Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307588364, June 2012, 432pp.)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

Shameless in the telling. Flynn leaves no stone unturned and the end result is an insane game of cat and mouse.

The Rest of It:

If you haven’t heard of this book, then you’re ignoring it on purpose because it’s everywhere and lots and lots of people are talking about it including Reese Witherspoon who hopes to produce the movie.

So, what’s it about? Why the hype?

Technically, it’s about Nick and Amy Dunne and how their marriage goes very, very wrong. It’s about control and the loss of control and the ability for two people to go from happily married, to anything but. It’s manipulation turned up as high as it will go and it’s riveting.

Riveting.

Absolutely riveting.

However, it was also one of the most ridiculous plots I have ever read. I mean, when you hear that this book is “all kinds of crazy” they aren’t kidding. I think everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong and then even cycled back around to repeat some stuff that wasn’t fully played out the first time around. This book is crazy on a stick!

I was happy with it halfway through, because every time I picked it up, my eyes were glued to the page and nothing else mattered. But after the halfway point, I found myself thinking that Ms. Flynn was just fooling with me. She dropped red herrings everywhere and threw in some really incredible things for shock value but none of it, NONE OF IT surprised me and most of the time I could even see it coming.

I think this book is doing well for many reasons. One, Flynn can write. Two, when everyone says it’s crazy, you’ve gotta to know why. Three, it’s fun to be on the other side of crazy, where you can watch this train wreck unfold from the comfort of your home and not have to know these people in real life. Four, it’s a page-turner and for its entertainment alone, it’s worth the price you pay for it.

So, I have mixed feelings about it. I liked it for its entertainment value and I liked being able to discuss it with others who have already read it. There is a lot to discuss with this one. However, it didn’t surprise me or wow me or even shock me. It was predictable and parts of it were so ridiculous that I sprained my eyeballs rolling them.

I got to thinking though, there’s nothing wrong with an entertaining read. This is a book that will keep your mind off of the smelly person sitting next to you on the train and when the movie comes out, I’m sure I’ll see it.

Source: Borrowed
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42 Responses

  1. This is on my list and every other best seller list there is, it seems.

  2. I have been avoiding it…the hype is too much and I don’t want to have unreasonable expectations

  3. I just got this book and can’t wait to read it. It sounds like it lives up to all the hype.

  4. I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down! I’m a fan of Gillian Flynn’s writing, and if you haven’t read her debut Sharp Objects, definitely check it out. It’s extremely dark and unique.

  5. I totally agree with your review. Thanks for sharing and affirming that I could enjoy the book without really loving it!

    • No problem! It’s the same reason I loved the Harry Potter books. Pure fun. Not necessarily the best writing but fun and fun to talk about with others.

  6. Ti, loved your review of this book. I think you are so right that this book is an entertainment book – meaning it aims to shock and keep you rooted to your seat (just like a good movie would). However, I wasn’t rooted to my seat (as you well know). I found the book to be comparable to one of those true stories they show on E. And the thing is that I really do enjoy books that are written just for entertainment value, I just think that this one was way too predictable and over the top. I’m glad to see I wasn’t alone in not being ‘wowed’ by the book :)

    • I know what you mean about the true story aspect. There was a “lowness” or a cheapness to it. This wasn’t one of those highbrow “whodunits” it was gritty and didn’t show anyone in a good light so it was hard to care about what happened to them.

  7. Interesting review, I just started this two days ago but haven’t gotten very far, but I’ll admit I’m even more curious now! I’ll be back with more when I finish :)

  8. I thought this book was utterly insane, and the ending baffled me. I mean, what the hell? But, like you said, it was riveting and captured my attention in a way that it hadn’t been captured in a long, long time. The twists may have been out there, but this one was just pure fun for me. I haven’t written my review yet, and there is not much more that I can say that others have not, but my gosh, what a book!

  9. good, entertaining read. plot doesn’t necessarily hold up but still fun to experience it!

    • If I were to rate it as a mystery, I’d probably give it one star. The plot was out there and so obvious, at least to me. But for entertainment, I’d give it 3 or 4.

  10. I’ve been on the fence about this one. It does sound very entertaining, though!

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed the craziness of it! I prefer not to analyze it. I suppose if it had been a book club book, I might have brought an annoying critical eye to it. but oh well! Right book at the right time and it was fun.

    • Even for a book club though, it would be hard to discuss past the ” I couldn’t believe this blah blah” type of conversation.

  12. Oh well…you said it well…

  13. “Crazy on a stick”…I LOVE THAT QUOTE! I think I’m going to get a t-shirt made with that saying!!! I’m glad that you at least got some entertainmment out of it. As for me, heck, you know I loved it! :D

  14. “Three, it’s fun to be on the other side of crazy, where you can watch this train wreck unfold from the comfort of your home and not have to know these people in real life.”

    I am so glad I don’t know anyone like these people because they are so messed up. The ending was really unsettling.

    This review says so well how I felt about this book. It was worth it as an airplane read on the way home from my trip last week. I just wasn’t really shocked by any of it either and that kind of ruined it for me.

  15. See, I read this before anyone had reviewed it. I was on the front end of a TLC tour, and the only hype I’d seen was that the EW people kept talking about it. So I went into it ice cold, so I did not think it was predictable at all. I didn’t know what the hell. I DID think the plot was crazy, but that was the fun of it. And rarely do I absolutely HATE the main characters but love the book. Flynn did it.

    • I don’t think the hype killed it though… If anything he got more people to read it. The only thing that I heard over and over again was that it was a crazy ride. It was that. I’ll give it that but it was sooooooo over the top past the 3/4 mark. For me, anyway.

  16. Have the print version, but waiting patiently for my turn for the library audio copy — have enjoyed each of her previous books.

    • I listened to some of it on audio. The actor for Nick was great, the actress for Amy…her voice was sort of annoying when imitating Nick. I think I preferred the audio though.

  17. Well yeah … OK. I can kind of see your point but I didn’t take it too seriously. I just enjoy being riveted … and it was that!! : )

  18. wow… sounds like a wild ride this one. Thanks for the heads up about RW producing it. Maybe the movie would be more appealing? Showing all the wacky stuff?

  19. Everyone says this one is absolutely unputdownable. You have firmed that up for me. Thanks.

  20. Fast, entertaining reads definitely serve their purpose. Every once in a while when you need to change gears, you can devour one. I think I’ll get this one down the line.

  21. Had to laugh about the “smelly person next to you on the train.” :) Definitely good to have something to take your mind off that. I’ve read a lot of rave reviews of this book, but I would guess that it’s not one that would be as appealing for me (not my normal reading genre).

  22. This isn’t a genre I lean towards… this must be said. I can say I almost hated this book and wish I didn’t read it. BUT I continue to be amazed/frightened with the plots in authors heads! How do they come up with this stuff?

    Would love to email with you on this one… I have a few questions/flaws from a readers POV. I’m sure I also overlooked something since I could put it down… for two weeks then I forced myself to finish it. It would make for a brilliant summer/fall book club discussion though – a lot to discuss.

  23. As usual, I saw NOTHING coming. I am pathetic. Probably a thriller-writer’s dream reader though! LOL

  24. I have a library copy sitting on my end table right now. I like crazy, so I’ll probably give it a go, but I’m glad to have read your review because I think you took my expectations down to a more realistic level. :)

  25. I agree with almost all that you say except the part about there being much to discuss with this book – it was predictable to the point of boring at times, and the characters so self-centered that I don’t even want to admit that I was silly enough to follow them through. Whoever set up the publicity for this one surely has lots of connections or was owed something by someone!

  26. [...] Carlos Ruiz Zafon 44. Hummingbirds by Joshua Gaylord 45. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 46. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 47. Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer 48. So L.A. by Bridget Hoida [...]

  27. […] Ti@Book Chatter: So, I have mixed feelings about it. I liked it for its entertainment value and I liked being able to discuss it with others who have already read it. There is a lot to discuss with this one. However, it didn’t surprise me or wow me or even shock me. It was predictable and parts of it were so ridiculous that I sprained my eyeballs rolling them. […]

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