Tag Archives: Gone Girl

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!

Friday 56, 31-Oct-2014

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

Welcome to a spooky edition of The Friday 56 hosted by Freda on Freda’s Voice. Head on over there and check out the other participating blogs. The community has been really great and I’m excited to jump in!

Friday 56

The way this meme works is pretty simple. If you want to join in, head over to Freda’s blog and add your link.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book (I grab the one I’m currently reading)
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.

I’m powering through this title so I want to use it while I still have the opportunity: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Here’s a quote from page 56.

Then comes sex and a stiff drink and a night of sleep in a sweet, exhausted rats’ tangle in our big, soft bed. Poor me.

Having read further into the book, this quote is great because Amy is still so confident in her marriage! Her ‘poor me’ at thee end is sarcastic. Flynn has done an amazing job of showing the readers how something that started so happily (as this quote shows) can turn sour. I won’t give away more than that, but know that I’m really enjoying this book so far! I hope to review and movie compare soon.

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, 29-October-2014

29 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! I’ve finally started moving forward, thankfully! So here’s a new set of books!

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 finished 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 around disk 14 now and I’ve renewed it for the first time. I’ll keep counting how many times I need to do that. And there are two new books! I started an audiobook on my phone, California by Eden Lepucki. This was a free Audible download courtesy of the Ford Audiobook Club. If you haven’t seen this on Goodreads, go check it out. You get a free audiobook every month and they don’t expire. This was the September selection so I’m behind on discussion, but I’ve got the October selection downloaded as well. This book is perfect for time spent unpacking and cooking. I recommend it. I’ve also jumped on the bandwagon with my physical book selection; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve heard so much about the movie that I want to read the book so I can go see it! I have two other books that I need to be reading now, but I’ve got to get this one out-of-the-way first.

Recently finished: I’ve finally finished Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. YAY! I finished it and promptly took an hour-long nap. It’s that kind of book. I think this would be a great research book if I were writing a thesis, but this was not a good book club selection and I wish I’d skipped it.

I’ve also gotten a book review done, so check out my recap of The Compound by S.A. Bodeen.

Reading Next:  I’ll get a copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver soon as a part of my work book group. The first person to read it really liked it and the second person is in process. No word yet to how that’s going.

Ideally, I’ll finish Gone Girl this week but with Halloween and the beginning of NaNo (which I’ll post on soon), that doesn’t seem likely. 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!

WWW Wednesday, 22-October-2014

22 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! It’s safe to say progress has stalled. And I know where to point the finger.

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. I just had it e-returned to the e-library until my e-hold brings it back. I’m about half way through and I’m really loving it so I hope I get it back soon. I’m working my way through the next section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. This book is so good and so sad at the same time. I’m torn. The book club book of the moment is Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. Here I point the finger. This book is dragging! I can’t wait to finish the last 40 pages. I’ve chosen another book to read next to get me out of this slump! I’m making steady progress Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. I put disk 10 in today! Here’s to progress!

Recently finished: Nothing this week, again. This is what happens when you move.

Reading Next:   The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver has gone to the second person in our three person rotation so I’ll be reading that soon. And, my ‘big’ announcement, I’ve decided to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to try to get me out of my reading slump. I hope it works!

I’m more than determined to finish Michelangelo this week. I’ve got to move on to something else! 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!

Recently Added to my To-Read List (Part 2)

21 Nov

Part two following Monday’s part one. I’ve added so many books to my list since November started and it’s time to share them all. Am I wasting my time with any of these? Should I pick them up as soon as possible? Let me know in a comment, please!

  1. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is a side effect of finding an author I like. I instantly want to read everything he’s ever written. I went through this with John Irving in high school. It will fade, but it may take a while.
  2. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. This one has been floating around on my Goodreads “Recommended for You” lists since I joined. The story follows a Chinese-American man whose good friend in the 1940s was Japanese and was swept away into an internment camp at the outset of World War II. I saw this book at a library book sale and I had to grab it.
  3. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. As I explained above, this is a result of loving Middlesex so much. I saw this one at the book sale as well so it was more than necessary to buy it.
  4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve heard so many opinions and controversy around this book that I feel I have to read it. Also, I saw it at the book sale for only $2 and I can’t fight that price. My book club was going to read it a while ago and then took it off because it’s still unavailable in paperback. We’ll read it eventually.
  5. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. I added this book not knowing what it’s about. John Green tweeted that he loved it and I love John Green so it got added to the list. After reviewing that it’s about North Korea, I’m even more excited to read it.
  6. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. This one is on my Book Club list so I added it prematurely. KK said it was beautifully written which just makes me excited to read it. The Wisconsin setting intrigues me because I don’t think I’ve read any book that takes place there before.
  7. Daughter of the God-King by Anne Cleeland. This is another Goodreads First Reads win. I entered to in because it’s a historical fiction novel and I’ve always been intrigued by ancient Egypt, which is a central theme in this novel. It should be arriving in the mail shortly.

Finally, we’re caught up! That book sale I went to really did me in. My book shelf is pretty full and I’m forcing my husband to move some of his books off of it. What’s worth reading, what can wait? I’m always curious what you think, Reader.

Until next time, write on.