Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Publisher:  Crown
Published:   June 5, 2012
ISBN:  978-0297859383
Pages:  432
Rating:  4  out of 5
 

Book Summary:   Marriage can be a real killer.  

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work "draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction." Gone Girl's toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.  (I purposely didn’t include the rest of the summary and I explain why in my review. If you’d like to read the rest, look up Gone Girl on Goodreads or visit Gillian Flynn’s website)
 

My Thoughts:   When Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott meet they’re instantly attracted to each other and intrigued by one another.  Nick’s dazzled by Amy’s beauty and delighted with her personality.  Amy thought Nick was adorable.  When Nick was around Amy, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her.  Nick doted on her which she enjoyed.  Amy wasn’t one of those women who insisted her social life was Nick’s social life.  Nick went out with his friends and work colleagues, frequently.  Amy didn’t begrudge him plenty of time in front of the TV.   And she didn’t hang all over him at parties, eagle-eying his behavior.  Nick could mingle with and speak to whomever he wished when they went out together.  Amy was the type of woman many guys imagine meeting and marrying but rarely do.  She may not have been perfect, but she was a little too good, and too unusual, to be true.  Nick didn’t notice this, of course.  Nick was happy with Amy in his life.  He was in love with the Amy he saw everyday.  As a result, Nick was on his best behavior, the kind of guy many woman would love to be with.  After Nick and Amy married, they remained the same people they were before marriage, unlike many couples who relax their characters and end up displaying unpleasant and unappreciated traits and behavior hidden from view prior to the wedding and the “honeymoon period”. 

To Nick’s utter dismay, his marriage had a honeymoon period; just longer than most at 2 -3 years.  But when the Dunne’s marriage went bad, it crashed and burned.  By their fifth anniversary, when the story of Nick and Amy Dunne begins in earnest, they’re barely speaking a civil word to each other.  On the day of their fifth anniversary, all hell breaks loose and pure insanity pervades the world of the Dunnes.  I’m not going to divulge what any of the craziness is.  I read this book without any knowledge of the story or characters.  I think it was the best way to read this story.  I was completely unaware of what happens to the Dunnes or how nutty and bizarre things become in Amy and Nick’s life.  And things become nasty, painful and frightening.   

Flynn has an amazing creative mind. Gone Girl is divided into three sections. Each section has its own plot within which there are twists and turns, shocks and surprises and complex ideas.  In addition, the story is also very funny at times and completely entertaining.  Flynn has done an incredible job developing Nick and Amy into real people.   Although I can’t relate to or sympathize with either of them, Flynn does a very good job helping the reader understand why Amy is such a crazy, manipulative woman and why Nick needs everyone’s approval.  The secondary characters are also recognizable and some, such as Andie, are amusing, especially when described by Amy.  Flynn’s writing is exceptional and thoroughly enjoyable. 

I was completely hooked on this book until about halfway through the second section.  I felt at that point the story became a little ridiculous, out-of-control and predictable for most of the remainder of the story.  I was also aggravated by some of the characters, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  And, even though I expected much of what happened in the rest of the story, the writing was still wonderful, certain characters were still their delightfully nutty selves and I was still being thoroughly entertained.  Things could be much worse!  So, although I preferred the first part of the book, I never considered putting Gone Girl down for good before I finished it.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it.  I’m looking forward to reading Gillian Flynn’s other books: Dark Places and Sharp Objects.

22 comments:

  1. I'll be reading this one soon with some members of my book club. I have such high expectations for it, but I'm glad you have a more balanced review here. I must admit that I'm not looking forward to the ridiculous, predictable aspects of the story, but we'll see what happens.

    Btw...it's been so long since we've chatted. I hope you are doing well!

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    1. I had high expectations, too, which I always think is unfair to the book and the author. But I'm very happy I read the book, it's unlike anything I've read before and it's very entertaining and clever. I hope you enjoy it, Anna. I'll be watching for your review as I'm very interested in what you think of this book.

      Thank you! I'll email you soon!

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  2. I really want to read her other books too. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. But yeah, the first half was definitely the best half.

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    1. I'm going to get myself to the library one of these days to see if they have Gillian Flynn's earlier books before they get pushed to the back of my mind!

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  3. Her other two books are just as good. I love her turn of phrase and her unflinching approach to the dark murky stuff.

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    1. She sure doesn't shy away from the uncomfortable, scary things, which is great. I'm so happy to read you found her other books as good. It's great to know I have some books to look forward too!

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  4. I really liked this one too and had my suspicions early on.

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    1. I'm glad you really liked this book, Kathy!Having suspicions early on or knowing where the story's going doesn't always work for me in mysteries but it didn't bother me so much here. I s'pose partly because there was always a lot going on and it was all so well done.

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  5. hmm might add this to my list,xx Rachel

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    1. Definitely give it a try, Rachel. I think you'll be surprised, shocked and entertained!

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  6. I never expected anything! I always admire readers who can figure stuff out in advance! :--)

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    1. Thank you! I'd rather just enjoy the story especially one as good as this and not think too much ahead so I'd prefer not to expect anything...it's just I find it difficult to turn my brain off once I stop reading for the night and start thinking. Oh, well, whaddya gonna do?! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I've read every book this author has written. This one was my least favorite - think I rated it 3.5/5.

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  8. It started to turn south for me about the same time, Amy! And then the end just ticked me off.

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  9. I loved the first half too. It really pulled me in but the second half was all over the place and stuff was tossed in for shock value. I lost interest in it by the end. Of course, when the movie and sequel comes out, I will probably still watch and read just to see what she does next.

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  10. Gah, so torn! I hate domestic thrillers -- I get so caught up and stressed -- but I also hate being the last one to the party. Plus, one of my favorite actresses was just cast as Amy, and I love to read a book before seeing the film.

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  11. I agree - the second half of the book did really start to get ridiculous but you're right that Flynn's writing will keep you reading!

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  12. Read it!! I've read this author's prior two novels and they were good. This is fantastic! Start with this one if you are new to Ms. Flynn.

    Charmaine Smith (View Website for Bankruptcy Attorney Chicago Law Office of Lorraine Greenberg)

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  14. I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind some bad language and some sexual situations, and who likes to read page after page just to see what happens next. A great read!

    Mica
    Visit my site for Seattle Senior Housing resource

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