Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Summary: 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?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Characters: I usually go into detail about a few of the main characters in this section, but I think that discussing any of the characters too specifically will lead me into a spoiler landmine. Plus, even though all of the characters are distinct and real, I had the same problems with all of them: they pissed me off. It wasn't just that they were unlikeable, it was that they did stupid, frustrating things. They got themselves into shitty situations and I couldn't feel bad for them. I don't care if I'm rooting for the hero or the villain, but I want to be able to root for someone. Or cheer when someone gets what they deserve. Instead, I was forced to pity every single character and I hated every minute of it.
I want to be clear that I am not one of those people who think a book needs likable characters. I love unlikeable characters. However... I just didn't find the characters in Gone Girl to be all that interesting. I found them boring and petty.
Narrators: This book was read so slowly! Once I put it on double speed, it was bearable, but I dreaded listening to this audiobook more than I dreaded my morning commute. I think this was the book's fault, more than the narrators'. They seemed to really capture the characters... I just didn't like the characters.
Plot/Pacing: The book is divided into three parts. The first part felt about three times too long. It only became interesting in light of parts two and three. The beginning of part two is fantastic. Fast paced and exciting. I was there... until I wasn't. Again, due to spoilers, I won't go into details, but part two gave me hope that the story would turn around and then it didn't. Finally, part three left me saying "Really? This is the resolution you're giving me." And for the record... I hated the end.
Moments I Loved: The first section not narrated by Nick in part two. The voice was completely refreshing and easy to love (but not for long!). Really... that's it. I can't think of a single other moment that I even liked.
WTF Moments: All of them. Pretty much. But the biggest are the last few pages where things are "resolved". It was set up, but was the least satisfying ending that I could ever imagine. It left me thinking that I should have read the spoilers on Wikipedia.
Overall: Gone Girl is written well and unlike anything I've read before, but I found it impossible to enjoy. I gave this to Kim for her birthday and now I feel bad about it. I don't hate you, Kim!
Gone Girl gets a FakeSteph rating of...