Fiction, Unreliable narrator

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Yes, I know this book was released way back in 2012 and everyone has reviewed it.  This book wasn’t even on my radar until I read Girl on a train in January and someone recommended Gone Girl.  

It was never really my intention for Gone Girl to be the first book I reviewed here.  I had thought to start with something that wasn’t yet on everyone’s “Must read” list.  But as it turns out, I found myself with this book in the car, and a couple of hours to kill at Mangawhai Beach.

Mangawhai Beach is one of those long white sand beaches that can be found all along New Zealand’s east coast.  The day was a little overcast but still warm, and there were only five people on the beach including me.  Perfect weather to stretch out in the sand and read for a bit, or to walk and read for a bit with the ocean lapping your ankles and no fear of being run over.

The first thing I’m going to say about this book is that it has taught me to never, ever, ever, watch the movie  first.  That was a spectacular fail and it ruined the book for me.  This is the kind of book you read once, quickly, because the story keeps you riveted.  You want to know what happens next; so there’s never a good time to put it down.

Unless of course you already know what happens next.  Then you have time to put it down and it’s a little hard to pick it back up again.


Apart from the fact that I already knew where this was going, one of the major reasons why it was so difficult to stay interested in this book is that that the characters are so dang unlikeable!  And I do mean all of them.  Except maybe Desi.  Poor, poor Desi.

I realise the characters are intentionally distasteful human beings. You are not meant to like these people – although depending on your disposition you may find yourself rooting for one or other person almost in spite of yourself.  Personally, as much as I hated her, I found myself rooting for Amy.  Nick is such a spineless man-child that I found it made me dislike Amy a little less.  Amy is a murderous psycho bitch but at least she’s committed to a goal!

I can see why Gone Girl would be unputdownable (that’s not really a word, is it?).  But the characters are so distasteful, I finished the book not even caring who won in the end.  I don’t know how I’m meant to feel at the end of this story.  Mostly I just felt a little dirty.

Gillian Flynn’s writing is good.  It’s sharp and witty.  I can’t comment on how twisty the twists were.  I didn’t really see where things were going in the movie but I feel like the book gave better insight into Nick’s psyche so that it was difficult to picture him having the spine to kill Amy fairly early on.

Lesson learned – always read the book FIRST!


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