**spoiler alert** A brief synopsis for those who may want to read the book: Nick Dunne is a washed up writer who returns to Missouri with his New York**spoiler alert** A brief synopsis for those who may want to read the book: Nick Dunne is a washed up writer who returns to Missouri with his New York wife Amy. Time have been tough for them both and tensions rise? Then on their 5th anniversary Amy disappears, and the clues all point to Nick. The book is read in Nick’s first person thoughts and in diary entries. I haven not read Gillian Flynn’s other novels but apparently this is her style. The author makes good use of suspense at the end of a chapter that makes you want to skip ahead and see what happens.
I head about the movie first. Then I wanted to read the book and follow up with the film… I’m familiar with thrillers, on the back of the book the praise reads “Ingenious”, “Terrifying”, “Razor Sharp”, “Sinister”, “Menacing”.
Was it really all they said it was?
No, sadly not.
Briefly, my major criticism was the ending. It felt to me that Gillian Flynn didn’t know how to end her book, or maybe she did and just wasn’t good at it. It’s funny because most of the time authors have figured out their beginning and endings. Some authors just write. I was expecting more, a resolution, an affirmation, redemption. None of that. The book just stops and isn’t interesting anymore. There could have been a better, more satisfying ending. Now, perhaps that’s being unfair to the dramatis personæ. Perhaps the way the book ends is the most realistic ending, maybe life is banal, sad and we rarely escape only to go on day after day, and that could be the really horror.
I find I can relate a lot of books to Albert Camus’ “The Outsider”. In the Outsider the main character Meursault, is convicted because he doesn’t seem to care his mother passed away. In fact he lack of emotion about the matter is what condemns him. I thought the same happened here with Nick Dunne. He’s constantly referred to as a bad husband but I’ll defend him and say he’s just an ordinary guy. Why doesn’t he care? I read an article a while ago about domestic abuse. As soon as I say that what do you think? “Nick’s a man, hits her.”
I was talking about women who abuse their men. It’s a pretty serious problem. Men are generally too proud and then ashamed to ask for help. Some lie about their bruises. It’s interesting how society reacts and assumes that men are the bad guys, always. Because female to male abuse is a real thing. In response to a comment on IMDB about why Nick didn’t just leave at the end said it best: LukeLovesFilm28: Good, honest men won't leave. They'll live with the abuse of women. It's not because they don't value themselves. It's because society doesn't allow men to be victims like women. Suck it up is what society constantly teaches boys. Men develop a sense of duty and responsibility toward family. I don’t want to say, “all men cheat” lots do, and so I am not surprised that Nick has a mistress, there is nothing shocking about that. I’m reminded of that movie, “Double Jeopardy” where a husband kills his wife because he needs to look like he’s dead so he can start a new life and escape the financial difficulties of their marriage. Too bad from him the plot of Double Jeopardy means that you can’t be killed if you’re already presumed dead. Gone Girl, it’s the same story oddly, just reverse the roles and change the plot. Maybe reading the novel from the perspective of a sociopath determined to have her misguided revenge is what makes Gone Girl a well received thriller.
At first I was convinced it was Nick and then I wasn’t so sure, he seemed like a a good guy to me, then Amy begins to speak to us in her own voice and at first I thought, oh it’s just like “Dress Lodger” (2001) where the narrator has been dead this whole time. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t even as clever (if overdone) a twist as Jeffery Deaver’s crime novels. No in fact, it was so simple and possible that it was scary. Amy has read a good deal of thrillers and studied hard to implicate her husband for her murder. What’s refreshing is that she gets a taste of the real world when the has-beens of her hide-away camp steal her money and she quickly gives up and returns home swooning for Nick who is rightly infuriated at her ruining his life. And that’s where I expected: -Nick to kill Amy -Amy to threaten Nick only to be gunned down by Detective Boney -Nick to commit suicide with Margo’s help to frame Amy -Amy to slip up and be thrown in jail
None of those sensible outcomes happen. Instead they just go on living together. Amy impregnates herself and Nick can’t bear the thought of losing his child to her. He stays, and he devastates his sister, Detective Boney and his faithful lawyer. Because, perhaps that’s the most realistic ending. Nick would rather torture himself and live with crazy Amy then let her go and continue to hurt other men. He’s taken one for the team and sadly, we never know how that turns out.
Gone Girl wasn’t ingenious because we’ve seen this format before. Terrifying? Yes because it was so simple that it could actually happen, provided that all the pieces were in place, dumb husband, sociopathic wife, etc. Razor Sharp? No, I felt the last part was the weakest, like Flynn had run out of ideas. Up until that point the book was ok. Sinister? Yes, charmingly evil, as I’ve been told is Flynn’s style. Menacing? Possibly, Nick certainly has some menace but really he’s more tragic than dark, and Amy is ingenious but I felt she was so incredibly exposed when she was robbed that Nick just doesn’t she has weaknesses.
I closed the book and brooded over the fact that the authorities blamed the man so quickly. That it just seemed easier. And then further, that Desi’s death and Amy’s explanation were accepted except by Boney and Bolt, that I was frustrated with the other characters.
You know, I went to see the movie and I had read somewhere that Gillian Flynn who wrote the screenplay had changed the ending so that readers would have something to look forward to and be surprised. There was no surprise. It was exactly the same. I really hoped that something dramatic would have happened. Just once. Maybe that is the most terrifying of all is summarized in this quote from the film:
Nick Dunne: Fuck. You're delusional. I mean, you're insane, why would you even want this? Yes, I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain. Amy Dunne: That's marriage....more
Let’s just say it’s a long way from Harry Potter… I’ll give you a run down of the plot and then my review. I think I should offer some sort of disclaimeLet’s just say it’s a long way from Harry Potter… I’ll give you a run down of the plot and then my review. I think I should offer some sort of disclaimer saying that I am not English and I have no idea for whom this book was written or what it is supposed to espouse. I don’t know if it would ring true with an English audience more so than the domestic Canadian. It’s not that I am unfamiliar with little towns and their petty squabbles or that the novel would be better received by an English audience, here I am reading it with my eyes and these are my thoughts.
The story is as follows: Barry Fairbrother is dead. He was a kindly member of the Parish Council that controls the small town of Pagford. The empty space that Barry’s death leaves impacts the townspeople in the most caustic of ways. It seems that everyone was somehow other other connected to the man and their lives are forever changed, not for the better. Slowly everything descends into ruin going from bad to worse at the book rattles to its rather melancholic conclusion.
There are several factions involved, but the amount of characters and names are vastly confusing. There are Howard and Shirley Mollison Miles Mollison and wife Samantha, their two daughters Lexie and Libby. Colin and Tessia Wall and their son Stuart "Fats"
Krystal, her bastard brother Robbie and heroin addicted mother Terri. Kay and her daughter Gaia, freshely arrived from London. Simon and Ruth Price and their sons Andrew and Paul. Then the Vikram cardiac surgeon, his wife Parminder Jawanda and their three children: Rajpal, Jaswant and Sukvinder.
The Review: The book can be best summarized in something said in the last few pages,” “He wanted a taste of real life,” she had sobbed, “he wanted to see the seamy underside-…””
I’ve read lots of books where there are whole casts of characters who all have different agendas and then at the end they all weave together to form a cohesive story. Well the action doesn’t really start until Part 2 Chapter IX. Then it’s all a series of successive explosions and heightening. But that’s 240 pages into the novel. I had just finished speaking to someone during the day who told me they didn’t make it more than 50 pages in when they gave up. Why? Well they had decided that it was just too complicated. Now I’ll argue that any book can be daunting, but given a little effort it can be understood, question is, is it good enough for you want to to try and get into, try and like the characters? For me I don’t think I liked any of them. They are all archetype characters. Hypertensive fathers and abusive husbands, rebellious teens and bullied teens. Drug addiction and social workers. When I say I don’t know much about the English, I don’t. I’m not going to pretend that I found this book to be a mirroring of the social goings-on of a small town. Not at all. In fact, my initial reactions was shock and horror. I don’t mind reading a down-and-out book, about redemption. But when it comes to wanton child abuse, injustice, rape, coercion, drug addictions, petty-politics and ego-clashes, count me out. I’m sorry JK, you certainly know how to write young adults very well, and have an excellent grasp of what it’s like to grow up and be a gangly youth. But the gritty reality of the book is truly unsettling. It’s not a pleasant read. And I hear you saying, well no good story is a walk in the park, and you’re all bleeding heart poets who believe that. I don’t want to read another book about someone being beating down for no reason, about abusive husbands and battered wives. Because its all too similar to what’s gone on before. Just for once I want to see strong women, taking a stand. I’d rather read a story about a teen who kills is abusive father and has to live with the consequences. That’s a story. This tries to take Gossip Girl and put it in a small town, with paunchy wrinkled adults and misfit children, but isn’t nothing new JK. You haven’t given us anything we know you couldn’t already do. In my heart I want to believe you are the reincarnation of Roald Dahl and that you can write novels about horrid adults and avenging children. But the last thing I wanted to read was a story about how the death of one man would sink and entire town. Back to the plot. I like the idea of a small town quibbling over who will take the place of the one man who knew how to keep everyone together, but it's just bananas, chaos. There is no great relief when anything happens and it only goes from bad to worse. It’s not uplifting or inspiring. It’s rather sad and depressing with a cataclysmic ending and no real resolution. I can’t talk about dysfunctional families like I know about them, and that’s that pulp of this novel. I’m left here wondering why this is considered JK’s first novel for adults. Do adults want to read this book? It’s very depressing and it left me feeling very hollow. I'd like to know why this book was written, what was JK trying to accompish or get across to the reader? Don't expect a redeeming ending, or even one that ties up all the loose ends, when you close the book, you'll want to wish a place like Pagford doesn't exist....more
I must say I am a huge Thrawn Trilogy fan. I just approve of all that Timothy Zahn has done for the Star Wars Expanded Universe. This was a special treI must say I am a huge Thrawn Trilogy fan. I just approve of all that Timothy Zahn has done for the Star Wars Expanded Universe. This was a special treat, to just peek at the graphic novels that are all bound together in one giant tome. The book carries all three parts of the trilogy but with large parts of the plot cut out. I can understand why, but after reading the source material, I feel like the graphic novel leaves out some important details. (I won't go into them here)
I was very surprised, impressed, delighted to see that there were three different styles of art for each of the books. I don't know how I feel about it exactly. It's one thing to read a novel and imagine the characters for yourself, and then see a movie where an actor embodies this character. But then you get this novel which presents three different styles, I found it impressive, creative but a bit overwhelming.
I can say that the very fact this is book exists is fantastic. It's a real treasure to anyone who is a fan of the Star Wars chronicles. For the expanded universe, this is it's key stone. ...more
What an amazing ending for an absolutely terrific trilogy.
I wasn't quite sure how Zahn was going to squeeze in everything that happens in the last fewWhat an amazing ending for an absolutely terrific trilogy.
I wasn't quite sure how Zahn was going to squeeze in everything that happens in the last few chapters, INTO THE LAST FEW CHAPTERS!!! but he did. And i must say it left you craving more. More about Luke, Leia and the mysterious Mara Jade. More Thrawn knowing just how to kick the Rebellions ass, more everything!
I will admit I skimmed the sections that had to do with Wedge, Han and Lando. Their parts were not compelling enough for me. I think it's rather amusing that Zahn wrote the characters, (especially Han) as using their movie dialogue, quite often. Whether that solidifies the character as being that was and sounding like that, I don't know. I don't think I've read enough Star Wars novels to know that answers to that. And at the same time, I'd rather the major characters NOT be so easy to write that and old author can say, I can whip up a good tale in this galaxy.
But this is where is all started! Where the Imperial Remnant began, when Jacen Solo becomes Darth Caedus walking around with Ben Skywalker his arch enemy. (am I telling this right?) And then lightyears in the future (somewhere between 104-127 ABY) there is a Pellaeon class Super Star Destroyer!
It's all amazing. Read this trilogy, because it all starts here. Every Star Wars author should tip his hat to Timothy Zahn, because he deserves that recognition....more
Recommended to me by a friend was Linwood Barclay's "The Accident". Coincidentally Mr. Barclay knew my father so I was more than happy t(Spolier Free)
Recommended to me by a friend was Linwood Barclay's "The Accident". Coincidentally Mr. Barclay knew my father so I was more than happy to read one of his books. I had no prior knowledge of Barclay's other novels or his success as a novelist this was an entirely new adventure.
Sadly I must say that I was disappointed with it. I read it in two sittings, more out of desire to get to the end and see how it would all come together than out of genuine fascination. When it comes to a thriller, which should have an inevitable twist at the end authors employ all sorts of techniques to accomplish surprising the reader. Our hero on death's door when, suddenly they are whisked away to safety. You see in Lincoln Rhyme novels author Jeffery Deaver withholds information from the reader to achieve dramatic surprise. On the other hand I like when writers leave lots of clues so when its over you can look back and it all makes sense. The problem with The Accident is that the surprise ending doesn't work very well, it's feels hastily done.The Accident is a novel trying to do too little with too much.
The plot is about Glen Garber's wife Sheila Garber is killed in an automotive collision where alcohol was consumed. It appears that it was Glen's wife who was at fault. This only propels Glen to begin asking questions and uncovering a ring selling knock-off designer bags. Suddenly it seems that everything is connected and Glen's life falls apart. That's the gist of the plot. Without giving anything away.
But what's in the book? People get killed off left and right and it doesn't seem to attract the attention of the FBI. The language is as rough as you might expect from a man in search of the truth. And, I did sort of expect a "Walking Tall" sort of plot, but it never happened. (Walking Tall was a 1973 film, the 2004 remake stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson") I thought one of the key elements was that Glen's wife died while being intoxicated, but the entire cast, Glen himself have no problem guzzling back beer after beer. Glen even has one when he sets out to pick up his daughter, considering the circumstances, it seems like a glaring oversight and insensitive on his part, as Glen appears a very conscientious man. Glen's part is written in the first person whereas the other characters, and there are many, all get third person treatment. Some of the sentences I found awkward. The driving force behind the characters, this "knock-off handbags where-is-my-money" thing was a weak plot device, I was honestly expecting a bigger fish to show up. It became apparent early on that this was the big-bad and I wasn't going to uncover a conspiracy that led right to the top, like Sheila had inflammatory pictures of the mayor or was the illegitimate child of a gangster. But the real surprise was the so called "twist", it was unrelated to the entire book, cleared up in two chapters. That's not what I call a twist. If Glen had been in the car and dreamed all this in a coma, that's a twist. Since the entirety of the book was devoted to Glen learning the truth about his wife, the resolution not being connected just didn't sit well with me. It just seemed like a write off, and with a weak motive as well. I'd hoped to have been led down some path thinking, oh no Sheila wasn't this good person after all, then, oh maybe she was just a patsy. Nope.
Back to doing too little with too much. The plot had one connecting element which wasn't really the crux of Sheila Garber's death. If that was going to be it, a GIANT red-herring, it was not used properly, not delved into enough. There were many, many characters to try and keep track of and I honestly didn't think they had much to do in the book. Introduced and then abruptly murdered. The conspiracy was too little, too domestic. The only "ah" moment that caught me was when Ann's killer was revealed. It was a lot of dysfunctional families bickering over some lost money. When you find out, why Sheila died, you might say, "for what? Why?" It just seems so unnecessary. Too much insignificant murder, not enough suspicion and lacking in intrigue. The book left me feeling empty, it's just about a bunch of senseless murders over knock-off handbags.