Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Friday, 13 March 2015

Series: Standalone
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: January 1st 2012
Source: Borrowed
Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 2/5 Stars
Synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer? 
First Line: "When I think of my wife, I always think of her head."

If you remember my previous reviews, and I don't blame you if you don't, you will know that I am always one to test the hype surrounding popular books. Well you cannot think about hyped books without thinking of Gone Girl which is perhaps one of the most talked about books from the last few years, with the exception of Fifty Shades but let's not go into that. The plot of the novel really interested me, I mean who isn't interested by the idea of a woman who goes missing without a single trace? Well yes, a lot of people actually but I believe that's only because the whereabouts of the women is always so obvious, whether she was killed, kidnapped or ran away, you can almost always tell within a few chapters. This is where Gone Girl is unique though, you actually cannot guess. If you are anything like me then your hypotheses will constantly change the further on you get. The structure of the novel very much aids this, the chapters alternate between Nick's point of view in the present and Amy's point of view in the form of past diary entries. This structure very much interested me as it gave the reader an opportunity to meet and learn to like Amy despite the fact she is not around as well as giving subtle hints about what could have happened to her.

One thing I must fault this book for is the character development - there is almost none. Nick is a boring and somewhat crudely designed character who I personally could not make myself like. I felt the same of the many characters surrounding him: his sister, friends, Amy's mother. They were all very one dimensional, it is as if they exist only to aid the plot rather than to be likable. The only exception to this rule is Amy herself, she was a clever and well designed character who I really enjoyed reading about. It is almost as if Flynn focused all her attention on Amy and the rest of the characters were after thoughts. Despite this, Amy still was not relatable, perhaps she wasn't meant to be, and this prevents the reader from identifying with her therefore we cannot like her as much as we should be able to.

Before reading this novel I simply could not escape talk about it and it's huge twist. I'd heard so much about the shocking plot twist that I spent every few chapters wondering whether what I had just read was the twist. Worry not though, it is unlikely you would have that same problem as me because it turns out the twist was actually quite obvious however, was it shocking? That is for you all to decide for yourselves but personally I don't believe it was for one main reason - it came too late. If I could express only one criticism of this novel it would be that it draaaaags, a lot. It is hard not to feel that cutting out a third of the book would have done no significant damage. Despite this, this could easily be called the book that puts mystery into mysterious, for the first half at least. I have never read a book like it in which I actually had no idea how it would end which is a huge plus for it, however, as I said earlier, I did guess the plot eventually so it is clearly not perfect.

I gave Gone Girl 2.5 stars due to the tense and mysterious plot that kept me guessing almost until all was unveiled two thirds of the way through. I do not believe the book lived up to the massive hype surrounding it, however, because it lacked convincing and likable characters and, for me, that is a vital aspect of a good book. I would recommend this novel to those who prize plot over character development rather than vice versa like me.

Best Quote: “There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”

8 People dared to comment.:

Anonymous said...

Your review sounds a bit like my reaction to the first book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.

I see you've given the cover a low rating, which is interesting. I think the idea behind it is good, but it's not particularly eye-catching.

Emily said...

My problem with the cover is that, if I saw it in a shop without knowledge of the book, it just wouldn't spike my interest.
And I've considered reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but I've never got around to it.

Ruty B. said...

I'm sorry you didn't love the book. I don't like the cover mainly because it seems way too simple and just by it I wouldn't read the book.
I like books that keep me guessing but if you say it drags too much maybe I'll wait to read this one.
Ruty @Reading...Dreaming

Anonymous said...

Ruty... as in, THE Ruty...?

I had no idea that you were still active!

Emily said...

Ruty, your blog is really gorgeous! So jealous of your template :)

Micaella Lopez said...

I thought this was an interesting story about two people who are both crazy as loons! I took this to the beach and enjoyed the plot twists and turns. This is a book that you will enjoy because it is fast and furious. One twist becomes clear, and another pops up.

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Sheetal Sukanya Dash said...

I hated the cover too but I would give this book 3.5 stars as it kept me awake all night. The characters did lack depth but I kinda liked the book. Nice review Btw.

Beth said...

I can see your point here. I did enjoy Gone Girl-I love psychological thrillers. But you're right in that there are no likeable characters and little character development. I kind of liked that there were no likeable characters. I loved to hate them :P While I usually prefer character developement over plot, I do love a good fast paced plot now and then!

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