33 comments on “Why I Finally Read Gone Girl

  1. It’s a relief to see someone else who felt this book was just ‘meh’. I read it when it first came out for my work book club. Before all the hype began and it was optioned for a movie (that I know of). I had read Flynn’s other books and hated them. Not my kind of thrillers. But anyway, the ladies in my book club wanted to try this one, so I dove in. It was so slow starting for me, then got pretty good, then it went downhill. The ending especially – ugh. Now I am curious about how they are changing the ending in the movie. I hadn’t realized that. I admit that the movie previews make the book seem better than it is, in my opinion. I would have wanted to see the movie based on just the previews if I hadn’t known it was based on a book. I hope it’s a case where the movie ends up being better than the book. I’m too cheap to see it in theaters, but it may be one I have to rent, just to compare.

    • I’m very curious, not just about the ending, but also how they’re going to adapt it to the screen. But yeah, definitely not go-see-it-at-the-theater curious.

      • I really enjoyed the book, but the thought of the ending still gets my blood boiling. Flynn wrote the screenplay so I have high hopes the movie will be done well. However, I’ve heard that she changed the 3rd act.

        • The original author writing the screenplay is usually a good step in making the movie live up to the book… not foolproof, they’re still completely different media, but a good step. I did hear from someone who saw the movie last night that the ending wasn’t quite as different as she’d been led to believe.

          • One of my friends saw it as well and said the movie was well done–just like the book the movie is uncomfortable at points. I can’t wait to see it, but it will probably be a few months as I prefer to go to our local independent theatre that shows 2nd run flicks.

  2. It’s coming out this weekend? Oh man…I want to see it but not sure if I’ll have time (or want to pay money for it). I am also interested to see how it ends in the movie…I was so upset about the ending. I also think Gillian Flynn is a skilled storyteller, but she pushes the envelope on the characters in a way that makes it feel like, “look how effed up this person is, see?” instead of making you like them and root for them. I don’t know…it’s not that they need to be ‘likable’ per se, but just…there’s something missing. I read Sharp Objects too, and that was even more so than Gone Girl in the “pushed too hard” sense. It was good, just…not as good as it could’ve been, I guess. To each their own.

    • Yeah, she very deliberately makes her characters unlikable… which is fine, but if I don’t like (or can’t relate) to the characters, then I need something else from the book to invest in. Dark Places didn’t give me that. Gone Girl started to, at least. But she’s definitely not an author for me.

  3. Probably not this weekend, but I definitely plan to see the movie. I definitely agree that lucky timing and marketing contributes to certain titles “going viral” and capturing public attention and interest even if they are not necessarily the best example of a particular genre for more avid readers (I still have a soft spot for Dan Brown though, I must admit! But I can’t say I am widely read in the thriller genre so I am probably one of those who got swept up in the hype surrounding The Da Vinci Code). I enjoyed Gone Girl as an audiobook and also gave it 3 stars, but like you found the ending completely unsatisfying. The book is twisted for sure, but the ending really sucked and was totally anticlimactic for me. I was dumbfounded to hear Flynn changed her own ending for the screenplay, but after I finally read the book, I think I can understand why and look forward to finding out what that change is.

    • Dan Brown’s books were some of the first I read after my ten-year after I started reading for pleasure again. So I do get it. They’re entertaining, and I liked (most of) his books more than this one. But I’ve just come across better authors since then, and it makes me think that if there wasn’t so much controversy over The Da Vinci Code, he would never have blown up the way he did.

  4. I have so much to do this weekend, but, yes, I will be going to see the movie tomorrow morning. I’m really excited about it and hope it doesn’t disappoint. Mostly I want to see how it ends. I loved the book. The ending had left me with such a sick feeling. I didn’t read the book at its height of hype, but the hype did bring it to my attention initially. Since I love books like this, I would have likely read it regardless.

    • If I hadn’t already read Dark Places, I’m sure I would have grabbed this immediately, because it’s definitely sounds like my kind of book. I’m curious how I would have reacted to it then… if this was my first Gillian Flynn instead of my second, if I’d read it at the height of hype… how might that have swayed my opinion?

  5. I missed the Gone Girl hype but it’s on my bookshelf and I do want to give it a whirl. I’m not usually terribly impressed when I read thrillers… not because I read them often, but I think it’s more a personality thing. Enjoyed heading your perspective on this!

    • It sounds like the kind of thing I would like, and if I hadn’t already been soured on the author, I’m sure I would have read it a lot sooner. More and more I’m finding myself drawn to the more psychological and character-driven thrillers than the action ones. (Those are still fun, just a little too mindless, for the most part, to read all the time.)

  6. Very interesting! I’ve wondered if I should pick this book up (esp. before the movie) but just never did. I’m actually seeing the movie tonight (before reading the book – the horror!) so I’m wondering maybe the movie will satisfy my curiosity enough that I don’t have to read the book OR intrigue me enough to read the original work. Hmmmmmm… I’ll report back with my thoughts on the movie!

    • Yeah, that’s a tough call. At least for me, the version I experience first is likely to remain my favorite. If I read the book first, I’ll still see the movie, but if I see a movie first, I’m more reluctant to pick up the book. Partly because of the time issue (seeing a movie of a book I’ve read is a 2-hour commitment, reading the book of a movie I’ve seen is usually more), and partly because I’m afraid of being disappointed, one way or the other… either the book won’t live up, or I’ll suddenly not like the movie as much. Either way, I hope you enjoy the movie!

  7. Hmm, I’m thinking of seeing the movie, but I’m not really interested in reading the book for some reason. i hope the movie will have a more satisfactory ending though, as that is probably the biggest thing that is putting me off the book. It’s good to know that you think of it as only an okay read, I feel validated in not wanting to read it! :D

    • There are definitely stories that appeal to me more in one form or the other. I say, if you have no interest in the book, don’t read it (and not just because I think it’s overrated).

  8. I read this book around the time that I was just getting back into serious reading (after not really reading a book in YEARS) and I found it really consuming. It took me a long time to be ok with the end (I always thought it should have been more dynamic like the rest of the book was), but it didn’t ruin the whole thing for me. I do really want to watch the movie, but it probably won’t happen until it comes out on dvd.

    • Yeah, I think that was my biggest problem with the ending… not anything that did or didn’t happen, but it just felt anticlimactic. I have to assume that was her intent. But it didn’t work for me. I’m very curious about the movie (but definitely a wait-for-video, if I see it at all).

  9. I tried to read this. I tried really, really hard to like this but it was SO not for me. I hated it. I think it’s just different strokes for different folks you know?

    • Absolutely. I don’t expect to like every book I read, even in a genre I normally enjoy. And I went into this with very low expectations (which probably helped me to enjoy it more). I don’t blame you for hating it. But I also can’t blame those who loved it… even if I want to push other books into their hands instead.

  10. The book aggravated me. I was hooked for the first half, but then things switched up and the lead characters were just so deeply unlikable. I’m not planning to see the movie, but I will look online to find out how the ending was changed!

    • That’s probably what I’ll do. I might eventually watch it when it comes to Netflix or the library, but I’m not going to spend money on it (and I’m sure I’ll be too impatient to wait that long to find out what happens).

  11. Very thought provoking post. First, I loved Gone Girl – I was completely enthralled with it and even didn’t mind the ending…I thought it was fitting in a screwed up way…exactly like the rest of the book. Also – I read it when it first came out and before much of the mainstream hype.
    Second, after loving Gone Girl (my first Flynn book), I tried Dark Places and hated it. Part of the reason I liked GG was the witty dialogue and the psychological aspect with the focus on marriage…2 things that were missing from Dark Places. DP was just flat out dark and creepy weird.
    Third, I see your point about overhyped books, but I thought both GG and Da Vinci were very good. Maybe they weren’t “high brow” literature, but they were thoroughly entertaining…and that’s part of the point of reading. However, I feel the way you felt about those 2 about Liane Moriarty…most recently Big Little Lies. However, like Becca Lostinbooks commented, different strokes for different folks. Not everyone is going to like every book and that’s fine!

    • Oh, I’m definitely not looking to those books to be high brow literature. But even among books that are just for entertainment, it’s frustrating to see books that I think are more worthy not getting the recognition. But exactly… there’s no one book that everyone will love.

  12. I have yet to read this book even though I see it everyday at work (there’s a HUGE display set up with multiple copies and editions on the table). I suppose it’s because I’m not that interested in reading it, and will likely just see the movie. In all honesty I had never heard of Gone Girl before I saw the movie trailer, and later saw it at work. I suppose it’s because I don’t read many thrillers; it just isn’t a genre that has ever been for me.

    I wish books weren’t as hyped up as they are. I think a LOT of books DO deserve the hype, but there are also a lot of underrated books in their respective genres that are absolutely wonderful. Also, everything is being made into a movie now. I don’t understand it at ALL.

    • Wow, it felt like the book was just everywhere a couple years ago. I’m surprised you hadn’t at least heard of it. But yeah, I think hype more often hurts a book’s chances than helps it. Hype is great for selling books (all the publishers care about) but not for helping a book find its ideal audience. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Interesting take. I did enjoy Gone Girl, but with a grain of salt, and I think the hype really is a factor. I think you’re correct, that these “big” books are considered amazing by people who don’t read as much (or who don’t typically read that particular genre), because for every big hyped book, there are probably dozens more just as good that simply lack the attention.

    In any case… I’m hoping to see the movie this weekend or next, and will be interested to see how such a psychologically intense plot translates into a more visual medium.

    • Exactly. At least Gone Girl was fairly original, even if I didn’t personally care for it. There are other psychological thrillers that thrilled me a lot more. But what other people loved about it might be hard to find somewhere else. What really drives me crazy is when there’s nothing in a book that makes it stand out at all, and everyone talks about it like it’s the best thing ever. And I’m like… but why? I like it when I can at least see what people are drawn to, even if I can’t agree.

  14. SPOILERS

     
    I kind of liked the book, my review is pending to be posted. It held my interest as I wanted to know when would she stop being a bitch and she never did!!
    I am looking forward to the movie as well :)

  15. I quite liked this book! It was a lot of fun seeing all the clever things the characters did to manipulate each other. And I’m definitely going to see the movie next week. It sounds so fun.

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