Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was published in 2012 and sold 8.5 million copies (and counting) and spent 92 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Flynn had previously published Sharp Objects and Dark Places.
When the 2014 movie arrived, it had a $38 million opening weekend.
I’m going to surprise you. I wasn’t crazy about either.
I excitedly bought the book as soon as it came out and heard later it would be a movie. However, it turned out to be one of those books. I put it down and read another book, then returned to it briefly, then put it down and read another book, then returned to finish it, almost as an obligation. It was covered with dust.
Unlike the movie, the book travels back and forth between Amy Dunne’s diary entries and Nick Dunne’s reporting of the bizarre events that are happening.
On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. Nick gets a call from a neighbor about trouble at the house and walks into a crime scene. No body, just a messed up living room. The police arrive, and he starts his lies. He’s nonetheless seen as the good guy. Amy’s pretty psycho. However, you can go back and forth looking for a hero. Or a villain.
Nick and Amy (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) had lost their New York magazine jobs and moved to Carthage, Missouri, Nick’s hometown. Nick bought The Bar with his twin sister, Margo (possibly the only sane person in the story), from Amy’s trust fund. Amy sat around hating Carthage, Missouri.
We continue with Amy’s escape travels and Nick’s increasing trouble with the police, quickly assuming he’s murdered his wife.
I found the book slow-moving and talky. It did have ups and downs – who’s right and who’s wrong? Additionally, there is a whodunit factor, but the excitement happens in the middle (See? You have to want to get there). And we know who dun it.
The movie didn’t travel back and forth but gave a confusing look at Nick, with all his lying, and Amy, who doesn’t know what she wants or where she wants it. There were some changes to the book, which I’m not going to spoil, and there has been a real dustup about a new ending – a whole new “third act,” which Gillian Flynn has defended.
You’ll see some glowing reviews. You might have read glowing reviews of the book two years ago. I’m not glowing.
Here’s your chance – comment and yell at me. Or agree. I want to know what the other 8.5 million readers and $38 million ticket holders thought.