Tag Archives: Gillian Flynn

‘Dark Places’ Movie- A spot-on adaptation

28 Sep
Poster via IndieWire Blog

Poster via IndieWire Blog

My eAudio came in the same week I saw a movie advert for this on Goodreads. It was like fate. And then my friend Nicole texted me and wanted to see it. Double fate. So I rushed through the audio (with thanks to Bout of Books) and saw the movie a few days later. Win.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Sticking to the Book. I think the screenwriters did a really good job of sticking to the book. As I listened to it on audio, I had odd deja vu of having heard the lines already. There were parts taken out, yes, but for the most part, I felt like I was watching the book play out on screen.

Ben as an adult. In the book, he seemed to ‘soft’ to have been in jail almost 25 years. He seemed young and naive still, which is the opposite of how I would imagine someone in jail for that long. In the movie, his anger came across really well and he looked rough and like someone I believed had been in jail for a long time.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The cross. This made the connection between Diondra and the Day’s a lot more visual. It wasn’t a big thing that was over-shown at the beginning but I remembered it when it came up again at the end. It was better for the movie.

Taking out Michelle’s diaries. This ties into the point above here. Michelle’s diaries were very ingrained in her personality and there’s not enough time in a movie to engrain that in the plot. It was set up well, slowly and fundamentally, and it couldn’t be done in the movie. I’m glad the screenwriters didn’t try.

No ‘Free Day’ organization. If there’s a scene that was going to be taken out, I’m glad it was this one. I don’t think it did much for the plot. It cast more doubt on Runner, but in the end, that wasn’t needed. It did give Libby the motivation to track him down, but I think he was next on her list anyway. And it made me really dislike most of the women in the story, something Flynn has a habit of doing.

No gross images. There were references in the book to pictures of Libby’s sisters from the crime scene and talk about mangled corpses and brain matter. The movie didn’t show these and I’m really glad it was taken out. That wasn’t something I needed to see. Having someone read me passages about it was bad enough.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

A lot of Runner’s backstory. In the book, he was a likely suspect and a lot of people in the Kill Club thought he was guilty. We didn’t get a lot of that with the movie. Runner was a shady guy to be sure, but a lot of the foreshadowing before Libby met him was toned down. I understand that the movie needed to be compressed, but I thought this lost a viable scapegoat for the Free Day Society’s anger.

Things That Changed Too Much

Krissy Kates. It wasn’t enough. Lyle thought Lou Kates did it and in the book, that seemed like a logical choice because of how big the Krissy Kates thing was the day of the murders. The scenes of Ben going to clean the school in the morning were cut. So he wasn’t acting suspiciously around the locker room and no teacher saw him sneaking around and being aroused near Krissy’s classroom. Those things would be very damning and would point to Krissy being molested like she claimed and would fuel Lou’s anger. But it was all gone and I felt that Krissy’s plot was a weak point of the movie.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Dark Places movie? Do you think Sharp Objects will be made into a film? Was there anything else you would add to my lists?

Until next time, write on.

Advertisements

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (5/5)

15 Sep

I’m not normally a thriller reader, but I liked Gone Girl. I wasn’t rushing to read everything Flynn has ever written but when I found out that Dark Places was being turned into a movie and it was timing up with my audiobook hold coming in, I knew God was smiling on me to have everything fall into place. So perfectly.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Summary from Goodreads:

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

I was prepared to have every character like I did in Gone Girl. I thought none of them would be redeemable and they would all end up being terrible people and I’m so happy that I was wrong! Libby is hard to like at first, but she grows on you. Lyle is likable all the way through which was refreshing. I loved the alternating points of view and the time jumps, which helped reveal just enough to keep me up late finding out what happened next.  And like in Gone Girl, there are twists all the way through and they’re wonderful. I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, and I’ll warn you when I’m going to spill some major plot points!

I can’t imagine growing up in Libby’s shoes, but I don’t think it would be a walk in the park, a ‘brand new Day’ for me. It would be hard and I think it would give me some of the quirks that Libby had. She seemed very real to me. She had been under an illusion she was coaxed into for so long that she believed it and had trouble finding a new truth. I bought it. I loved figuring out the clues with her. I loved being as shocked as she was. The character I identified with the least was Patty, but I think that’s only because I’m not a mother. I couldn’t understand why she did what she did after Ben was accused.

Runner entertained me the most. I won’t say he was my favorite but by far the most interesting. He’s so manipulative and cunning that no one knew what to think of him. He was talked about the whole book but only showed up in the plot once or twice. I liked that he was the person everyone wanted to blame but in the end, he was blameless (is that a spoiler? I don’t think so, I never thought he was guilty).

The characters were hard to relate to because of their unique story. I most related to Lyle because of his strong passion for something taboo. Maybe my strong love for books, Titanic history, and turtles isn’t taboo like murder investigation, but it’s still uncommon. I respected his passion and how far he was willing to go to do something he believed in. Some people said I was crazy to stand outside for 4 hours in the rain to meet David Sedaris, but that’s what I’m passionate about.

Gillian Flynn Image via the author's website

Gillian Flynn
Image via the author’s website

Okay, here’s the part where I’m going to talk about the ending, so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know. Is everyone gone now? Good. I TOTALLY called half of the ending and it made me love the book. When Lyle mentioned the group of people in the Kill Club who were ‘inventing their own serial killer,’ I was immediately suspicious. It’s the old trick, “If you mention a gun in Act one, it better go off in Act three.” I knew there was a reason Flynn put that kind of detail into the book and finding it made me so gosh darn happy!

Reading about Patty going through Ben’s accusation (the one floating around the day of the murders) was hard. It was a good twist to the book, but it also was hard to hear about her suffering through that knowing what was coming up a short while later. I don’t want to say too much so as not to spoil the book, but that was hard to read.

The audiobook I listened to had three narrators for the three narrators in the book, Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, and Mark Deakins. I liked that there was a narrator for each narrator in the book, especially because of the gender change. I felt Lowman and Campbell sounded a bit too similar, though, and it took me a while to realize they were different speakers. They all did well, but none sticks out more than the others.

Libby learned two hard lessons. She had to learn to forgive both Ben and herself. It was easy to forgive Ben when she’d solved the crime and knew his only crime was… well, I won’t spoil it here but loving someone. Forgiving herself was harder. She’d made a mistake when she was young and impressionable and it was something she had to live with for a long time. She’d talked herself into believing the lie and coming to terms with it and the ramifications of it was her struggle. It was never too late for Libby to right her wrong though it became harder the longer she waited.

Writer’s Takeaway: Using multiple points of view can be hard. There is such a thing as too many narrating characters and three can be pushing that limit. I think Flynn handled it well and I commend her for giving us three people whose lives and actions made the biggest impact on such a complicated story. I like that we switched between Libby figuring out the mystery and Patty and Ben living through it. Flashbacks can be hard, too, but these gave us forward progress with the modern plot line.

Great characters and a great mystery. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review- Dary Places by Gillian Flynn | Many Musings of a Bookworm
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn | As The Plot Thins

WWW Wednesday, 26-August-2015

26 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ScorchCurrently reading:  I finally got Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back on Monday. Woo! This won’t be the fastest progressing book I read, but I’m excited to make headway with it.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is out, too. I just want one of these now and it’s seeming like that’s too much to ask.
I just got back to The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer after a week off to get through Dark Places. I hope to finish this up soon.
Just a little bit with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Again, I’m close to finishing this one so I hope to get through it soon.
I decided to grab The Scorch Trials by James Dashner next. I’m hoping it’s a quick read and I can get it over with quickly and move on to some other books I’ve been looking forward to.

MiniaturistRecently finished: I finished The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on Sunday. Review to come but in summary I’ll say this was a bit over-hyped in my opinion. Good, but not outstanding.
I finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn on Monday. I don’t want to brag, but I half figured it out early on! I was so excited to see the story unfold. This one will be a high rating from me!

One review out this week, one you were all asking me about. Click to find my review of The Martian by Andy Weir! Please go check it out and let me know what you thought about this awesome book. I’m so excited for the movie.

Boleyn InheritanceReading Next: I think I’m going to finish up my When Are You Reading? Challenge next. I only have one book left and it’s on my shelves. So up next should be The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. I’m a big fan of Gregory and can only remember one or two books of her’s I didn’t enjoy. I’m looking forward to this one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 19-August-2015

19 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


MiniaturistCurrently reading:  I want to get Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back soon. I need an ebook in my life.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai would be fine, too. As long as I get an ebook. Please, Book Gods?
Good progress The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I listened to more on my drive back from Chicago on Sunday. However, as it seems all of my books are, this is temporarily on hold. Read on to find out why!
On hold with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Again, something more pressing has come up.
I finally received my eAudio of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn! Yes, this is why everything is on hold right now. This is a long book and I need to get through it before it’s returned so I’m putting my other audio aside for now and pushing through on this one. I’m making decent progress because of Bout of Books. I hope I can keep it up.
While I was on vacation, I needed a new book and was lucky to find The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on sale at an indie store in Chicago. It’s so pretty!

CastleRecently finished: I finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls while I was away. I enjoyed it a lot. It was different from what I was expecting but still enjoyable. I’m amazed at her strength!

And one book review for your reading pleasure. I wrote up my thoughts after re-reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Can’t wait for the movie!

ScorchReading Next: For once, I’m really not sure. I’ve decided that my book club reading A Widow for One Year is unfortunately, one I need to drop. I’m not happy about this, but it’s become a logistical impossibility for me. So at the moment, I’m without book guidance. I think I might grab The Scorch Trials by James Dashner before the movie comes out. I know I’ll get suckered into seeing it. It should be a quick read I can power through during Bout of Books.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 12-August-2015

12 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


CastleCurrently reading:  I should get Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back soon. I hope. I miss it.
Also waiting for I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. So yeah, no ebook right now is weird for me and I’m not a fan. It makes me angry.
Good progress The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer yesterday. I drove to Chicago for a conference (which is why my response time probably sucks. Sorry.) which means 5 hours of audio time. I’ll have another 5 on Sunday so I hope to be almost done with this one soon!
Steady progress with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. I like it? It’s interesting, but I feel bad for the main character instead of outright liking her. So a bit mixed at this point.
I was able to start The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and so far, it’s interesting. Not the light-hearted read I need right now by any means, but enjoyable. It’s one of those ‘so crazy it has to be true’ stories and it’s mindblowing.

ExtraordinaryRecently finished: I made it through The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. This was way too slow to start for me and it was hard to make my way to a good point. I wish it had been a lot faster because I lost interest and mentally gave up on it.

And a book review! Look at me go. My review for Every Man for Himself by Baryl Bainbridge went up yesterday. Go check it out.

DarkPlacesReading Next: Next for physical book will be A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I think my work book club is falling apart and it’s making me sad.
I hope to start a new eAudio soon, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I’ve had it on hold forever and it’s finally coming up, just after the movie comes out. Could this be more perfect?


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Club Reflection: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

23 Feb

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Gone Girl. I read the book a few months ago and saw the movie soon after. In my opinion, this is a great story. My book club read it just before Valentine’s Day (you know, because it’s so romantic). It renewed my faith that this book is great but I hate the characters more than I can easily express in words. It seems that most others felt the same way.

WARNING: THE REST OF THIS POST CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK AND MOVIE. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

We all liked the suspense and red herrings in the book. Especially at the beginning of Part II when you find out Amy is still alive! (What?!) The alternating points of view kept the book moving forward at a good pace. If you were more enamored with Nick, you knew he had a chapter coming up and if you wanted to see what Amy was up to, there was just a bit in the way before you came to that.

A few members had read the book twice by the time we met. They said that going through it a second time helped them find clues about later events that had been woven in and hidden really well by Flynn. I remember at the beginning when Nick was talking about how many times he had lied already that day. Knowing the truth, you could count them.

We debated whether the book was misogynistic or feminist and our group was split. Some of us didn’t like that the female characters were so unlikable and how often they were referred to in a derogatory way. At the same time, Amy is such a smart and in-control person, that it almost seems feminist. There’s really no right answer, in my opinion, and it’s a good mix of both.

When we first meet Amy, it’s easy to feel sorry for her. Even in the end of Part I we start to see how manipulative she is and how much she’s controlled what goes on around her. In Part II is goes crazy. We liked to see her at a loss when she was at the Ozarks retreat. She thought she was so smart and that Greta and Jeff don’t know how to outsmart her and her advanced degrees, but she never learned her street smarts in her ivory tower in NYC. As the reader, I did enjoy that a bit.

We were all shocked at Desi’s murder. Not only did Amy not feel a shred of guilt, but she didn’t suffer a consequence from killing him at all. Yes, it was self-defense, but everyone seemed to shrug off Jacqueline very quickly, faster than I thought necessary.

Moving away from home can be hard but Amy’s anger and struggle with moving to Carthage was extreme. Someone suggested that she started being angry and the first inkling of planning her scheme when they moved there. Someone had friends from NYC and said that those who move away see it as a defeat; NYC is the center of the world, why would you want to be anywhere else?

Between the two, we thought Amy was probably the better writer. They both had a talent, to be sure, but her craftiness and ability to write treasure hunts and elaborate plans made it obvious to us that she was a creative mastermind.

Her relationship with Nick was a game. She talked about being the ‘cool girl’ and how Nick loved that. Every girl plays the ‘cool girl’ at the beginning of a relationship. But there’s a point where that ends and you have to be real with your partner. Amy never did this. Nick had no idea she was capable of murder. If he did, he probably wouldn’t be able to live with her.

Nick made us angry. He lied about everything and wanted to be liked more than he wanted to be good. He only cared about being liked by the people around him at any given time but didn’t care so much about being who he was or true to what he believed. He wanted to project a good person even if he wasn’t one underneath. He seemed lost in himself. In that sense, he and Amy deserved each other.

His relationship with Margo was non-traditional, but a lot of our members said that it was common of what they’ve seen in twins. They have a unique connection and ability to communicate where they’re very close and honest with each other. I thought the ‘twincest’ thing was a bit far in the book and was the part of the media hype I hated the most.

With Amy and Nick as narrators, could we really trust anything that was said? Both were so selfish that they would skew the story in their favor to win over the reader. I think most things in the book have to be taken with a grain of salt with these two as narrators.

Most of us were disappointed in the ending. It reminded me of Rainbow Rowell books, which seem to end too suddenly. But really, that’s what life is like; it doesn’t end in a cute little package that we can put a bow around and smile. It had to end unhappily because Nick and Amy weren’t a happy couple. Relationships aren’t perfect and you sometimes have to settle with a flaw in your partner. Granted, it’s not usually murderer, but to each his own. It seemed that they had figured out the other’s flaws in the end.

We were scared that they were having a child. We thought about what that kid would grow up to be. At best, another Amazing Amy. At worst, he could be a school shooter. There would be some kind of psychological problems in the kid no matter what. There’s no good role model for him to look after.

Our next book will be Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. I’m about a third of the way done with it now and I’m excited to talk about it!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Gone Girl’ Movie- I will by default hate Rosamud Pike in any future work she does

25 Nov
Movie Poster for Gone Girl

Movie Poster for Gone Girl via IMDb.com

I’ll be honest and say I read Gone Girl because I wanted to see the movie. I was planning on waiting until February when my book club will be reading it, but after hearing so many good reviews of the movie, I moved it up. And wow, I was floored by that movie. Woo!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Ben Affleck. He was really incredible and I thought he did a really believable Nick. I wanted to like him and hate him at the same time. He was a scumbag but not a murderer.

Margo. I thought the relationship between Nick and Margo was almost better on-screen. The ‘twincest’ references made more sense when I saw them in the movie because I didn’t get the vibe so much from the book.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me
Taking out Desi’s mom. I thought Jacqueline was a pointless character, to be honest. Her only purpose was defending Desi after he’d died and it was fruitless so why bother? It made him seem a little off that he was in his 30s and lived with his mom, seeming not to work at all. But there are these rich types, right?

Taking out Amy’s high school stalker. She added to Tommy’s story and made it seem all the more convincing that Amy’s somehow faking everything, but with Tommy included, it was no big deal.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

That killer of a closing line! The last line in the book is still in my brain and I wish they’d kept it in there to close the movie. It was the kind of closing line where you angrily turn the page to see the ‘About the Author’ section when you really wanted just one more page!

Things That Changed Too Much

I thought it was too much to take out Amy feeling trapped at Desi’s lake house. I felt that feeling of having to count on a man was part of what made ‘New Nick’ seem so appealing to her and why she ultimately decided she could be back with him. I did see Desi as controlling and wanting her to look like the Amy he remembered, but I didn’t get as much her feeling of helplessness with him. I wish that had been kept in somehow.

Overall Reactions

With all the details that went into Amy’s plan, I was skeptical of how they’d come across in the film and I was blow away by how well the story kept to the book. I know Flynn was involved in the screenwriting and film and I’m glad she was because she was able to make sure all the little things that make Amy so evil were there. I enjoyed this movie way more than I expected to and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Gone Girl movie? Was there anything else you would add to my lists? Were you as grossed out by the death scene toward the end as I was?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 19-November-2014

19 Nov

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! AND I FINISHED A BOOK! WOOOOOO.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis and it’s finally back in! I make a point to read at least a little every day so hopefully I’m progressing well. I’m making steady progress Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. It’s so good and it will be weird to not be with these characters anymore when I’m finally through with it. I think this is how Follett is getting me to buy his next book. Damn him. The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki. My goal was to make some progress on this one and I did. Yay me. I still have a lot to go, but something is better than nothing. I’m working through my next book club selection, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and I’m only two chapters from the end. It’s torture to stop, but I keep getting so mad at a character that I have to put it down and breath. Ugh.

Recently finished: I rushed to the finish line of Read Along #2 and finished The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar on Sunday. It was so good! I’m excited to see how the end of the discussion goes on this exciting read.

I got one book review written but it’s a doozy! I posted my review of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl yesterday. Warning, there are MASSIVE spoilers. Read if you dare!

Reading Next:  I got the copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver that my work book club was passing around so it’s time for that next. I also grabbed the last book for my When Are You Reading? Challenge, These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. AND I have a book club book for January, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’m really pumped to read all of these!

There’s so much upcoming but I can’t wait to get started on all of them in time for the holidays. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (4/5). I’m still trying to decide if I liked anyone.

18 Nov

My plan was to read this if February when it’s a book club selection. My plan was to wait to see the movie. But plans never work out, do they? After so many of the girls at work told me how much they enjoyed it and how well done the movie was, I caved. This has been on my shelf for over a year because I found a used hardcover of it for $2 at a library book sale and knew it was a steal. So I read it. And now I want to see the movie. And not because of Ben Affleck.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Okay, before we get into my reactions, I want to be sure everyone here knows I write spoiler reviews. So here it is, spelled out in pretty letters

This Review Contains Spoilers

Now we can move on. I hated every single character in this book. Every one! For a while I thought I was going to like Margo but in the end even she bothered me. The Elliots were insufferable and I wanted them to disappear for most of the book. But I was still sucked in. I was so engrossed that I disregarded house cleaning for a few days and put off studying for my stats exam. But it was worth it. I think it’s a huge credit to Flynn that I could hate Nick and Amy so much but love her book. Kudos to her.

Just because I didn’t like the characters didn’t mean I didn’t believe they could be real. Flynn’s characters were so frightening because they could walk off the page. They had flaws, which is normal. To be more interesting, their flaws were murder and infidelity, but no big deal, right? The scariest things are things that could happen to you and that’s why Amy was so frightening.

Between the two protagonists, I liked Nick. He was a scumbag in some ways, but I think he redeemed himself by the end. Outside of those two, Margo was my favorite. She seemed the most relateable and not-crazy of the bunch and because she was out of the Amy/Nick loop, I identified with her frustration and confusion at each turn.

I felt so bad for Andie, which is saying a lot about how every character in this book was a terrible person. I sympathized most for the character who knowingly had an affair with a married man. Wow. I think she was treated really badly by Nick through their whole relationship from being ‘the other woman’ to being dropped so unceremoniously to having to confess her sins to the world. All of this sounds terrible.

I loved the beginning of the second section when we learned the truth about Amy. I was five seconds from writing ‘Nick totally did it’ in the margin of my book and then I turned the page and BAM! What a sadistic, evil person! I was so shocked especially to find out how detailed everything Amy had done in her planning turned out to be. She was so set on doing this for the longest time. And then to find out what she did to other people, the one guy she had dated and her friend from high school, it painted a great picture of this very smart and jealous person. I loved her character so much.

The last page really made me think. When Amy said she wanted to have the last word, I was afraid of what she’d do to Nick or her baby to make sure she had the last word. I can’t imagine much more that she could do to Nick, but the innocent child being subjected to this evil woman is too much to bear. I’m not sure if Flynn would use these characters in another book, but I think their child would be an interesting character to read more about.

Gillian Flynn Image via the author's website

Gillian Flynn
Image via the author’s website

This book is supposed to make us wonder how well we know those around us and how much of a front people are putting on at any given time. Do I really know my husband as much as I think I do? Does he really not mind watching the Office with me and does he really like cereal as much as it seems he does? Maybe in reality he’s plotting to kill Steve Carell and he detests crunchy sweet flakes. But in the end, I have to trust that I do know him as well as I think I do and that he’s not going to do to me what Amy did to Nick. Granted, I’m not cheating on him and haven’t made him move away from the one place he ever felt comfortable, so maybe Amy wouldn’t ‘Gone Girl herself’ to me, but I really don’t know. She’s kind of nuts-O.

Writer’s Takeaway: Flynn shows us how fun it can be to play with your readers head! There were so many times when I knew there was something that I wasn’t being told and it played with my head. Nick would admit that he lied but not tell us what about. Amy was acting sweet toward Desi, you knew something was up. That’s the fun of being the writer, of knowing how something is going to end and how the story will get there but not letting the reader know right away what’s happening. Flynn did this wonderfully. I was disappointed in the same technique in James Dashner’s The Maze Runner but here it worked for me. I think the difference is that in Flynn’s book, the character knew more than the reader and in Dashner’s, the character knew as much as the reader.

An amazing read and I’m really excited to see the film. Four out of Five stars.

This book fulfills Missouri in my Where Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | John R. Ford
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn {Book Review} | Making Thyme for Health
Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Dear Author

WWW Wednesday, 5-November-2014

5 Nov

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! And there is finally progress to report! Yay progress.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis, but I don’t have it checked out now and it’s likely to be two weeks before I can get it back. Stay tuned. I’ve working on the next section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. I want to keep plowing ahead with this one, it’s a struggle to stop each week. I’m making steady progress Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. I’m about half way done now, which is crazy. This plot is so involved, I’m not sure how he’s going to wrap it up! The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki. I’ve haven’t done as much with this one now that football season is over (yay) and my husband is around more. I hope to keep listening to it, though, it’s really enjoyable. I grabbed the next book club selection as well, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I recommended reading this one and a lot of people have said it’s a great read, so I’m really excited.

Recently finished: I flew through Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I wanted to read it so I can go see the movie and be able to compare the two. That’s my favorite part of movies lately.

Reading Next:  I’ll get a copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver soon. I’m the last in the rotation for my work book club so I’ll be the only one holding up the discussion. We’ll see.

Not sure I’ll have anything finished by next week but that’s always the goal. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!