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353 of 387 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read - Apart From The Ending
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...
Published 19 months ago by K Richards

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
I seldom read popular fiction - the plots are too contrived, the characters too superficial. But this was recommended as being well written, which it was, with a well thought-out plot and sound insight into the disintegration of a marriage, which it had, initially.

It is written in the first person, alternate chapters switching between husband and wife, Nick...
Published 16 months ago by Lemons


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353 of 387 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read - Apart From The Ending, 25 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Gone Girl (Kindle Edition)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disbelief begone!, 30 April 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
Nick and Amy Dunne seemingly have a great marriage. Two young people in love with another - what else is there? But then on their fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing, and, as the investigation into their lives begins, it turns out their marriage was a long way from perfect, and Nick is suspected of foul play. But what really happened - is Amy dead and Nick a killer… or is something else happening here?

Are you curious about reading Gone Girl? Don’t read any further. In fact, don’t read any reviews of Gone Girl if you’re planning on reading it - read the synopsis and then back off, because the less you know about this book going in, the more you will get out of it. Preferably go in completely cold and let Gillian Flynn’s tricks and surprises work to their full effect on you because they are effective if you don’t know they’re coming.

So unless you’ve already read this or have no interest in reading it, or maybe you’re part of that rare breed of reader who doesn’t mind spoilers (bless you), carry on.

Ok, spoilers ahead everyone, because I can’t talk about this book without giving away big reveals.

Let’s address the biggest issue with this book: the characters. Because while it’s a heavily plot-driven story, the characters are the plot in a weird way, so talking about Gone Girl is a bit of an anomaly. Normally I’d say that it doesn’t matter whether a character is likeable or unlikeable but only realism matters - did the characters seem real to you? – which determines the quality of the writing, but because of the first person narrative and alternating voices of Nick and Amy, we get the plot from the characters so the two are intricately tied together like symbiotes. If the characters behaved realistically - which they don’t - Gone Girl’s plot wouldn’t work. Hell, the book wouldn’t even exist! But they remain poorly written, contrived husks to carry the story rather than actual characters.

While there are no dragons or orcs, this book is pure fantasy. We’re supposed to believe that a woman like Amy exists or could exist? Someone whose entire life was a performance and that she fooled literally everyone - her husband, her doting parents for gods’ sake! - besides a couple of people she revealed her true nature to? No, I’m not buying it. Nobody could live like she did, wearing masks and toying with people forever, without someone figuring out she was a sociopath and/or faking it; the two people who do only find it out because Amy tells them. It’s so stupid!

And even though she’s set up as this criminal mastermind genius who literally gets away with murder, we’re supposed to believe she fooled everyone? Not just small town cops but federal agents and detectives? And that the ridiculously elaborate treasure hunt that implicated her husband as her “killer” with evidence that was so damning, could be waived away so easily and everyone just walk away believing her bizarre explanations? If the evidence itself could have potentially sent Nick to prison - even without Amy’s dead body - then there’s no way she could just wave her hands and make everyone believe otherwise. How is everyone taken in by this woman - is everyone blind and stupid?

Nick is no better even though he’s innocent of murder. He’s deliberately coy with the reader, which is fine, but why is he this way with the police who believe he murdered his wife before dumping her body in the Mississippi river? Because he didn’t want them to know he’d been having an affair with a younger woman! Yeah, that’s much worse than MURDERING YOUR WIFE, YOU TOTAL IDIOT! But it needs to be this way to sustain the rather mundane first half of the book - if Nick came right out with his secret, there’d be no suspense driving the book to the big halfway reveal. This is why it’s problematic to make the characters the plot. Contrived much?

And why would he hire Tanner Bolt, the Johnny Cochrane-esque lawyer in this world? He was innocent, he knew he was innocent, there was no body, and he had an alibi. Plus, seeing how easily Amy managed to convince police differently about the evidence, it probably wouldn’t have held up at trial. Hiring Bolt just made him look super guilty AND Bolt did nothing. Think about what happened from when he was hired to the end of the book - did he do anything? He talked for Nick to the police, telling them that he (Nick) believed his psycho wife was framing him (which she was), but any lawyer could’ve read lines. He’s “Tanner Bolt - the guy who swoops in and saves the guilty” and he did nothing at all for Nick. Bolt is a pointless character for a supremely dumb - but written so very deliberately by Flynn – “character”.

But let’s give Flynn some credit - it is a compelling story and I did read all 463 pages of it. It keeps you guessing and, while you can feel that the first part of the book is building towards a big reveal, you don’t know what that is until you read the first page of part two. I never anticipated that and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with that twist, so it’s original in that regard, and the many twists and turns the story took were unexpected and did keep me reading.

However it’s definitely overlong by at least a third partly because, despite the reveal at the beginning of the second part, precious little happens in the second part and a lot of that stuff in the Ozarks could’ve been cut. Nick does next to nothing either besides hire Tanner Bolt who turned out to be a waste of time anyway.

And I did like the ending, which seems to be something a lot of people are mentioning as bad and/or unsatisfactory. No - it was different and it was more memorable and effective than a predictable “bad guy loses/is punished” ending. Flynn challenged the reader with her ending to make them think about what it meant and did the unexpected - good stuff.

That said, I’ve still got to get back to the “I can’t believe she got away with it!!!” angle. I just never bought the whole “Nick wanted to be a dad really bad” angle and the whole book becomes dependent on it. Gah… And think about how insane the whole setup was for someone as crazy as Amy to have gotten away with it: she wanted to punish Nick for cheating on her, so bad, that she was willing to have the state execute him and then kill herself! That’s taking the “woman scorned” saying to the Nth degree!

And the motivation just baffles me. She wanted to make Nick so docile so they could continue a loveless and farcical marriage – and then introduce the responsibility of another life to look after? Whaaat?! This is another reason why I don’t buy Amy as a real character – who the hell would want that? I know Amy comes across as a sociopath (and she probably is) but I don’t want to write it all off as mental illness, that’d be too easy. I mean, she’s proven that she’ll go the distance for the most petty of things so maybe having a kid and using that kid as a weapon against Nick FOR HAVING AN AFFAIR is like her “character”, but is that something a sociopath would do? Are they that determined? Or maybe it is that easy – she is just a sociopath? I’m not psychologist so I can’t say whether this is symptomatic of sociopathic behaviour but it seems like a really long way to go.

So it’s not a perfect novel. Flynn’s writing isn’t particularly incredible but it’s also not shoddy - it does what it needs to, much like the novel itself, which is a bumpy ride but I did for the most part enjoy the journey, though as you can see I had some reservations after finishing it that I had to vent! I wish it was shorter but I’m glad I read it. Flynn tells an original, though often unbelievable, story that didn’t grip me the whole way but gave me enough to keep me going until the final page.

Because of the many problems with the book, I don’t want to give it four stars but it’s not a three star read either - 3.5 stars. But be prepared to suspend your disbelief far more than you’d have to compared to reading, say, George R R Martin - and his books are pure fantasy!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, 21 Nov. 2013
By 
Lemons (South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
I seldom read popular fiction - the plots are too contrived, the characters too superficial. But this was recommended as being well written, which it was, with a well thought-out plot and sound insight into the disintegration of a marriage, which it had, initially.

It is written in the first person, alternate chapters switching between husband and wife, Nick and Amy, giving their take of events. We meet an intensely irritating, bubbly bimbo in Amy, with her syrupy diary entries. Had there not been the relief of Nick's down-to-earth accounts alternating with Amy's, I may have baled without finishing the book. However, the package was engaging enough to hold my attention sufficiently to race to the finish line in record time, although I was starting to flag two-thirds in.

Unfortunately, even though Gillian Flynn uses language and grammar well (with alerts to the simple-minded reader that she is doing so), the story unravels as it progresses, climaxing in a rather disappointing and far-fetched finale.

This may not have been her best work, so when I am in the mood for a light read in future, I may consider one of her earlier books.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you are after an intelligent and gripping read keep far away from this book, 20 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps I was expecting too much, 28 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
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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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not a thriller!, 16 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
I'm starting to question the great reviews which appear on book covers, so many I've read recently don't live up to the hype. This book is heralded as the thriller of the year, it is anything but! I can't understand why anyone would describe it as such. I concede that the first half is intriguing and makes you want to turn the pages. It then suddenly changes and becomes pedestrian and repetitive and essentially pretty dull and boring. I could hardly be bothered to finish it but forced myself to read to the end. I couldn't recommend this book because it was so disappointing and I won't be reading anything else by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The film will be better?, 2 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
This is one of those books which is written to be highly addictive, it doesn't matter how you feel about the writing style, you just HAVE to know what happens next and how things work out in the end. I only realized this once I was 30 or 40 pages in... but by then it was too late. I had begun to find the prose a bit cheesy, I was not convinced by any of the characters, who all seemed a bit unreal and almost Hollywood-ish, and so I was a bit annoyed with the fact that I still had over 500 pages to go which I now felt obliged to read (and did).

Gone Girl IS a fantastic story, conceptually, is certainly thought-provoking (for anyone who is married at least!), and the book will stay in my mind for a long time. All this is great, of course, if you're simply looking for a page-turner with a good plot... but I can't shake off the feeling that a more skilled author would have executed it better, could have turned Gone Girl into an absolute masterpiece.

Perhaps when the film is released in the autumn it'll become one of those few cases where the film really is better than the book?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gone Girl paperback, 7 Nov. 2013
By 
David Welford (Essex England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
I originally bought this book in March started to read it and gave up after fifty pages, took it on holiday in Oct and as I didn't have anything else to read and forced myself to read it. I was expecting a gripping book ( like Girl With Dragon Tattoo), but alas found the Authors American style of writing not an easy read and several times having put it down, wondered whether I could be bothered to continue reading. One big puzzling flaw, our Hero Nick who is broke in a couple of lines hires a Lawyer for $100,000 , only at the end is their a short explanation that his sister had raised the money! The lead characters are middle class Americans: are they so dumb that they constantly lacking any intelligent vocabulary have to constantly use the F-word and other unnecessary expletives! If you removed this unnecessary language the book would have been a lot shorter and better. I thought the plot was excellent and fairly original and for this reason I have given it three stars. I have donated mine to the local Charity Shop as I certainly would not read another of this Authors books.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointed by this tedious, 30 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
Extremely disappointed by this tedious, boring, ridiculous, seemingly never-ending plethora of drivel. The only mystery about it is how it got so many good reviews. The further the book goes the more the author seems to run out of ideas. Most of it is predictable nonsense and the only shock is how pathetically weak the ending is. Utter rubbish, so bad I want my money back. A shockingly terrible waste of time reading this garbage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good but frustrating book...., 17 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
This is probably one of the most frustrating books I've read. The first half is slow and takes time to get into. It's also quite heavy and detailed which just slows the story down. But i really liked the narrative and the way the story is told by two different people. The middle, when the twist is revealed, is fantastic. I couldn't put it down. (although i did guess the twist) I loved the story and darkness of the characters.
I was fully expecting the second half to spring to life and to spiral into a race against time thriller with lots of twists and turns which is what it was kind of eluding to. But instead it just seemed to fizzle out and die away. the main story literally just came to an end and both the main characters seem to also fizzle out. The ending is really lame and you are left wondering what the hell just happened. I'm guessing a sequel is on the horizon.
I enjoyed it and did love the middle - but just felt that the last third was very rushed and dull and did not live up to what the story should of.
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Gone Girl
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Library Binding - 22 April 2014)
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