You just know each other. All of a sudden you see reading in bed and waffles on Sunday and laughing at nothing and his mouth on yours. And it’s so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine. That fast. You think: Oh, here is the rest of my life. It’s finally arrived.”

2) “Nick is old-fashioned, he needs his freedom, he doesn’t like to explain himself. He’ll know he has plans with the guys for a week, and he’ll still wait until an hour before the poker game to tell me nonchalantly, ‘Hey, so I thought I’d join the guys for poker tonight, if that’s okay with you,’ and leave me to be the bad guy if I’ve made other plans. You don’t ever want to be the wife who keeps her husband from playing poker – you don’t want to be the shrew with the hair curlers and the rolling pin. So you swallow your disappointment and say okay.”

**Spoiler Alert**
3) “I’d already pictured myself with a regular woman – a sweet, normal girl next door – and I’d already pictured telling this regular woman the story of Amy, the lengths she had gone to – to punish me and to return to me…Amy was toxic, yet I couldn’t imagine a world without her entirely. Who would I be with Amy just gone? There were no options that interested me anymore.”
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on December 28, 2014

Where do I begin? This novel is BRILLIANT, plain and simple. The main characters are strong and complex, and the story is totally engrossing, a real page turner.
I have been curious about this book for a while now, before the movie came out, but having read the negative reviews first (I know, my bad, but it's what I always do) I decided against reading it, and I couldn't have been more wrong! After seeing a few gif sets of the movie, I decided to give it a go, and boy was I in for a ride! And I had read spoilers beforehand, but I was still completely sucked in and surprised by the turn of events.

Amazing Amy is a psychopath, but that doesn't stop you from empathising with her and actually rooting for her. Granted, she takes things a bit too far, but I can guarantee there are people far worse than her in real life. The thing is that she does things to get her way and when things don't go her way, that's when her psychopathic brilliance unravels with full force. I that if Nick had not cheated, she wouldn't have gone as far as she did, she would have done something to get Nick's attention anyway, but nothing as crazy as what she actually did. She IS a psychopath, nothing will change that, it's what you don't do or stop doing that will get her going. And Nick cheating does exactly that, sends her into a tailspin (it was actually the cherry on top of the cake: both of them getting fired, having to lend most of her trust fund money to her parents, moving to Missouri...)

I absolutely adored Amy's character! It is such a well written character and so different from every other female character that is out there these days. Nick was very good too.

I don't understand how people can criticise the ending, a Hollywood ending where everything is tied up in a perfect little bow just wasn't possible, and honestly, who would want it?. She pulls the most ancient move of all time on the guy: trapping him with a pregnancy. And it is brilliant, because Nick knows he'll have to stay with her in order to protect that child, to ensure his/her safety, I have no doubt that Amy would go as far as killing her own child if something didn't go as she wanted or if Nick did something she didn't like (accuse him of child molestation or God knows what else). The ending is open, it leaves you wondering, because she thinks she has Nick in the palm of her hand, but does she, really? The question is, how will she retaliate to what he says: "I feel sorry for you because every day you have to wake up and be you", and she says she wishes he hadn't said that and that she can't stop thinking about it. To me it is obvious they will continue battling each other, to see who can outsmart who, Nick being at a disadvantage because he cares about his child; Amy, I don't think she gives a fu**, as long as she gets what she wants.

I loved it, loved everything about it, the dual POV's, the diary entries, all the things she does, which some reviewers say are far fetched, I thought they were believable; a special mention goes to Margo, I really loved her character and the dynamic with Nick. Do yourself a favour and do not read the negative reviews, buy this book, and enjoy it! I'm going to start reading Ms.Flynn's other books now. Hats off to her for writing such a unique story.
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on October 23, 2014
Gone Girl:
I feel a little flabbergasted, let down, restless... I feel the ending of a book needs an ending, yet I don't think I got one. I need, must know what happens next... My conscience will not accept an imaginative extended ending.

It's truly hard to share my opinions on this book, on the characters, and where my head is at without revealing what I feel is left unknown to those who have not read. But one thing I can say is I thoroughly enjoyed this read even though I needed it to give me more.

Dark Places:
You know when you finally peel away all the papery layers of the skin off an onion and then go to cut into it only to find you’ve missed the slimy translucent film that still needed to be pulled away? Well… That’s how you feel reading Gillian Flynn’s novel Dark Places… The twisting plot, horrific people, and ever changing suspects leave an icky sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach. Even so, Flynn has the ability to make the reader connect with these characters with little to no redeeming values. Why must I yearn for them to find a ‘good ending’?

This is the second Gillian Flynn book I’ve read (the first one being Gone Girl) and am happy to report it is yet another page turner. Dark Places takes you through the days leading up to and of a grousome butchering of a mother and her daughters in 1985 while at the same time you’re spending time with the one surviving daughter, Libby Day, in present time as she looks back on that horrific day and to discover what really happened. If you love a good ‘whodunit’ mystery and you’re not at all squeamish, this IS your next read.

The deeper I got into the book the more my mind was consumed by gritty and raw thoughts, especially when I was reading late at night. As I fell asleep with the characters, their actions, their thoughts, and what they were going to do next my psyche jumbled everything together and allowed these characters to leave their fictional existence and enter mine… I’ve always found this a sign of a good book, when you get so engrossed the lines between fictional and reality blur you’re forced to step back and remind yourself the characters do not exists. I immediately started reading Flynn’s novel Sharp Objects after finishing Dark Places and as I was drifting asleep reading the pages I kept inserting Diondra (a character from Dark Places) into the pages… At that point I knew (1) Flynn had a done an amazing job at hooking her reader and (2) I was yearning for more out of Dark Places. As with Gone Girl Flynn had taking her ending and set it right next to a beautiful gift box and ribbon… Not quite nice enough to put in the box and tie the bow… leaving me feeling cheated of that ‘good ending’ (with no lose ends) I desired.

Sharp Objects:
Gillian Flynn has the ability to deliver a raw and wicked mystery again and again, leaving the reader (and the characters) feeling unwell. This is the third book I’ve read by Flynn and I once again loved the journey she took me on and I will undoubtedly pick up the next she writes.

In Sharp Objects we take a journey with journalist Camille Preaker back to her home town to unveil the mystery of recent murders of two preteen girls. Along with Camille we unravel secrets that the Wind Gap locals never thought would see light. In guessing who committed such heinous acts to these young girls I am particularly disappointed with myself. I feel I had my finger on the pulse of the mystery and ending up taking the worm Flynn dangled in front of me, leaving me to ignore the bread crumbs Flynn so carefully laid out for me. Nonetheless, I found my self transfixed with the novel, the characters, the grittiness, the imperfection… If you pick up this novel you will not be disappointed.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 24, 2012
If you read books to study the human condition, than this book is worthy of a PH.D in what it means to be human. Never before have a read such sharp insights into what it means to be in a relationship.

Gillian Flynn nails what it means to be dysfunctional, which we all are to one extent or another, but she never condemns her characters for their faults. Instead, Flynn shows them for what they are, warts and all, and then dares us to love them.

It's not easy to love Nick and Amy because we come to know them so well, but isn't that what being in an intimate relationship is all about? If marriage were easy, there would be no divorces, but in truth having someone know you to your very bone marrow, means that that they just might use your weaknesses against you in the power struggle that is a marriage.

No one admits it, but Gillian Flynn isn't afraid to show it in her amazing new book Gone Girl. Her portrayal of a marriage gone horribly wrong, makes the reader squirm in their collective seats as Flynn shines the light on issues we have but most of us are too afraid to admit.

Here's a bit of the plot, but really, it was almost inconsequential for me. Sure, Flynn writes a tight, suspenseful novel, with enough twists to make you feel like your mind has gone through a pretzel machine, but it's her microscopic view of humanity that hits you over the head with the club of truth that causes you to read far into the night.

Nick, the husband, loses his wife on their fifth anniversary. The house is a mess, and there's a large spot of blood on the kitchen floor that's been cleaned up. As he watches helplessly, Nick is eventually accused of murdering his beautiful wife. For a while, I was rooting for Nick, then comes a plot twist and I'm wondering if he really did it.

Just as I was waiting for it to wrap up, the second half starts and I'm stunned by the next plot twist. I can't even imagine how Gillian Flynn came up with this story, and I'm stunned at how much insight she has into the human psyche. It's like having someone explain quantum physics in a way that you can say you really get it.

I've already read Dark Places by Flynn, and now I can't wait to read Sharp Objects. Flynn has just become one of my favorite new authors.
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on January 17, 2017
Gone Girl Book Review AG

“I’d fallen in love with Amy because I was the ultimate Nick with her. Loving her made me superhuman, it made me feel alive.” (Gillian 202) Amy and Nick seemed to be the perfect couple celebrating their seventh year anniversary. However, that is not exactly the true story. Amy moved to Missouri with her husband Nick once Nick’s mom became very ill and their money was running low. Amy was a New York questionaire journalist and her parents had a series of books called Amazing Amy. These books portrayed Amy as the perfect daughter. Nick was a man who owned a bar with his sister Margo and was a laid off journalist. Although life seemed smooth on the outside, it was a disaster on the inside and became even worse once Amy suddenly went missing on their anniversary. The book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of events traveling through each character’s side of the story and the paths they take. Gillian Flynn creates a twisted story that has the readers pulled in right from the beginning. Did Nick murder Amy or was she kidnapped? Is Amy missing on purpose to escape from Nick? All these questions are running through the minds of the readers as they read this compelling novel. Gillian gives the readers a look into the true complex minds of each character and the twists and turns that occur with each entry, truly making it something everybody needs to read.
My friends and I were very pleased that we chose this book for our book club. Of course, we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. First of all, we had never seen the movie, the author and style of writing was unfamiliar to us, and it just wasn’t a book we would normally read. However, we really enjoyed the book and its twisted ways. The author made the readers feel as though they were right in the epic story with the characters. As a reader of this book, I felt as though each minute I was on another character's side, making the story even more intriguing. I loved how the author had the reader at one time love Nick and then the next hate him and love Amy.
My only criticism for the book is that I was not fond of the ending. The ending was left with many unanswered questions. Although the reader finds out what happens to Amy, there are still many unanswered questions It made me wonder if there will be a part two to the book. The ending had many events occurring without much explanation. There were many areas that left me wondering why did this happen or how did Nick deal with Amy. The conclusion all happened too fast, seeming as though the author did not want to make the book a thousand pages so decided to end it at a random spot that seemed to fit but had its questions.
Overall I recommend this book for everyone. It is not just a mystery book, it is a novel about dishonesty, love, abandonment, and trust. The themes presented allow readers to learn true lessons in life while also reading this intriguing story. I would also suggest reading the book before the movie because I hear they do not include all events or characters from the book in the movie. Also, when one reads the book before the movie, it allows them to put an image in their mind about what they think each character will look like. Gillian Flynn is a great writer and she truly showed her skills in this novel that deserves to be on everyone's bookshelf as a must read. Gone Girl is a book with both thrilling and intense aspects woven into it. The novel does not have one dull moment. Each event that occurred will have the readers at the edge of their seat. It is a captivating book that will have everybody waiting desperately for the truth, what really happened to Amy?
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on January 17, 2017
Gone Girl BD
"Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football..." Amy and Nick Dunne met romanticly at a party and have been happily married for quite awhile. Nick and Amy adored each other very much and enjoyed how their relationship was going, until things started to change. Amy began become a completely different person from the one that Nick thought he originally married. Also, life started to go downhill for both of them concerning their jobs. As life already wasn’t turning out the way Nick thought it would. There was in particular, something very surprising and drastic was waiting for him at home while he was away on their fifth anniversary. Amy was missing and his house looked like a murder/kidnapping scene. After obviously calling the police, Nick was being tested with different things to rule him out as a suspect. Nick understood and wasn’t worried because he knew he didn’t murder his wife. However, after the cops got deeper and deeper into the case, he became the prime suspect.
The book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was set up into 3 parts, each progressing further into the story. The first part included Nick’s perspective of the present day and “Amy’s Diary” of their relationship in the past and how they met. However, the two other parts are different from this. Throughout the book, the perspectives switch from Amy to Nick, which I liked because you got a sense of the two sides of the story. Each time the perspectives switched, they gave you a date in which the events in that time happened. I also enjoyed this because it made it easier to follow along since we had a sense of how long apart or just how long events occurred.
I personally enjoyed the book very much. I loved the thrill and the suspense of the book. I also love books that have a intense twist nearing the end of the book, which Gone Girl very much had. The characters and their personalities were portrayed very well and that made me grow connections to some of them, which i love if books can accomplish that. However, the only thing i didn’t like about the book was the ending and how it left the characters off. Without spoiling the actual ending, it just left me with many questions and i felt bad for how certain characters ended up by the end of the book. It was truly unexpected and if i wrote the book, I probably would have ended it differently. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book.
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on August 16, 2014
WARNING: Semi Spoiler in that you know how I feel about the character of Amy and you know something took a wild turn to make me feel that way but nothing is given away.

Amy Elliott Dunn. 4 Days After Reading Her Last Words

I want her dead. I have thoughts of so many ways to get her dead and have Nick still get and keep what he wants. I find myself waking from dreams...brilliant dreams...of killing her. And her not see it coming. Yes this book is that good. I can't stop thinking about it. And the ending has me so effed up that I literally woke up from a dream and wrote this.

I bought this book but I actually end up finishing it by borrowing the audio version from the library. I think because I listened to it, it had more of an effect on me. I still here the narrator's voice. And yes I really do want to strangle Amy just as a favor to Nick. I loved the ride this book too me on. I've never read a mystery/suspense before and for this to be my first, it was awesome. I'm already reading another of Gillian Flynn's novels and I'm looking forward to the roller coaster that awaits me in those pages.
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on May 15, 2014
This is the sort of book you have trouble leaving, no matter how urgent the demands of living your own life are. While I spent a lot of my reading time thinking, "Noooo!", I expected it to come out all right in the end. My eldest son would love the ending. But I am dissatisfied that a vicious sociopath will be raising another human being. I also want the Ozark ironic robbers back on the scene, Go and Boney happy that Amy is locked away or dead. At the very least I want Go to have Nick' s book on a memory stick and all the stuff in Go's shed sold on EBay. I know that life is not fair, but I like my fiction to be, at least a little. That's probably one of the reasons this book is so good. Of course it's well written but Flynn has the courage to leave the monster in place and the monster in Nick forever blackmailed into submission by the advent of a son. Not every sociopath can have a Hitleresque blow out suicide, leaving his pet psychopaths flapping in the wind. Amy is no Madeline, which should make many readers happy, but not me.
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on October 19, 2014
This is a difficult book to review without giving anything away. It's about a marriage that has begun to fall apart when the wife goes missing. Did the husband do it?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It's told in alternating narrative and both main characters are writers. It's so well-written with such intricate details and insight into relationships between men and women and real characters with inside jokes. Halfway through the book, I was already looking forward to rereading it, and by Part Two I had forced my boyfriend to start reading it. He got custody of the book when I fell asleep and stayed up until 2am to finish it.

Gone Girl is clever, fun, edge of your seat reading. Tonight, we're going to see the movie and can't imagine how they'll translate it for the screen.

-Katie O'Rourke, author of Monsoon Season
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