So last night, I stayed up until 3 o'clock in the morning, furiously finishing this wonderfully written book called Gone Girl, by author Gillian Flynn. Whoa. This book was simply in one word: crazy. Even though it was crazy, I did enjoy it very much, and I am interested in reading the other two books written by her, Dark Places and Sharp Objects.
So... on to my review of the book. The synopsis of the book is that Nick Dunne, an out of work writer comes home to find that his wife of 5 years, Amy, is missing. He doesn't know what happens to her, and after information starts to show up that he might have something to do with her disappearance, he becomes the prime suspect in the police's investigation.
I can't talk too much more about the plot of the book, because there are so many twists and turns in this novel that it would give away what happens. But I can say that this book - is good. Especially the writing. Gillian Flynn has a distinct writing style that flows very well and is a plus in the slow burn of how this book unfolds. I am a big fan of not only her writing style, but also of her sharp, snarky wit that comes through in her writing. My absolute favorite line of the book is said by Margo, Nick's sister in the book, whom while sitting on her couch watching a baseball game with Nick while eating, declares "If I had a dick, I would f--- this peanut butter." You will have to read the book for more context into Margo's character... but I just had to put that line in my review. Too. Damn. Funny.
Other things I liked about the book: I did enjoy the character development. I thought that she fleshed her characters out very well. I also enjoyed the pace of the book. Usually, I don't like plots that burn slow, but it serves in making this book a page turner. Also, I enjoyed the plot twists. Just when you think you know what's going on, a surprise lurks around the corner. This kind of writing makes for a great read, and I enjoy reading books by authors who can effectively deliver on good twists and turns in their novels.
Dislikes? I have a few. While I do complement the fact that this book had a slow burn of a plot, I felt as though there wasn't much action in the first 100 or so pages of the book. I felt that although well written, the book had too many descriptions of the character's thoughts and not enough of action and things going on around them. The good thing is, if you can make it through to the second part of the book, the book really does pick up pace and pulls you into the story. I wish she could have sucked in the reader a little earlier on in the first part of the book. That would have made me more inclined to finish it a lot quicker than I did (it took me a day or so to get to the good part of the book).
Another dislike? I thought that Flynn could have delved more into the psyche of Amy's character and wrote more about her background. Without giving anything away, you come to know her a certain way in the book, but Flynn leaves out how she ended up that way. To me, if you are going to write about a character that has, let's say, "certain issues", you really need to explain how they became that way at some point in time in the narrative. Maybe I'm being a little hard on her b/c I was a Psychology major in college, but I think if you want your audience to really understand your character's motives (trying to say this without spoiling anything), you really do need to explain how they became who they are in the present day. In this specific case, Flynn really does leave that out, and I think it was a big misstep in writing about Amy and how she functioned.
My last dislike was about how the book ended. Now, I wasn't as mad about the ending as most people were. I actually welcome reading books don't have a "Hollywood" ending. I find books like that refreshing and truly reflective of human life. Not all good people win in the end, and not all bad people get what they deserve. And such is life. The problem in how she wrote the ending wasn't that it didn't have a happy ending, but was how the story came together in the end. It just didn't quite work. You could poke some serious holes in the way everything played out, and the reader ends up having some serious questions about how Nick ended up choosing the path he chose to take and how the police decided to handle the case when everything was said and done.
Plus, the ending is kind of an open ending, which pissed a lot of people off. I didn't mind the ending so much as I did Nick's frame of mind and choice in the end. That I had beef with. I could think of one or two ways Nick could have gone in the end of this book, and path he chose would have been the LAST one I would have picked. Ugh. I wanted to slap him because of it. But overall, I did enjoy the book, and I do look forward to seeing the movie in October. It will be interesting to see how Flynn unfolds the plot and the story, since the book is told from Amy's and Nick's point of view, and that way of storytelling may not be plausible on screen.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. But I guess I would tell someone to read it with an open mind and try and suspend their disbelief to a certain extent. And also I would say "Keep in mind. People are crazy. And people are unlikable. And you are reading a book about two crazy, somewhat unlikable people. Don't get too invested or attached, b/c I think it'll upset you in the long run. Just enjoy the book for what it is... a well written, page turner."
Ha ha ha. On to the next novel.