Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Crown, 2012
Crime Fiction; 432 pgs

Warning: Possible spoilers.  I tried to be as vague as I could, but still write what I wanted to say about the book.

This is one of those books that everyone was talking about--and still is--when it first came out.  It is a book that polarized readers, they either loved or hated the book.  There wasn't much in between.  I admit the hype put me off the book at first.  The constant barrage of "I never saw that coming!" and "Oh my G--!" made me suspicious.  When I mentioned on Twitter about how such simple phrases could be spoil worthy, Charlie from The Worm Hole said, "You'd be looking for something surprising in everything . . . "  And, truth be told, when I began reading the book, I didn't trust anyone and suspected everyone.

Amy and Nick seemed well matched.  Two young people looking for love.  He a mid-Western writer and she a writer from New York.  They meet with hard times when they both end up losing their jobs.  Nick decides to move them from big city New York to small town Missouri to help his twin sister care for his ailing parents.  Neither Amy nor Nick are very happy at this point.  Then comes their fifth wedding anniversary.  Amy goes missing, believed to be murdered.

By the time the pair moved to Missouri, I knew.  I had the characters pegged and knew exactly where the story was going to go.  Gone Girl made me realize just how spoiler-y the simple phrase of "I didn't see that coming!" can be.  Admittedly, I'm already a problem solving reader.  When I pick up a mystery, my brain just automatically starts moving the pieces of the puzzle around to find their perfect spots.  It is something I do subconsciously.  I have never been able to completely shut that part of my brain off.  So, would I have picked up on the clues had I not been told over and over again that I should expect the unexpected with this novel?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It's hard to say.

In the scheme of things, I am not really sure it matters.  The truth is I really, really, really liked this book. Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer.  I was pulled in from the first sentence and the book slipped into my dreams the night I began it.  Let me tell you, I had the most disturbing dreams while I read this book. 

I was fascinated by Nick and Amy, by their relationship and them as individuals.  They intrigued me.  Amy's character in particular.  I loved how smart she was on one hand and yet how like a child she was in the more emotional sense.  Gillian Flynn did such a good job of building her characters and their backgrounds that they seemed so real.  I could almost touch them as I read about their lives.

I will give Flynn this.  I didn't know how the book would end, not exactly.  Some of it, yes.  And even despite that I was hoping for a slightly different outcome.  Not that I was disappointed at all by the way the book did end.  Ultimately, I think the most disturbing part of the book for me was the ending.  It made me sick to my stomach, and that's hard to do.

You can learn more about Gillian Flynn and her books on the author's website

Source: I purchased an e-copy of this book for my reading pleasure (and to see what all the fuss was about).


© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

30 comments:

  1. I'm one of the odd readers who liked everyone of her earlier books more than this one. I do want to see the movie though.

    Glad u had a chance to try this one Wendy.

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    1. Diane - I haven't tried her earlier books yet, but I definitely plan to. I'm looking forward to the movie.

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  2. I suspected what was going on with Nick and Amy as well but it didn't keep me from loving the book.

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  3. I was lucky enough to read this way before it was on anyone's radar, so I was knocked completely off my feet. I could see how just one sentence would have changed my experience. But she is an incredible wordsmith. Her descriptions and turn of a phrase is like no other. I would definitely recommend her other two books!

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    1. Sandy - I wonder if I would have been too had I not known anything going in. Flynn does have a gift with words. I look forward to reading more by her.

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  4. I wasn't a huge fan of this one, but I knew far too much going into it because of a book club discussion. I have her other novels on my Nook, so I will definitely try more.

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    1. Andi - Sometimes knowing too much going in can be a real detriment to the enjoyment of a book.

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  5. I suspected what was going on as well but still so many parts horrified me. I adored this book and hope to read her others too. It was so interesting to see the dynamic between these two and eventually how it all unfolded.

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    1. Darlene - The characters were not good people, that's for sure! It was such an interesting book--it was hard to tear myself away.

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  6. I felt the same way about the ending. I thought it was a great one, though. I liked that it wasn't cookie cutter predictable like some other books would have been. In my case, I am not the mystery reader and was surprised. I try not to think about it as I like that element of surprise and don't necessarily want to put it together myself. Not that I would be good at it anyway :)

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    1. Nicole - That ending. Oh my gosh. I don't even want to imagine.

      Sometimes I wish I could shut off the detective in my brain, but it comes so naturally for me to start figuring things out as I go. It's second nature to me. I still enjoyed the book though--and that's what matters. :-)

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  7. I had suspicions about what was happening as well. I don't know if I picked it up from the book or from little spoilery statements I'd seen in the blogging world beforehand. Either way, I did still enjoy the book ;)

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    1. Jennifer - Yes, it was very good! Even if we weren't completely surprised. :-)

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  8. I remember closing this book after finishing it and just sitting there, stunned, for several minutes. The ending was the most horrifying part of the whole thing! I haven't read anything else by Flynn but am definitely going to at some point.

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    1. Carrie - I did that too. And yes, it was just awful. Horrible. I literally felt sick after finishing the book.

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  9. Oh Amy, it took Amy to make Nick look at least somewhat sympathetic! I saw some of the twists coming, including what I assumed to be the big one. But Flynn still had plenty to keep me guessing which I loved.

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    1. Lisa - Haha! I know what you mean. There were moments I found myself feeling some sympathy towards him too.

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  10. I felt as if the author just kept tossing in the most ridiculous things just to shock us. I will still see the movie when it comes out and probably read the second book too though.

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    1. Ti - I really hope there isn't a second book. Is there one planned? Some things are left best alone.

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  11. That is an interesting point if enough people sau "omg didnt see that coming" then you expect it. Hmmm might have to rethink writing that as I am guilty of it.

    Glad you still enjoyed the book though :)

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    1. Mandy - I know I'm guilty of writing and saying it all the time! I never really thought about it much until reading this book.

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  12. This does sound intriguing. :) I've also heard good things from other readers about this novel.

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    1. Steph - I really liked it. It is a very dark novel, and I loved the writing.

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  13. I really enjoyed the book too and what amazed me is how awful both Nick and Amy were and yet I was so invested in what would happen to them. I didn't care for the ending too much but at the same time I don't know how I would have liked to see it end. Great review!

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    1. Iliana - Me too! I really needed to know what was going to happen to Nick and Amy.

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  14. I thought this book was fabulous. I have her others but just haven't gotten to them yet. I'm excited about them.

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    1. Joy - I am really looking forward to reading her other books too.

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  15. REad her other two books!! I love this author's writing!

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    1. Staci - I really need to! I've had them for awhile too, which is sad given I haven't read them yet.

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