I really did not like this book. I can agree that it had some interesting twists and I read it to the end to find out the downer ending. The main characters are completely unlikeable and creepy. If you want to read a book that leaves you feeling sick to your stomach, this is the one for you.
You've got to be kidding me! I stayed with this book hoping to read some great twist of an ending. What a let down. It reads like the author lost interest and just come up with a lazy ending. Don't waste any valuable time reading this book.
The novel begins as a fantastic character study. It's deceptively slow - read carefully as there a number of seemingly minor details that matter later in the story. The middle section takes off at a wonderfully fast pace, the kind of story that keeps you up too late because you just have to know what twist is coming next. And then the end...the momentum of previous chapters is lost, almost as though Flynn herself is worn out and the book loses the intensity that kept us so enthralled. Suddenly, all detail is lost making the end seem very abrupt, a tad contrived and even a little boring.
At the beginning, the reader is bounced back and forth from Nick's (Lance Nicholas Dunne) thoughts and experiences to excerpts of Amy's (Amy Elliot Dunne) diary. Nick sound pretty sincere that he didn't kill Amy...but all the evidence, diary entries and Nick's behavior would have you believe otherwise.
At about 200 pages in, the story takes an interesting turn. (On a more personal level, I really did questioned whether or not I've seen this as a Lifetime movie.) At this point the book itself is right when it stated further on: "We should be selling t-shirts: Team Nick or Team Amy?" (paraphrased)
Since this is supposed to be a "thriller" or "mystery" it wouldn't be right to go any further. However, the one quote that sums up the whole book for me was from the character, Tanner: "You two are the most f***ed-up people I have ever met, and I specialize in f***ed-up people." (389)
So, perhaps the review should end this way: And they lived happily ever after...or did they?
First of all, the characters in "Gone Girl" are not supposed to be likable, but they are supposed to be believable. The brilliance of this novel is that the author, through realistic details and use of human nature, makes the sheer audacity of the plot somehow convincing.
AVOID SPOILERS AT ALL COSTS. The novel is plotted in three parts and every one takes a twist that stunned me. In fact, reading it, I was a little disappointed about a third of the way through the book, nearing the end of the first section, thinking it had become a little predictable...until I realized that the author had skillfully made me THINK I had guessed what was happening, all the while with a deft hand building to something completely different. I disagree that the conclusion was flat. The end (which is NOT happy but is satisfying in tying the plot into a final knot) is stunning, unlike anything any other murder mystery could pull off. This is one of the most unique novels I've read in years, especially when compared to its genre, which tends to be more "entertaining" page-turners than "literary" tomes. (For all its literary-caliber brilliance, this is an entertaining novel.)
After reading "Gone Girl," I read every other novel by Gillian Flynn. This is her best. ("Dark Places" is decent; I didn't like the pitch-black plot/characters of "Sharp Objects" at all. It would likely please fans of the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series.) Flynn's novels do tend to portray a fairly dark world, blending "victims" and "bad guys" and set in desolate (often economically depressed) Midwestern towns. Since I hail from the very area she writes about, I must admit that for the most part, her descriptions are honest and insightful (if shaded a little dark).