Tag Archive: gillian flynn


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone girlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Published June 5th, 2012 by Crown

Buy this book at: Books A Million / Book Depository / Amazon / B&N

 

Synopsis:

Marriage can be a real killer.

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.

 

Rating: 3 star

 

Review:

Small disclaimer, I am a huge Gillian Flynn fan.  I am the type of Flynn fan who keeps multiple copies of her books around the house just in case I need to loan a few copies out to friends.  Sharp Objects is easily one of my all time favorite books, I’ve read it more times than I can count.  Dark Places was not as amazing as Sharp Objects but I still loved it to pieces and have re-read it a thousand times.  I was so excited to get into this book that I was practically salivating on it.  Unfortunately, while I enjoyed this book, it was a slight disappointment for me.  It is with much sadness that I have to proclaim Gone Girl as my least favorite Flynn book to date.

The premise of this book is interesting because how many times have we seen this in the last few decades?  It seems like at least once a year a beautiful woman goes missing, the husband makes himself look oh so guilty, then it comes to light the husband is a no good cheater, then he’s a wife beater, then it comes out the woman was pregnant and he didn’t want it.  Oh the horror!  Everyone watching the television coverage sits back in satisfaction when the husband is finally carted off to jail for murdering his wife.  So to write a book about this very topic, I thought, would be fascinating.  What if it really wasn’t quite that simple?  And once you add in a Gillian Flynn twist, it can only be fantastic.

The characters in this book weren’t very likeable.  Which is common with this author, so I expected it.  Although, I will admit that while I didn’t like Nick my main emotion for him was sadness.  I felt bad for him.  I felt like we were only getting the side of the story that made him look like a shitty excuse for a man and a sugar coated version of everything else.  It wasn’t fair and I saw right through it.  I didn’t really like Amy from the start, I found her voice and character to be disingenuous at best.  Unfortunately that meant that most of the shocking twists in plot, I had already figured out well ahead of time.

The plot was tight and well put together, but it did drag in certain places.  I really liked the layout of the story and characters and it was clear that this was very well thought out.  But every now and then I caught myself thinking, okay I get it stop pounding the point home!

Up until the ending, I was really enjoying the book.  It definitely wasn’t my favorite of this author’s books, but I was still having a great time reading it.  But then the ending.  I don’t even know what to say about the ending because that’s how lukewarm I am about it.  It was a perfect ending from a character perspective.  It fit all of the character’s personalities perfectly and was exactly what those kind of people would do.  But it was also painfully predictable for me.  I suspected that’s how it would end starting around the middle of the book, and that disappointed me.  I am used to getting a huge and unexpected twist at the end from Flynn, and I didn’t get even a little bit of a surprise.  Maybe I just know the author’s style too well and so I got too good at predicting her plot.  I am not sure where the problem happened, but it left me feeling underwhelmed about the book in general.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Published January 1st 2006 by Shaye Areheart Books

Cover and Synopsis from the Goodreads book page

You can buy this book at: B&N and Amazon

 

Synopsis:

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

Rating (out of 5):

Review:

This was a re-read for me in preparation to read Gillian Flynn’s new book Gone Girl. I originally bought Sharp Objects after seeing it on a store shelf and feeling immediately drawn to the cover art.  It was so simple but poignant and gripping.  I had never heard of Gillian Flynn but bought the book based on my love of the cover and I was so far from disappointed.  And reading it for the second time now, I enjoyed it and loved it just as much as I did the first time.

This book is not a happy book.  If you are looking for a book where the heroine meets the man of her dreams, the bad guy faces justice, and everybody lives happily ever after then perhaps you should keep looking.  Camille is one of the best characters I have ever read.  She is flawed, unhappy, deeply mentally disturbed, and yet you can’t help but feel drawn to her.  You know immediately that she has had a long, tough life full of enough trauma to mentally scar someone for life, and in Camille’s case physically as well.  This was portrayed in a very realistic and gritty way, which I appreciated.  So many books these days seem to wish to sugar coat everything.  Yes the serial killer is slaughtering little girls, but look the heroine is falling for that cop and the bad guy will get his in the end!  There are no fluffy, fairytale endings here.  And I love it!

I think the thing that made this book absolute perfection for me was just how badly it had me snowed.  I consider myself a pretty hard person to trick into falling for red herrings.  Normally I can smell a red herring from a mile off.  But I didn’t see it coming in this book.  I thought I knew who was murdering these little girls.  I was reading through every page for clues, absolutely glued to the page.  I thought I had it all figured out.  I was practically shouting at Camille through the pages, “Can’t you see that it’s your mother?!  What’s wrong with you? How can you be so blind, it’s right in front of your face?!”  And in the end, I was dead wrong.  My jaw hit the floor and I sat there in utter shock with the book open in my lap.  I did not see it coming and I was stunned that I was pulled into the deception that deeply.

So at the conclusion of the book, I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the ending, I just loved the damn book.  It was gritty, dirty, disturbing, dark, dank, and violent and that made me appreciate all the more.