Elizabeth's Reviews > Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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's review
Aug 04, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, underwhelmed
Read in August, 2012


Everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE ) loves this hateful book? Kind of makes me weep for the future. It's not even all that clever. It must be the depravity of it all. Suckers.

AND, If I ever read the words *fucking bitch* again it will be too soon.
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01/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 167) (167 new)

Cathleen Thanks for that review, Elizabeth. I was wondering if I should pick that up for a summer vacation read....I'll skip it.

message 2: by Catherine (new)

Catherine That bad? I think I added this one after seeing a recommendation from NPR books, but might have to give it a miss.

Elizabeth Might have been the hype *for sure* but mostly it was just SO HATEFUL and off-putting. And now it is "in there." In. My. Brain.

message 4: by Elizabeth (last edited May 03, 2014 04:28PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Elizabeth Cathleen ::

I am green with envy!
Skip it, grrrl.

Cathleen Thanks, Elizabeth. I was looking for a "page-turner," "fun" vacation read--but this won't be it! :)

message 6: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Although there are an insane number of people who loved this book, there are also a lot that agree with you. After reading some of those reviews -- especially about the completely despicable characters and rampant misogyny -- it's off my list.

Elizabeth BOOM!

switterbug (Betsey) I am one of the insane who looooooved this book! I like her prose, her metaphors, her aphorisms, her character development, and her structure. If the plot outline isn't the most original, her details are. The way she filled it all in. The charisma of the story. And it certainly wasn't a predictable ending. She wasn't shopworn or prosaic.

Y'all--I do respect Elizabeth's opinion, but you may want to make up your own minds about it.

Viva la difference, I always say!

Elizabeth Gillian Flynn can write - it is true. But character development? That is a stretch. The structure? Manipulative. The details? Mean-spirited. Scornful. Caustic. The aphorisms? Misadvised.

Viva la difference, INDEED! (grin!)

message 10: by Gea (new)

Gea Life is too short to immerse myself for hours in a hateful mean-spirited mind. I'm going to skip it too. Thanks for being honest.

Richard Derus I hated it too. Posted my screech of rage today.

Elizabeth Richard wrote: "I hated it too. Posted my screech of rage today."

Screech of Rage. Perf.

Richard Derus And it was, too!

Shovelmonkey1 What's it all about then? I've never heard of it.

Linda I am listening to this book on my iPod. I am torn between being so repulsed by it that I want to quit--but wanting to find out what happens in the end. I am about 80% of the way through, so I will persevere. However, I am looking forward to something pleasant as my next listen. I will be sure to never get another book by Gillian Flynn.

Annie Haynes Glad I found these comments, because "mean-spirited" is the perfect description for what bothered me most about this now-bestseller.

message 17: by Kris (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kris Kachirisky Wow, was this book terrible! I actually thought the writing was horrible, characters unbelievable and forced, the plot contrived and the profanity gratuitous and--as you aptly said, misogynistic. I don't object to profanity, I do object to the gratuitous use of it. And what a terrible ending! Just happy to see I'm not alone and there are others out there saying, "Seriously?" ; )

message 18: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Gaffney This book was a complete waste of time.

switterbug (Betsey) Just curious--to the people who think this book is misogynistic, why do you think that? If so, I think any accusations of misogyny would have to also include misandry, don't you think?

 Gigi Ann I just finished this book and I so agree with you. I hated this book.

Dianne there were some lovely turns of a phrase, and I'll probably plow through to the end--maybe. I've been less and less enthralled. Some really mean, twisted, stuff there...

switterbug (Betsey) Not to be too controversial here, but why do "villain" types make people hate a book? So many memorable, classic writers wrote villains. Dickens, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, etc. I am not saying that Flynn is Shakespeare, not at all. But I don't understand why people bash her for writing legitimate villains into her story.

Why must we "like" characters? I like villains, too, because they balance the morality, and villains tend to be more interesting than having all nice guys. I like what author Zoe Heller had to say:

“I don’t write books for people to be friends with the characters. If you want to find friends, go to a cocktail party. The point of fiction is not to offer up moral avatars,” she added, “but to engage with people whose politics or points of view are unpleasant or contradictory.”

Elizabeth switterbug (Betsey) wrote: "Not to be too controversial here, but why do "villain" types make people hate a book? So many memorable, classic writers wrote villains. Dickens, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, etc. I am not saying that Fly..."

No worries- your comments are not controversial. I LOVE a good villain, too: Iago, Moriarty, Tom Ripley, Sauron, Mrs. Danvers, Count Dracula, Voldemort!

It is a bit of a stretch (though) to call Amy and Nick villains. They were both mean and small people who acted in really ugly and dysfunctional ways. Nothing interesting in THAT story.

switterbug (Betsey) But what makes them small and mean compared to Iago? I think we celebrate and sensationalize the classic villains because they have been around for so long, and are hallmarks in literature now. But, if you get right down to the nitty gritty, Iago was pretty petty and sinister, sort of like Amy. :--)

I am curious, what makes Amy small and mean compared to the others, other than she is brand new and so she hasn't earned her stripes by being around for a long time?

I am also thinking of the Albee play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Two sorry drunks, but we love to watch Martha and George!

Amanda I hated vulgarity in this book. "Fucking bitch" wasn't even the worst of it. Yes, these two characters wanted to hurt and kill each other, but it the language seemed gratutious.

message 26: by Elizabeth (last edited Sep 09, 2012 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Elizabeth switterbug (Betsey) wrote: "But what makes them small and mean compared to Iago? I think we celebrate and sensationalize the classic villains because they have been around for so long, and are hallmarks in literature now. But..."

Hmmm, but there was depth to Iago and his story. He was SINISTER and very different from Othello (INTEGRITY). Debate continues today (!) about Iago's motives.

In Gone Girl, there was nothing to parse or try to figure out what motivated either Amy or Nick- they were both just rotters who liked to roll around in their mutual dysfunction. And that bores me. Why do I care?

On the other hand, I have spent wicked good hours wondering about the characters in many "good triumphs over evil" stories.

Last, Martha and George?
Yep, just two sorry drunks. (grin!)

message 27: by Melinda (new) - added it

Melinda After reading your review I don't know if I should keep going. I think I figured out the missing pieces, it is hard to keep going.

Shelly LeBlanc Seems like everyone I know is raving about how fabulous this book is, so I very surprised to find myself saying "WTF?!" by the end. Glad I'm not the only one.

message 29: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda The ending of this book was terrible!

message 30: by Pam (new) - rated it 1 star

Pam Dunn Well so far--I'm hanging in there, but the writing style is driving me nuts! Perhaps it was a writing class that touted bad analogies---

Christina Patrizio How about the word "literally" ? Cannot recall reading another novel in which this word is used so excessively and by so many characters. It really, but not literally, got on my nerves.

Nora Branch Library ME TOO! I skip read through much of it because it was so awful. I wanted to see what the "twist" was that everyone raves about. Big deal! It was pretty easy to see that coming and it certainly didn't make up for the despicable characters and gratuitous language. Not even very well written. Raves from so many readers remind me of lemmings rushing to the sea. Which I would be willing to do before reading this again.

switterbug (Betsey) I loved this book and I am definitely no lemming rushing to the sea. I respect your opinion--that you intensely dislike the book--but that doesn't mean that those of us who loved it aren't discerning readers.

One could say the same about J.K. Rowling. I don't find her to be a talented writer. She creates easily identifiable characters of good and evil and comforts the reader by writing totally predictable narratives. Hordes of people can't wait for her books to come out, and to me, the rush to love Rowling could be just as lemming-esque as you say this one is.

I happen to like despicable characters, villains, etc. I didn't see anything gratuitous about the expletives, either. Different strokes.

But to call us lemmings? That was certainly a broad statement, not well-considered, and not one that I would call discerning.

message 34: by Christina (last edited Oct 10, 2012 03:09PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Christina Patrizio Just wondering if any of you have read Gillian Flynn's other novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I thought that both books were far better across the board. The writing was sharper, the characters had depth and were well developed. I suppose Flynn was trying too hard to top her first two novels as she wrote Gone Girl, which she unfortunately, did not.

message 35: by A (new) - rated it 2 stars

A W I plowed thru and at the end I wished I hadn't, BUT if you don't finish it, you'll always wonder how it ended....so finish if you must, but make sure you have a stress ball to squeeze or a tennis ball to throw at something - Hahahahaha!

Nora Branch Library switterbug (Betsey) wrote: "I loved this book and I am definitely no lemming rushing to the sea. I respect your opinion--that you intensely dislike the book--but that doesn't mean that those of us who loved it aren't discerni..."

I don't think I worded it very well. In a sense, I was a lemming too - once I'd figured out it was going in a direction I didn't care for, I could have stopped reading it. But in the library, I get a lot of "wow, it's got a long waiting list, it must be good," and I want to tell the person that "popular" and "good" are not the same thing. Danielle Steel and Carolyn Keene are very popular.

Nora Branch Library In regards villains, two of my favorite novels feature fairly ordinary people who are taken over by their worst instincts and become evil. They would not be considered "villains" in the classic Iago or Simon Legree sense. BUT, they are balanced by admirable characters. Even the minor characters in Gone Girl were yucchy. I can't recall a single nice person in the book. Although, admittedly, I'm trying pretty hard not to recall any of the book.
BTW, the novels I refer to are "Gentlemen and Players" by Joanne Harris, and "London Bridges," by Jane Stevenson.

Angela Umm, forgive...but it's a psychological thriller so I think mean spirited is a given. Psychopaths are just kinda like that. Maybe you just don't care for the genre? I think people who do go for this kind of stuff will find something to like here. That being said, I felt like it totally jerked me around.

message 39: by Dawn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dawn I'm reading the book right now - I'm trying not to read any comments on your comment so nothing gets ruined but ugh so far I totally agree with you. I can't stand either of the two main characters. How can you read a whole book not liking ANYONE the book is about? Also, I totally fucking guessed exactly what was going on very quickly into the book just based off of the way the female's voice was written in the diary entries. Everyone I know who has read this book has loved it but unless something dramatically changes (and I'm more than half way through) I can't imagine I will ever end up loving it. Bleargh.

Jeanette If only I hand seen this review sooner... I finished the book today and wrote my first review ever on this site to vent my anger at having something so utterly mean.

Kristy M I hesitate to write a review for this book as I don't really want to spend more time on it. Suppose I will though. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought "really? All these people like this?"

Dyanne I so agree with you. I don't understand all the hoopla about this book. Really didn't like it AT ALL!

Angela Just finished it and it was a complete waste of time! Very slow and drawn out and all of your above comments true!

Marilyn Ditto...ditto to all your comments...wast of my time

message 45: by Dee (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dee One of the most mean spirited books I've ever read. It's scary that so many people loved it...sad for their relationships and for our society. Pathetic peopke doing yerrible things..ehat dun!!!Don't get it...

Jenne Can't agree more!!

message 47: by Elsa (last edited Dec 31, 2012 05:03AM) (new) - added it

Elsa Carrion Crap,... I just spend $30 dollars on two hardback for a friend and I, guess I’ll be taking them back. I don't want to waste my time on something so mean spirited, there are too many good books on my list, and not enough time to waste rather not waste my time it on this one. As one of my favorite authors said, "I adore novels with a happy ending because there are enough sad ending in real life"-Tammara Webber

message 48: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Needham I think I had a bad case of Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome with this - if there was something marvellous about it I failed to see it. Tend to agree with the 'mean spirited' verdict of many negative opinions from others. But hey, it's all a matter of personal response in the end.

Correna Mcclure Thank you!! I thought I was the only one.

message 50: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Needham Not quite, but there aren't many of us!

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