GONE GIRL BY GILLIAN FLYNN:: A BOOK REVIEW

This is one of my all time favorite rooms from Elle Decor.  I am crazy for floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with leather bound books, but to do something as decadent as add a formal dining table to the mix just slays me.  I am constantly dreaming of the day when I will have a room designated as the 'library'. The thing that will please me most is to know that the books on my shelves won't be there for mere decorative purposes but because I have read them, spent time with them, shared a laugh, a cry and many of them I have wanted to stay with longer and not wanted the story to end. Do you know that feeling of both wanting to get to the last page of a book and that feeling of total dejection when you finally finish? I think that is the definition of bittersweet.  I read a lot of non-fiction and often books with a scientific bent, it's to be expected from a girl that has a subscription to the Smithsonian magazine, right?  My reading is not usually what one would consider light. I like to be challenged + awed and want that feeling of wanting to learn more.  I think a good book sets you to researching, let the treasure hunt begin!

I caught a bad summer flu the day before yesterday, it side-swiped me out of nowhere, at around 3p.m. that afternoon I had buckled to the sensation of my bones feeling like they were replaced by rubberbands and my brain feeling like it was on fire. I crawled into bed and stared at the ceiling unable to sleep.  I decided to read, but didn't have anything new on my nightstand or on my Kindle. I looked around for something easy and light in the Kindle bookstore, something that would take my mind off of all the work I needed to be doing instead of the general state of malaise I was in. I got the hankering for a thriller/mystery.  I ended up downloading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn that had mostly glowing reviews, it was on the New York Times Best Seller list and from the excerpt that I read it seemed that it would be an easy and enjoyable read, and it was until--the end. Not in a bittersweet way either, the end was terrible.  The end was so terrible that I had actually assumed that perhaps the last chapters of my book had not downloaded, that it was an error, there was no way that a book could end like this, no way, but it did.  I am still reeling from it.  I read all the 1 star reviews after not finding my 'missing' chapters which there were many (although the 5 stars out weighed them) and the reviewers all had the same lament, how could she end the book like that? In the mystery genre there is an unspoken code that authors adhere to and that is to wrap up all the loose ends and let the reader have their 'aha' moments, this author took us on a wild ride and then basically opened the door and shouted 'tuck and roll'. I couldn't believe I spent hours with this book, in high fever even and it ended like it did.  I think my disappointment is more in the fact that Flynn is a good writer, the story had a lot of fun twists and turns and although the characters were not particularly likeable you still found yourself wanting to know how on earth they were going to get themselves out of the situation they were in. Alas, it was never resolved, just like that.  I do not recommend this book unless you want to torture yourself or know how not to ever end a  book. Do you have any book recommendations?  Books to read, books to avoid?

Deborah Flanagan (August 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM)  

Hope you feel better. I was just downloading books and almost downloaded Gone Girl. Try a Tana French book or one by Kate Atkinson featuring Jackson Brodie.

LOVE that library.

Miss B. (August 8, 2012 at 9:20 AM)  

Deborah, thank you for the recommendations. I am feeling MUCH better today, I am so thankful, it was a doozy of a flu!

Megan (August 8, 2012 at 9:21 AM)  

I just finished Gone Girl two days ago (pregnancy bedrest has me reading a lot these days) and had the exact same reaction. I absolutely loved it, couldn't put it down, was ready to shout it from the rooftops and recommend to all my friends. Until the end! I had heard so many good things -- how could anyone recommend this book with it ending the way it did?

I read it on Kindle as well and am now convinced that contributed to the problem. I was seeing the 96% complete mark and had the expectation that there was still a ways to go to wrap everything up (they put a chapter from another one of her books at the end) but then it ended so abruptly! Maybe if I was reading a paper copy and could feel that there were only 2-3 pages left I wouldn't have been so stunned? Oh technology.

Either way, sucky ending. I'm glad to know someone shares my lament.

Naurnie (August 8, 2012 at 9:24 AM)  

I have had this on my "to read" list for awhile, so I'm glad you warned me. I HATE when books end poorly and without resolution.

Mrs. Limestone (August 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM)  

I just finished this book after being warned about the ending. I didn't think it was THAT bad although maybe I would have felt differently if I was expecting a good ending. I tend to appreciate the loose bits type of ending - it feels more real to me.

Miss B. (August 8, 2012 at 9:29 AM)  

Megan and I am SO happy to know that I am not the only one! I felt so cheated. IF perhaps she was going to right a part II and we got a snippet of that MAYBE it would have been ok, but for this to get so many good reviews with such a poorly executed ending? It was not just a bad ending but the WORSE ending for any book I have ever read!

Naurnie, don't do it, it will make you feel icky inside, lol. Especially if you like the mystery genre you will be so angsty + angry. She is a good writer which I think makes it all the more disappointing for someone as smart + creative to basically give up.

Miss B. (August 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM)  

Mrs. LImestone, I envy you for not feeling taken. I am pretty new to reading this genre (as my MIL got me hooked) and it just seems like everyone has a formula of wrapping it all up in the end (very Sherlock Holmes) and I find it very satisfying; like satiating a sweet tooth or scratching an itch and this just threw me for a loop. That being said I did start her other book 'Dark Places' because I think she is talented and I would like to read one of her books that has an ending worthy of her creativity.

Amy (August 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM)  

That is so wrong, on so many levels. But thanks for the heads up!

As for book suggestions, I love me some P.G. Wodehouse or S.J. Perelman (Acres & Pains for instance, essays on a city slicker gone country) for easy reading + laughs. Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson by Peter Kurth is intriguing (I know the DNA proved she wasn't really Anastasia, but after reading this book you understand why people still believe). Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers are fun detective stories--a little old fashioned, quirky, and written by women.

Hope you're feeling better soon! xoxo

Sarah C. (August 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM)  

Agreed. I read all the reviews and expected greatness. In the end, I was sorely disappointed. I know it's fiction but the whole thing just seemed really unbelievable...

Emily (August 8, 2012 at 3:52 PM)  

I.AGREE. I waited on the library list to get the book and immediately began reading. I wasn't enamored with the story itself but the ending Totally.Sucked.

Heather (August 9, 2012 at 12:05 AM)  

I have done a ton of reading this summer and kept a list with reviews on the blog.

But I just finished John Harwood's The Seance, and I loved it! It is kinda supernatural but in the end science prevails (it is a part of the story but by no means overbearingly so). What I loved about this book was the thriller aspect. It wasn't so much written into the story, it was what your mind did after you finished certain parts. There were many nights I stayed up past midnight reading and had to leave a light on!

I also enjoyed The Kitchen House and Rules of Civility.

Dear Demoiselle (August 9, 2012 at 6:09 AM)  

You've probably read these, but here you go:

Highly recommended: Helene Hanff's "84, Charing Cross Road" and the sequel "Duchess of Bloomsbury Street". The first book contains the correspondence between herself and an antique book store in London from the 1950's to the 1970's. This is a book about books! The sequel is her recordings of her first trip to London. I adore these books, especially the first one.

Worst read ever: "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. Its suspense curves are built up badly (on-off-on-off), and the ending is terrible. I'm visualizing Brown writing himself into the proverbial corner, then doing an Edvard Munch "Scream"-escue grabbing of his face whilst whispering: "oh no, oh no, what have I cooked up, there's no way out of this plot. I'd better end the whole miserable thing by letting it culminate in a veritable atomic bomb of utter nonsense. Yeah, I'll do that!"
(sorry if I'm offending anyone here, it's just my not-so-humble opinion...)

Jules (August 9, 2012 at 10:39 AM)  

Your review made me laugh! I *almost* made this the book club pick for October (we're doing thrillers that month!) but I heard too many things about the bad ending to pull the trigger. Instead, I'm going with The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.

Miss B. (August 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM)  

I LOVE all the recommendations!!! LOVE! Jules, your book club would have been SO disappointed, I will definitely add your book to my list AFTER your book club reviews, that's what I have been doing and haven't been disappointed yet:)

Anonymous –  (December 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM)  

I thank you for your review. After reading the New York Times review I got the book from the library. I can't recall disliking a book so much in ages. For heaven's sake, what's going on at The New York Times!!!

Anne

Post a Comment

I am honored + thrilled that you are leaving me a note! Please know your sweet thoughts are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

xx,

Miss B.