Book Review: Gone Girl

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hmm . . . This was a tough one. I finished it in all of two days, which is a testament to how well the book was plotted. It’s the story of a husband and a wife and a marriage gone horribly wrong. (Sounds just peachy, don’t it?) That’s not normally up my alley . . . but it’s a murder mystery, which more than redeems it. I’m all for murder mysteries, especially about horribly gone wrong marriages. And because of that whole “mystery” thing, I don’t have to go into details about the plot, either. Yay! So all you need to know: Husband. Wife. Horribly gone wrong.

With me so far?

If I finished the book in two days, why in the world am I only giving it four stars? I mean, here’s a book that *demanded* being finished. I gave up a Saturday of my life to this book, and I only have a limited number of Saturdays, ya know. (What a depressing thought.)

The book was very well done, but in the end, it felt . . . gimmicky to me. It felt like one big magician’s show, and for a magician’s show to get five stars, the reveal had better be jaw-droppingly awesome. In Gone Girl, the reveal starts out awesome, and then it gets derailed by this thing called “reality.”

You see, because the book is so heavily based in the present–in modern society–in reality, I have certain expectations about what can or can’t happen in the book. And let me be clear: I don’t think the ending of this book can happen. I won’t spoil it for you or anything, but go read it, then come back here and talk to me about it.

It’s a fast read. And I doubt I’ll forget the book. (It’s also fairly adult, so be prepared for some naughty words here and there in the novel.) But I’d really love to talk about this one, so I’ll reserve further discussion for the comments thread, giving it a big ol’ SPOILER WARNING. Don’t read ’em if you haven’t read the book. Got it?

Good.

Now please talk. 🙂

View all my reviews

4 Comments

  • By Anonymous, November 15, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    I thought it was very well written, but it took me almost two months to finish it because I could only stand to read it a few minutes at a time. I HATED the characters, and I can ‘t stand books without any people I can root for. I only finished the book because it was a gift. I can see why it ‘s done so well, but I ‘m pretty much the opposite of the market for this book…

    Kristy

  • By Bryce Moore, November 16, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I can definitely see why you despised the characters. They’re very despicable. But I’m usually able to read through that pretty easily. The thing that got me is that I just don’t buy AT ALL the idea that the public at large would believe her story. Not a chance of that happening. That she somehow–on the fly–was able to cover up that murder so completely? No way. And then to have her husband take her back? No way.

    It all just got too unbelievable at the end, which was a shame. Felt like the author had a great initial idea, then didn’t know how to pull it all off.

  • By Anonymous, November 19, 2012 @ 2:08 am

    Ok, I finished it about 2 days, which given my busy schedule with young kids means that it was a crazy-good page turner. Seriously, this author knows how to work with plot and pacing. And yeah, the characters were despicable, which usually makes me not like a book, but I still couldn’t put it down.

    As far as the ending, it did feel a bit contrived to me. I actually didn’t mind that the husband was forced to stay with her. I could buy that, given the leverage she has over him, there wasn’t really much of a choice for him. Especially when she became pregnant and he knew she’d never let him be part of the kid’s life otherwise. And I kind of felt (or at least hoped) that he would be plotting to take her down the whole time, so that eventually he could escape with the kid.

    But I definitely agree wth the cover-up of the murder. I mean, she proved that she could use planning and checklists to accomplish all that she did to Nick, but Desi’s murder wasn’t in the original plan. I just don’t think she would have been able to pull it off so perfectly in the limited time she had. So like you said, I don’t think everyone would believe her story so readily.

    But overall, it was entertaining and fast-paced and appropriately horrifying, so I enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommend. 🙂

    -Megan Grey Walker

  • By Bryce Moore, November 26, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it, Megan. And always nice to hear that other people agree with me and are, therefore, right. 🙂

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