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Gone Girl
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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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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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What makes Gone Girl so frightening is the deep dive the reader takes into the mind of a sociopath and the extent to which she planned and executed her particular brand of terrifying retribution. It is also a study of what happens when two people who are profoundly wrong for one another marry. In the dictionary under 'toxic relationships' you will find a picture of Amy and Nick. Both are products of the worst elements of their upbringing and neither is particularly sympathetic and certainly not likable. In some ways this should be a primer on the wisdom of being yourself and not trying to remake yourself in the reflection of another.

This well crafted tale treats the reader to the effect that the media has on sensationalizing murder investigations, the tendency of the police to focus on the most obvious suspect almost to the exclusion of anyone else and how the public forms their opinions even while knowing very little of the truth of a situation. All of this gave the novel a strong 'ripped from the headlines' feel and read with the cadence of a Dateline NBC murder mystery.

Gone Girl is well written and gripping to the extent that I had to put it down and walk away from time to time. Several others who have reviewed this book have complained that the ending leaves the reader hanging. Given the nature of the story and the tone of the entire novel, I don't think it could have ended any other way. A happy, all-loose-ends-tied up ending would just would not have felt genuine.

Be warned, I found parts of this book profoundly disturbing, but know that it is one that I will not forget for a good long while.
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This book is a roller coaster ride for sure. You know how the ride up is slow that is the beginning of this book. Then you reach the peak which is part two with its amazing twist and turns finishing in, what feels so quickly, part three. The first part of the book goes a bit slow, concentrating on Nick and Amy. I believe the way it was done was to introduce us to Amy and Nick, lulling us into thinking they are a juvenile and fairly selfish, boring couple. Then with the introduction of more characters the story explodes. Suddenly we discover that who we thought Amy and Nick were isn't necessarily true. There is a reason why I have always told my children don't make snap judgments of people. People are complicated and multi-layered. In part one we uncover the first layer of our couple but in parts two and three we really discover who they are. At first I wasn't all into it. I didn't like Amy or Nick, (guess what? I still don't), and almost gave up reading it. In retrospect I think the author did an excellent job with the unveiling of our couple. The book is a psychological playground. Forget trust. There is no one to put trust in, at least no one I found worthy of it. While there are holes in the story and things you just shake your head at, for the most part I found myself just gliding over them. I was more fascinated by the mind twist that was going on. I believe, as humans, we are all to some extent damaged people. I found it pretty easy to relate to all the damaged ones in the book. I really enjoy analyzing what makes me people tick. I find it fascinating that two children from the same family, raised together, can be so similar yet so different. In this book we see that with Nick and Glo. While Amy and Nick were raised differently there becomes apparent some similarities between them too. Days after finishing this book I am still thinking about that and what were the defining factors that brought those out. I found the story fascinating. The ending was a little bit of a let down for me though it does work, (as well as leaving space for a follow up). I thought about removing a star for the ending but decided since it does work, and stays on the twisty tracks, it didn't warrant losing a whole star. For me, it held my interest and had my emotions twisting in the wind. A total whizbang roller coaster ride!
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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 January 22, 2014
Girl Gone is a DEEPLY disturbing story of two deeply disturbed people. They aren't characters you love. It is not a situation that you love. However, it is well written and hard to put to down and that is why it got 5 stars. (I just finished the book about an hour ago. I am still processing it and probably should wait to write a review, but, there is a real strong urge to shake the experience off like an enormous cobweb and I am hoping this will help.) I am not really a huge fan of books like this one. I am not a huge fan of books where the primary characters are just awful people and trust me when I say the characters of Amy and Nick are just such awful people. I suppose Nick has a few small virtues but his passivity is as bad as Amy's aggression. Sorry, I know that I am supposed to like Nick, but I didn't. He probably didn't deserve what his wife was doing to him, but he kind of did deserve it somehow. I did feel somewhat sorry for Nick when it became apparent that he was going to let himself be trapped, I was overwhelmed with sadness when Amy announced she was pregnant. Envisioning the life of a child doomed to live with Amy and Nick...there's that cobweb thing again...All in all the many, many ways that Amy and Nick play each other and torture each other and yes, motivate each other, makes for some really fascinating reading. In my thinking there is one hole in the plot: once I understood how completely Nick loathed his wife I had to wonder why he would call the police at all. Why not just clean up the living room and move on? She was gone.
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on August 15, 2015
Huh before i started to read this, i accidentally read a MAJOR spoiler,so i had that all the time at the back of my head while reading, resulting in no unexpeted twists.

From the start we have a missing wife, and we have to find out what happened to her and who killed her. The story is told by the husband's POV in the present time and the POV (or diary) of the wife that starts when they met 'till the time she disapears.

The book does more than presenting a case and the resolve of it, the strong point of the story is actually how we get to know the dinamics and changes of their marriage, and their individual personalities and their changes.
And oh boy they are so screwed up in the head!! That was the fun part, i thought from the very begining they were so weird and page after page they turned out to be even more dark and psychotic. They were able to be together in the most complicated twisted way.
I liked Amy's character the best.Nick not so much, he was annoyingly empty,controled, emotionless.

The story criticizes the rol of the media and the influence they have in the public in this kind of cases, and also the 'being someone else and being the cool girl etc' to fit and to be liked,in a extreme way.

I enjoyed the psychological game and getting to know the twisted characters but i felt it had 200 more pages that it should have...and the final, agh! After all they've been through, and all that happen i nedeed closure i wanted to see a winner instead of a final resembling a deflating ballon.
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on June 21, 2014
I finished reading Gillian Flynn’s third novel “Gone Girl” last night. I needed time to figure out how to piece together an articulate thought on the book. I felt speechless, a truly rare thing for me.

“Gone Girl” is about a marriage gone wrong, to put it simply. It’s about trust, how one loses someone’s trust and how it is never fully returned, really. It’s about the vicious media, and how a story is often sensationalized in the interest of ratings. It’s about how resentful family can be. It’s a story that is about so many other things than what you may originally pin it as. The themes are vast, endless and fascinating.

Amy and Nick have been married for almost five years – on their fifth wedding anniversary, she goes missing under exceedingly mysterious circumstances. Her parents used her (their only daughter) as a subject for a young-adult novel series called “Amazing Amy,” so the media is all over this. Nick is automatically assumed to be the prime suspect in the case, in a story that is growing more sensationalized by the minute.

“Gone Girl” is much more than the standard mystery novel that you might think it is. It’s more about the strains that are put on two people who have made the possibly deadly choice of spending their lives together. He has secrets – she has secrets. There are two sides to any story, and after the first half or so of the book, you learn that both characters have a lot to hide, and weren’t necessarily being honest in their narrations.

The ending was disliked by a lot of people, simply because it’s not the ending that you may have expected considering everything that happened before it. While not giving too much away, the story ends on a realistic, yet thoroughly haunting note. The more you let your mind process the ending, the more you’ll like it; hence why I took a good twenty-four hours or so to figure out how to write this review.

Gillian Flynn proves herself as a masterful author; this is a story that works on many levels. It’s a Hitchcockian mystery, and a gripping portrayal of a marriage on the rocks, which was clearly inspired by the classics – Richard Yates’ “Revolutionary Road,” and Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” It takes the best from these books, and every murder mystery you’ve ever seen or read, and combines them into a novel that – most miraculously – feels original.

Neither Nick nor Amy is the protagonist – both are intensely developed characters that we root for, feel disappointed by, hate, love, and detest at various points throughout the story. The ending is a head-scratcher, but it’s one that makes total sense – this is how this story would end in reality. Married people might wonder who the hell they’re sharing their bed with, and everybody will recognize a universal point. Everyone is capable of extreme good and extreme evil – we only know exactly what we’re capable of when we hit a breaking point, and from there it’s anybody’s guess.

Grade: A
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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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