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Gone Girl
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Archive - Group Reads > Gone Girl - January 2013

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Cassie (hokiebird90) I loved it. Gave it 4 stars out of 5 I think. After reading this one I read her two previous novels. Can't wait for her next one.


VickiLee | 251 comments This is a delicious novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the surprises it offered. The characters are thoroughly unlikable, and that made me like them all the more. I found the book to be a worthy read, and if I were to rate it out of 5, I would offer a 4 - 4.5.


Angela (glamourass1) | -1 comments I loooooooved this book. Read it in July and already rated it a 5 star book. Got me hooked on Gillian's writing and read the other two novels immediately after. Excited to see what she comes up with next.


Laura Ruetz (minerva451) | 17 comments tried to get this at the library today but every copy was checked out...hoping to get a copy in time to read it this month!


Leigh | 6313 comments You are going to have to request a copy, there will we a wait list. I checked it out for my sister a few months ago, after being on the wait list for almost six months.


Leigh | 6313 comments Try www.worldcat.org put the in the book title and your zip code. There might be another library system near you that has an available copy.


Amber J. (amberjade11) I read Ms. Flynn's novels in order and I have to say her writing gets better and better....

However I had a little trouble getting ino this book. Her second one "Dark Places" I was hooked from page one, the first "Sharp Objects" was a little slow at the beginning as well...


Laura Ruetz (minerva451) | 17 comments so adorable!


VickiLee | 251 comments Jenni wrote: "Baby "reading" Gone Girl:



The great destroyer of evil, shoelaces, and books.

"


Thanks for the wonderful picture of your furry scamp.


VickiLee | 251 comments Jenni wrote: "It's a woman writing in a male voice, in the first person. Very unusual. I wonder what the male members think of it - if it sounds like a real man. It is a very ruminative and introverted narrat..."

This question got me thinking - why do people question the ability of women to create fictional male characters when we rarely ask if a male writer has captured the female characted realistically? It amazes me that there may be some men who will not read this book because it is written by a woman or because it is called "Gone Girl". My belief is that if you are a quality writer you will create quality characters - male, female, or unidentified! What say you?


message 11: by E.M. (new) - rated it 4 stars

E.M. Lynley (emlynley) | 0 comments Jenni wrote: "Ah, but have you seen even a man writing in a woman's voice in the first person POV which is the unusual thing."

"Memoirs of a Geisha" is first person, a male author writing a female main character. I didn't read the whole thing, but what I did read sounded fine to me.

I wonder why there are no men replying at all to this thread.

However, when I read it, I did question some of Nick's POV sections as being the way a man would write. I certainly found sections I didn't feel rang true, but then you must consider who Nick felt his audience was when he wrote the story. A general audience? If so, he might use different language and hide some of the more male aspects of his personality.

As a writer myself, I am constantly questioning how my POV character would think and express himself, and it's more than gender. Age, race, social status, and of course the audience is key. "Gone Girl" is partially diary style (with specific audiences in mind) and partially narrative, though Nick absolutely hides details he doesn't want his audience to know. He censors his thoughts, so what he says isn't precisely what he knows or thinks, as required in a mystery written in first person or too much would be given away. So he may also be censoring his style of narrative as much as the content.

For me, it was less a question of accurate portrayal of gender as that both characters tended to use similar or the same odd phrasing, so they didn't remain as distinct as they should have. If one didn't mention they learned that phrase from the other, then it served for them to blend together in a way that to me felt like some characterization issues on the part of the author and editor.

Yes, there are so many areas of discussion regarding this book.


Jeffrey | 3 comments I read Gone Girl a few months ago, and loved it just as I did Ms. Flynn's two previous books. Wonderfully dark and twisted. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.


Leigh | 6313 comments Jenni wrote: "Baby "reading" Gone Girl:



The great destroyer of evil, shoelaces, and books.

"

What a cute kitten!!!!!!!!!!


Leigh | 6313 comments He has beautiful eyes.


message 15: by Chris (last edited Jan 09, 2013 06:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (chrismccaffrey) Speaking to two interesting threads that I noticed above. First off, the female writer writing in a male narrative voice (and vice versa). I am not a fiction writer but I would think that it might be difficult. Cultures can be difficult too. I have read many books that have Indian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic and other cultures represented in the characters but the author is from another country or culture. I always wonder if a person of that culture finds the character convincing. We are all the sum of our experiences and the world view is different among cultures and this can effect the way a person thinks and acts.

As to Ms. Flynn writing a convincing male character, I never felt anything jarring to make me think that a male protagonist would not act like that or think that way. I don't know if any other guys felt the same way.

I am very glad that someone brought up the unreliable narrator, because the structure of this book is what made it very interesting and compelling for me. You actually have TWO alternating and potentially unreliable narrators describing events that occurred in the past. You are hearing each person's sides of events in the past and obviously they both cannot be true. It made for quite a bit of tension until later in the book when we got to the present and figure out what it what.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Jenni wrote: "Have you already read the book? Do you think it is as good as the hype? How many stars would you give it out of 5?

Or have you just started reading it? Is it captivating, fast moving, or hard t..."


I loved the book, too, but only to a point. It's a 4-star book that could be a 5-star book with a different end.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Cassie wrote: "I loved it. Gave it 4 stars out of 5 I think. After reading this one I read her two previous novels. Can't wait for her next one."

I have the two previous novels. Are they good? Should I read them?


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Jenni wrote: "can a woman really know the way a man thinks, or a man know how a woman thnks, ..."

That's like asking, can anyone know how anyone thinks. This is fiction. Therefore, any character thinks the way the author wants them to


message 19: by Anna N. (last edited Jan 09, 2013 10:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna N. (orleanna) | 2 comments Beth wrote:
That's like asking, can anyone know how anyone thinks. This is fiction. Therefore, any character thinks the way the author wants them to
"


AMEN.


Chris (chrismccaffrey) I gave it 5 stars and thought it was one of the best books that I read last year.

Beth---I don't want to create a spoiler, but did you think the ending was badly written or did you just not like how the story ended? (view spoiler)


Chris (chrismccaffrey) I have read "Dark Places" but not "Sharp Objects." I liked "Dark Places"---it is very different from "Gone Girl." Much more violent and disturbing. I liked "Gone Girl" better but I liked it enough to want to read this one. I have several friends who say that all of her books are good, with each book better than the prior one. I plan on reading "Sharp Objects."


Laura Ruetz (minerva451) | 17 comments I just started reading this yesterday and am not very far into it but so far the language of the book has drawn me in. Very unusual visuals, I think a head was compared to a fossil once? However, the way it is written, it is very captivating to me, and I'm enjoying it so far! Only three chapters in and I would like to read her other books as well.


Sue Em (sueem) The writing is wonderful and the suspense riveting, but it just stopped. After finishing it, I realized that I really found both characters distasteful.


Beverley Jones | 61 comments I picked this up because I wanted to see if the hype was justified (to be honest,I'm wary of 'thrillers' that could be 'chick lit' in disguise as I find them a bit predictable and contrived but this is anything but!) I was gripped from the start and I agree with Laura and Jenni that the language was very interesting (I have a bug-bear about tired/cliched language and this was the complete opposite). I think Flynn took a real risk making many of the characters,okay, pretty much all of them, so difficult to sympathise with or like. I can see why some readers, who perhaps want to know who to root for, would be frustrated by being forced to re-evaluate the story each time the different voices take over, but I thought this was a great strength. In short,I was surprised how much I loved it!(though I should confess that perhaps I'm biased because it's similar to the dark tone of my own writing and maybe I have a bit of a girl crush :)) I'd still give it four stars.


message 25: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori | 3 comments I read this book a few months ago and although I gave it a 4 because the writing was wonderful. I can't say that I liked it, I think it's because I disliked the characters so much. I will look into this authors other books though.


Beverley Jones | 61 comments Lori wrote: "I read this book a few months ago and although I gave it a 4 because the writing was wonderful. I can't say that I liked it, I think it's because I disliked the characters so much. I will look into..."

I just finished Sharp Objects and, though I really enjoyed it too, it has even more unlikable, damaged characters and deals with topics such as self harm in quite a graphic way. Probably one of those love it or hate it things! Not comfortable reading!


Bonnie I loved this book and could not put it down. Mostly I think because it was so unique. The characters are not likable at all, but so interesting, the plot goes fast, and it has continual surprises.


Laura Ruetz (minerva451) | 17 comments i finished reading this today. i agree, the characters in this book were not very easy to like...even the supporting characters and I think that it made it interesting because how often do you get a book where nearly everybody has their own set of flaws, it made it seem more real to me.

The imagery and the descriptive language I loved, it was like the sort of things that you find yourself thinking but never saying because it just isn't appropriate but yet, we all have these inappropriate thoughts and analogies and this novel was full of them.

Jenni, the description of how the cities have been hit by recession is sadly true in many placs. Although I live in california i have family in rural west virginia and the small town my mom is from has gone from a bustling street of mom and pop shops to closed doors, broken windows and empty stores. it is heartbreaking and very true. the description of the mall is very accurate for some places, sadly.


Laura Ruetz (minerva451) | 17 comments Bonnie wrote: "I loved this book and could not put it down. Mostly I think because it was so unique. The characters are not likable at all, but so interesting, the plot goes fast, and it has continual surprises."

i agree...this is probably one of the first books where I did not like any of the characters but still liked the book.


Barbara (cinnabarb) Laura wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "I loved this book and could not put it down. Mostly I think because it was so unique. The characters are not likable at all, but so interesting, the plot goes fast, and it has contin..."

I disliked the characters so much that it bled over into my feelings about the book. When all was said and done I decided I didn't like the book and was not inclined to read more by this author.


Cassie (hokiebird90) Beth- definitely read her other two novels. They are dark dark dark but I really enjoyed them.


Summer (paradisecity) | 37 comments I read this book last year and had very mixed feelings about it. I found the plot really drew me in, but I found the characters both very unlikable and Nick very (view spoiler)


message 33: by Ava Catherine (last edited Jan 13, 2013 09:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ava Catherine I read this book during the summer and then again in December for another one of my book groups. There certainly aren't many characters to like in this book; Go is likable, but that is about it. The plot is so twisted that just when you think you have everything all figured out, Whoops! everything turns upside down! (view spoiler)

I never thought of this as being a "girl" book or chick lit. It is just a good mystery for me. Maybe some guys feel differently, and I wasn't aware. A guy read it in my other book group, and he didn't seem to have any reservations about reading it.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Chris wrote: "you think the ending was badly written or did you just not like how the story ended?"

I thought it was a 5-star book until the last couple of chapters. But I still would have rated it 5 if not for the end.

The answer to your question is both. I didn't like the way the story ended because it seemed to me that the writer couldn't think of an ending so just stopped. That's why I gave the book 4 stars rather than 5.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Sue Em wrote: "I realized that I really found both characters distasteful."

Right. He was stupid; she was crazy.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Beverley wrote: " I can see why some readers, who perhaps want to know who to root for, would be frustrated by being forced to re-evaluate the story each time the different voices take over, but I thought this was a great strength. ..."

I liked it that I had to re-evaluate everybody when a different voice took over, too. More mystery that way.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Cassie wrote: "Beth- definitely read her other two novels. They are dark dark dark but I really enjoyed them."

I nominated one of them for our February read.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Connie wrote: "I never thought of this as being a "girl" book or chick lit. ..."


It depends on how you define "chic lit." Chic lit is not simply a book about women or a book that women like. Chic lit has certain characteristics, and GONE GIRL is certainly not chic lit. I remember once I read
Firefly Lane That was chic lit. Yuck!


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Jenni wrote: "I think this book ( about 2/3 rds into it ) has potential to be an American classic depicting the American recession era, to be read and studies in schools and universities. "

I disagree. Although I enjoyed the book and although it was one of the best of 2012, it definitely was not one of the best of the 21st century, much less the last two or three centuries. A classic requires longevity.


Amber J. (amberjade11) The whole thing that kept going through my mind through most of the book was the similarities to the Scott/Laci Peterson case. Did anyone else see them? It was uncanny...


Ava Catherine If you want to know the author's views on why she went with the ending she did, go to this link (but not until you finish the book!)
http://nochargebookbunch.com/2012/09/... It's Gillian Flynn telling why she wrote the ending as she did.


Ava Catherine I am not knowledgeable enough of the details of the Peterson case to comment on the parallels; however, I often find patterns in books and real life.

How do you see the parallel reflected in the book from the Peterson case, Amber?


Amber J. (amberjade11) Connie wrote: "I am not knowledgeable enough of the details of the Peterson case to comment on the parallels; however, I often find patterns in books and real life.

How do you see the parallel reflected in the ..."


SPOILER ALERT!

1. Laci Peterson went missing under similair circumstances. Instead of on their 5th wedding anniversary it was Christmas Eve. They too were married for 5 years when she went missing.

2. The "staged" crime scene. When Laci went missing her dog was found by his self wearing his leash. The curtains weren't opened, and neighbors swore Laci opened her curtains every morning, the day she went missing she did not.

3. Scott's alibi was that he was at the lake fishing, Nick's alibi was that he was at the lake drinking coffee.

4. In both cases it was found Scott/Nick was having an affair by a press conference given by the mistress. Nick's mistress was named Andrea, Scott's Amber.

5. In both cases the missing wife was pregnant.

6. In both cases the husband uses his wife's name in past tense, creating further suspicion.

7. The way Amy planned to kill herself by drowning, then her body would be so badly decomposed and eaten by fish activity that there would be no way to determine cause of death or time of death. This is the way Laci's body was found.

These are just a few ways that come to mind, I am a huge true crime reader but it's been a long time since I've read anything on the Peterson case. But the similarities are pretty strong, wouldn't you agree?


message 44: by Ava Catherine (last edited Jan 15, 2013 05:40PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ava Catherine Oh, yes! It is creepy, isn't it? Sometimes it makes you think that authors are taking notes from the headlines.

Kind of like how Truman Capote decided to write In Cold Blood. He found a small piece in the newspaper about the murder and was intrigued. Then he and Harper Lee made a trip to Kansas to research the book and history in writing was made.


Chris (chrismccaffrey) Amber, I never would have made that connection. Makes the story even more chilling. Except truth is darker than fiction in this case.


message 46: by Ava Catherine (last edited Jan 16, 2013 04:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ava Catherine It is really difficult to find characters with any redeeming value in this book. I guess Go was the only likeable character in the book.

The entire book has that twisted Hitchcock feel for me. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, there was another wrinkle.


Cassie (hokiebird90) Esse wrote: "I read this book last year and had very mixed feelings about it. I found the plot really drew me in, but I found the characters both very unlikable and Nick very [spoilers removed]"

I agree, I really didn't like the characters either but I think that's part of the reason I liked the book so much. The author made it complicated for me as a reader to "root" for either of them.


Chris (chrismccaffrey) I agree with Cassie. Although it is natural to want to have a character to root for, this book is even more effective because we are torn about our feelings for the protagonists. We dislike the wife but the husband has his own box of issues and vices. Like someone said---they are made for each other.

One of the things that I loved about this book was the structure. Shifting perspectives that worked down a timeline from the past to the present made it tense. I kept reading one more chapter even when I had planned on stopping. Then when we got to the present the story really took off and I read straight through to the end.

She is a very talented writer and the frame and structure of this story really showed it to its best advantage.


Casey | 3 comments I agree with Cassie and Chris about the main characters. Normally, not relating to a character would probably cause me to lose interest in a book but in this case, the back and forth perspective in both voice and time always kept me guessing. I never knew what to believe and that added to the tension of the story. It made me want to know more. Also, even though they weren't likable, the characters were well-developed and fascinating.


Beverley Jones | 61 comments I think Flynn has been quite subtle, particularly with the character of Amy as there were times I found myself sympathising with both aspects of Amy (diary Amy and other Amy) but also repelled too. Maybe Amy just acts on some of the things we all think for a fleeting second but tell ourselves are unacceptable. Or maybe that just says more about me than the book! :) Either way I think they deserved each other!


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