Review of Gone Girl

I read Gone Girl by author Gillian Flynn a few days ago.  The novel has been raved about by pretty much everyone.  It’s been a solid best-seller.  I am always a little nervous about best-sellers; just because they sell well does not mean they are good books.  I think Fifty Shades of Gray stands as a perfect example for this.  However, some novels truly do deserve their high rank, and I was assured from many different corners that Gone Girl was one of those novels.

gone girl

The Good:

The beginning is so strong.  I enjoyed the writing and the different points of view, going back and forth between Nick and Amy.  There was such a strong sense of bitterness from both characters, although Nick’s is more immediate and felt.  Flynn did an excellent job conveying it.

I think it was through that that she also made her characters relatable.  I found it easy to feel for both of them and understand them.  These characters had real people problems!  I was so looking forward to characters who were in this situation (the situation being Amy’s disappearance) who I could relate to.  It heightened the suspense too; it’s always more interesting and mysterious when a person who is relatively normal goes missing.

 

The Bad:

The two main characters start off relatable and seemingly normal, but it changes drastically as you make your way through the novel.  I hated how these characters no longer had normal, everyday problems.  It’s multiplied to a point where I had no idea who these characters even were.  The resolution felt ultimately like a cop out – I don’t want to give it away, but I felt like it was the easiest way for Flynn to explain everything.  It still came as a surprise, but left me completely unsatisfied with the ending.

I hated Margo.  Or maybe I hated the fact that she was called “Go” for short.  As if Margo needs to be shortened.   There is also an extremely weird paragraph in the novel where Nick assures the reader that he has never slept with Margo.  This is made awkward by the fact that Margo is Nick’s twin sister… why would we be thinking that he would sleep with her?  I was so confused by this passage, and I still have no idea why Flynn wrote it.  It’s not like this is Game of Thrones… why would the reader be expecting twins to do that?  Again, weird.

I know I have already said it, but the ending really was not for me.  It’s not that it’s an unhappy one – I think unhappy endings are appropriate sometimes and can be incredibly powerful.  I was just so disappointed that that was what it came to.  I was so hopeful at the beginning that this was going to be an amazing suspense novel when really I found the ultimate plot a bit overused.

The Verdict

(Minor spoilers)

Don’t Read:  If you don’t consider it a great plot twist to have a character turn out to be a sociopath, don’t read this.  I ultimately find that making a character insane provides the author kind of an easy way out – motives no longer have to be explained.  The character is crazy!  They aren’t rational!  Therefore, that’s the only explanation you get; I find it overdone and boring.

Read: If you are cool with fictional sociopaths, and like all sorts of twisty, unreliable narrators, I think you might like this book.  It just wasn’t for me.

Written by Rachel B.

Rachel is a co-creator and writer at Definitely Not for the Birds (DNFB). She recently graduated with a degree in English. Presently, she writes, reads, and then reads and writes some more, with a giant and ever-present mug of green tea in her hand. Follow Rachel @rrbindl and DNFB @not4birds

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