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3.9 out of 5 stars10,041
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 25 August 2013
Amy and Nick are married for five years, but there is not much harmony left. All of a sudden, Amy is missing. And from there, a more and more surprising and devious plot develops, cleverly and elegantly put together by a very talented writer.

It is difficult to talk about the plot without risking spoilers. So let's say this: It is not a conventional thriller. There are twists and totally surprising developments, we are getting manipulated and are lied to by both protagonists. It's not only a thriller, the book is also about unconventional truths about love and marriage. Sadly, the ending is a disappointment. Best not to expect too much from it and just enjoy the reading of the novel as such.

The book is always straightforward and readable, but maybe there are a few digressions too many. I can't help but feeling that nowadays thriller writers feel the need to expand their books to 600 pages when 400 would have done just as well. That's stupid, because it automatically weakens the suspense.

Gillian Flynn really deconstructed love and marriage here a lot, so I have a suggestion for readers who would like to read a (shorter) crime novel which is thrilling, full of dark humor and lets you believe in love again: Heads Off (A Lisa Becker Mystery)
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on 20 April 2015
I had heard so many good things about this book and one of my colleagues has been nagging me to read it for years, I've had the book in my locker for many months and just never got around to picking it up. Then the Spoken word CD was returned to the library I work in and I thought I might as well give it a go. I always have a book on CD in my car and this seemed like a great opportunity. I have to say that the readers did an amazing job, they brought the characters to life and really gave them a voice you could believe in.

THe rest of my review will be on the story itself not the audio recording.

The book starts of right in the action and pulls up a number of questions and mysteries that you want answers to, for the first part of teh story I was hooked, I wanted to know what had happened to Amy, whether Nick was involved and just how and why Amy disappeared.

I couldn't have been more invested in the story and I could see why so many people hyped it up, but then we moved on to part 2 and immediately I was like 'What!?', but I was willing to go with it, I didn't like the new development of characters but I kept going. After a while I started to get into the story again and found myself enjoying the storyline once more. There were still things I just had to know and there were some things that really piqued my interest.

And then part 3 started and I couldn't believe where the author was going with the story, I didn't like the direction it took and I found myself just wishing the story would end. I began to get bored, in fact at one point I turned the CD off and listened to the radio again just to get away from it. But I still had that bit of interest and I had to know how it would end. I kept hoping Flynn would flip the storyline again and come up with a really fulfilling and satisfying ending. She didn't!

This book actually made me really angry, I was gobsmacked by that ending, it was the most disappointing ending I have ever read and i couldn't believe that it would finish that way. I literally threw the CD box across my car seat (not so it would damage it, but enough to make me feel better) I can't even describe how much this ending really bothered me. I just expected and wanted so much more, and there seemed to be quite a few plot holes that were totally overlooked, details that I'm sure would have solved the truth behind the 'crime' easily that no one picks up just because Amy says differently.

So this book is amazing for the first part, really good story and build up and suspense and then it all goes downhill.

I know my colleague at work felt differently, she quite liked the ending, but she could see why it annoyed me. It's one of those things you will have to decide for yourself, but I have to say I wouldn't recommend it.
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on 30 August 2013
Deserving of an award for the most annoying literary characters of recent years and lazy overuse of the word literally (as in "She watched his face literally harden"). Flaccid, absurd non-ending, needy, self-absorbed protagonists and interminable navel-gazing on the nature of relationships ("We were so perfect when we started and then you stopped trying"). Half way through I was begging everyone to kill everyone else and put an end to my misery. Literally.
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on 20 October 2014
My sister sent me this and told me I wouldn't put it down, 9 months later I managed to finish it! If I could I'd give it no stars, it is awful. The last third is especially awful as the author tries completely unconvincing to undo what she'd written so far. It becomes utterly laughable. If you are after an intelligent and gripping read keep far away from this book!!!!!!
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on 25 July 2015
This was a good outline of a story but horrible to read. The way it is written makes it hard to get into. I nearly gave in a few times but had paid for it. I felt like it needed to be edited down by about 150 pages. At around the 40% mark I learnt to ignore the writing style and read between the irrelevant rubbish to get the actual story. There are some good twists in the second half but it's not an enjoyable read and some of it is quite repetitive. The writer probably should have spent less time looking through a thesaurus trying to find ridiculous and tedious words to replace perfectly good ones and more time on rethinking the style it's written in.

The characters are not likeable, and are a bit typical and film like. They have no interesting qualities, even though one of them is a psycho they still manage to be predictable and boring. Also I had to remind myself quite a bit that Amy was actually in her 30s and not a teenager as I felt she was portrayed mostly! A lot of it is just rambling about the characters who are dull and selfish. It would go on for so long sometimes about memories I would forget who was actually talking to who and what they were saying. Sometimes I found the main characters both so boring I would forget who's section I was reading. It would have been better to just keep it all as a diary format, as flipping back and forth between the two styles.

The end is just so pointless and seemed a bit rushed, the last 30% is like she realised she rambled so much in the first half that if she kept going that way it would have been about 900 pages. That last section of it is like she was just thinking up more and more ridiculous situations and quite a few bits made no sense. I would have preferred the conclusion just to be left open to my imagination as to what happened to them rather than the unbelievably bizarre rubbish we were fed.

I did like the story but feel it was almost like the book was pretending to be something other than what it basically is.

If I hadn't paid good money for it I would have not bothered to finish it. I don't often review but it annoyed me so much I thought if I could save someone else a few quid it might have made it worthwhile. I haven't watched the film but I'm guessing it's only around the usual 1 1/2 hours so if you want the basic outline of the book save yourself some valuable time and watch that instead!
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Told in the first part by Nick in the aftermath of his wife Amy's disappearance on their fifth wedding anniversary and excerpts from her diary kept throughout the entire time of their relationship. I love novels narrated in this way and Gillian Flynn handles the device with extra special depth; if you are anything like me your heart will drop as revelations are made. As the reader I found myself constantly revising what I'd believed from earlier sections in the book as the layers of truth were expertly peeled away, no single bomb-shell for this book rather a series of explosions.

The second part tells a totally different story, again in two parts which moves the story to a whole new level.... But unfortunately I can't say anymore without ruining this book for anyone who hasn't read this yet.

I love a book with twists and turns but I think it is Gillian Flynn's ability to absolutely capture the truth about the way men and women see relationships when Amy lays on her yearly treasure hunt for his anniversary present Nick just knows that he isn't going to have remembered the key moments which meant so much to her let alone unravel her cryptic clues; after all Nick thought he had married a cool girl, one who likes all the same thing as men and is great in bed too!

I still haven't made up my mind what I feel about how this book finishes, the end crept up and surprised me which I always find disconcerting. On reflection I think the ending was fitting even though it didn't end the way I prefer.

So I recommend this book that is not only a great read but one that can make you reflect on the nature of relationships both familial and romantic whilst trying to figure out who did what to whom and what it would like to be face to face with a psychopath!
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on 9 August 2013
As thrillers go this clear-voiced tale from the dexterous Gillian Flynn is an absorbing read with just the right amount of tension. I got through it in a few days and was engaged from page one - which is increasingly rare! The writing is tight and the narrative voice clear from the off - depending on which narrator you're locked into that is...The structure plays with omnipresence and reliability throughout and comments on concepts of love, loyalty and emotional blackmail in an incisive manner. It also exploits the real and the perceived and plays with our assumptions and expectations about people and who they really are, through great characterisation. You'll love, hate, be angered and sickened by turns, as the full cast of despicable/flawed/damaged/morally ambiguous dramatis personae take their stage. Amy, the Gone Girl of the title, who is missing presumed dead/murdered, is all sugar and spice; perfect in every dimension. Or is she? What role have her parents really played in shaping her? How reliable is husband Nick and what has he done with Amy? Can he get a credible story over to the police and if he can, is it true? Each of these character's flaws make them more believable and aside from one or two moments where suspending disbelief is essential - such as the pregnancy test explanation and the vomit jar (you'll see what I mean) - they are totally absorbing. The outcome may or may not satisfy all readers and it could be said to be little too neat - however, overall this is a great read and an enjoyable tale. It's a great book club choice as it sparks so many polarised opinions. Flynn uses her characters, especially Amy and Nick, to say things about women and men, parents, husbands, wives and lovers, that very few would dare. Frequently she says things about women and the 'sisterhood', that many might be thinking but few would ever air. As a female reader I found that deliciously spikey and very enjoyable in an 'oh my! I can't believe she just said that!' sort of way. Bold, pacy, tense in the right places and very entertaining, Gone Girl is a great summer thriller and an intriguing indicator of Flynn's increasing skill and confidence as a writer. Enjoy the riddles and enter the dark spirit of the hunt and you'll have a shockingly good, if slightly murderous, time!
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on 10 June 2014
First thoughts after I put down the book? "What a load of crap" and "I'm actually sorry I read this book". Didn't like the writing style and the overuse of bad language. The characters are completely detestable and non-credible. The story and especially the ending are just ludicrous. I stuck with it because I wanted to see where it was going but I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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on 28 March 2014
I absolutely love mysteries. So I expected to love this book.

But I didn't. Perhaps it's because my expectations were too high based on all the buzz for this book. Perhaps it's because I've read thousands of books in my life and a mystery has to be extremely well-written for me to be amazed by it. Perhaps I couldn't enjoy it as, having been in a long-term relationship with an extremely self-absorbed, toxic partner, I had absolutely no interest in experiencing any more of it in my life.

The first half of the novel is somewhat of a mystery. The vanishing of a wife and the consequences of that disappearance are relayed to us through alternating excerpts from the husband's first-person narrative and the wife's diary entries.

But then, halfway through, the mystery is over. We know what happened. And all that's left is just graphic descriptions of horrible things done by horrible people. What a disappointment.

This novel is a deconstruction of the relationship between two extremely self-absorbed people who -- if they could ever manage to be honest enough with a psychiatrist -- would likely be diagnosed with either Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder.

Ultimately, I did not end up caring about either character, and felt that they both got exactly what they deserved. I just felt sorry for the undeserving third character which was going to have to spend a lifetime being subjected to them.

If you like the kind of sordid horror fiction which hits the bestseller lists, or you've not had to deal with sociopaths in your real life, you will probably enjoy this.

But if you're a serious reader of clever and intelligent mysteries, or you find sociopaths tiresome rather than interesting, you may find this as unsatisfying as I did.
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on 29 February 2016
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Or so the saying goes. Gillian Flynn takes the adage to new extremes with a wife who is not content with cutting up her husband's clothes or subjecting him to a messy divorce in order to exact revenge for his infidelity. Instead, we're asked to believe, she fakes her own death and frames her husband for it. And in a US state where the death penalty still applies, he looks like paying the ultimate price for his betrayal. She's planned the whole thing for several months in advance down to the tiniest detail - so what could possibly go wrong? Well, for a starter, the authorities are unlikely to get a conviction, let alone an execution without a body. And then there's the small matter of how long the estranged wife is going to survive without any identity, job or income, with most of the American media, police and general population out looking for her. Put simply, the plot doesn't stack up because it demands that the reader suspends disbelief for too long to make it credible. Forget the twists and turns. This isn't a well-conceived thriller - it's a too-thinly-veiled semi-autobiographical indulgence based on a revenge fantasy that should have stayed locked in the authors head rather than unleashing it on a (in my case) disappointed audience
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