Just so you’re not surprised by the conclusion of this review, I’ll say it now: I hated this book. I am not sure how I could put into words how much I disliked this book, but I’ll try my best because I really don’t want anyone to ever feel like it is something worth reading. Maybe watch the film if you really want to know what’s going on? I haven’t because I don’t want to be double annoyed, but I’m sure it’s better to be annoyed for a couple of hours than for a week straight because this is not just a horrible book, it is also a 500-page book.
This review will have all the spoilers probably, but you should keep reading nevertheless.
I found this book in one of the boxes people sometimes leave out for other people to look in and choose whatever they want (which is a common thing in the country I just moved to). I was really excited to finally have found a book in a language I am able to read and I thought it would actually be a good read since I had heard about the book and the film and I assumed they couldn’t be that bad.
Oh boy, was I wrong…
Gone Girl is the story of a wife that suddenly disappears one day and the book alternates between chapters from her perspective, Amy, and her husband’s perspective, Nick. In the first half of the book, we have her diary entries, which paint her as an amazing and devoted wife and him as an asshole and a cheater. Plot twist: she’s framing him for her murder to get revenge for his cheating and in the second half of the book we find her real perspective, as the diary entries were just some evidence she manufactured for the framing (I feel like some tests to show that the ink used in the diaries was nowhere near as old as the dates of the entry would have been good proof that he’s not making up the story of his wife framing him, but I guess that’s what you get when you write a book with zero research and all the audacity). The plot twist is not that terrible, it’s just quite predictable and by that point I was so annoyed by everything else that I wouldn’t have appreciated a good plot twist anyways.
I have so many things I dislike about this book, but I will elaborate on just two that made my reading experience pure suffering:
- The writing is absolutely terrible. It’s hard for me to believe that Gillian Flynn really thinks some people’s diaries or trains of thought read like these monologues of some spoiled teenagers. I feel like she tried to achieve something like what you get in American Psycho, but she’s closer to the obnoxious voice of a Gossip Girl. Let me just give you a bit so you can understand:
Poor me. Let me set the scene: Campbell and Insley and I are all down in Soho, having dinner at Tableau. Lots of goat-ch*ese tarts, lamb me*tballs, and rocket greens, I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. But we are working backward: dinner first, then drinks in one of the little nooks Campbell has reserved, a mini-closet where you can lounge expensively in a place that’s not too different from, say, your living room. But fine, it’s fun to do the silly, trendy things sometimes. We are all overdressed in our little flashy frocks, our slasher heels and we all eat small plates of food bites that are as decorative and unsubstantial as we are.– Amy, when we’re supposed to actually like and feel compassion for her
- The misogyny! It’s absolutely everywhere. And I get it that the characters in the book are supposed to be terrible, we should despise them, but from what other reviews I read, they’re also supposed to be loved in a very twitched way because lots of people seem to actually love them. So misogyny from a bad character should be ok since they’re supposed to be evil? Maybe, if the point of including so much misogyny was to criticise it. But that never happens. Amy from her fake diary when she’s supposed to be nice and likeable is just as misogynistic as the real Amy. Lots of slut-shaming, lots of fat-shaming, and lots of unnecessary opinions about what a wife should and should not be. This book did not need all of these. There was no real need for this amount of misogyny for the plot of this book, so this excess seems just something that Gillian Flynn enjoys writing. And that made me want to puke too many times.
Even if I were to ignore the things I mentioned, this book would still be bad. For a thriller, it’s just not that thriller, the ending is just boring and at no point was I surprised during this. I was mostly annoyed and bored. And that’s simply not a good book.
Should I put this book out in a box too or should I shelter the people from my new city from reading this?