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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 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 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 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 December 28, 2014
WARNING - MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

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 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 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 November 17, 2016
DNF

I think this book is incredibly overrated. I tried really hard to like it, because so many people think it's pretty much the greatest book ever. But I thought it was so boring. I kept putting it down and then I just ended up never picking it back up. I don't see the point of finishing it anyway, I figured out what happened to Amy early on in the book. I read a couple of reviews to see if I was right and I sure was! I don't like predictable books. I also don't like slow books, and this book is slow as hell. I've never read any other Gillian Flynn books, and after this I don't plan to.
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on November 21, 2014
I'm not going to try to sugar-coat it -- this is one of the worst books I've ever read, and that's saying alot.

First, the plot is so predictable! I knew the outcome almost from the beginning.

Second, there's not a single character (other than the very minor character of the sister) who is even remotely likable. It appeared Flynn was trying to make sure she constructed the characters to keep the reader guessing as to who did what but, as I explained above, the outcome was so obvious that it was a wasted effort. More importantly, though, she tried too hard, creating characters that were despicable caricatures at best.

How this got past even a half-rate editor is amazing. The writing style is poor at best, grammatical errors abound, etc. Yes, it's okay to bend and even break the rules for stylistic effect, but that's not the case here. Again, it seemed like the author was trying too hard to be something and, in the effort, she merely made matters worse.

This book should -- and could -- have been so much better. As it is, it doesn't even merit the 1 star I had to give it to publish this review. Find something better -- it won't be hard to do.
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