Rachel Reviews: Gone Girl (Book and Movie)

This post will contain some spoilers (but I’ll try not to give too much away).  If you’re sensitive about these things, or REALLY want to read the book/watch the movie without spoilers, perhaps give this post a miss. 

I decided to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn for two reasons.  1) A YouTuber I love kept talking about how much she enjoyed it and 2) I knew the movie was coming out, and considering I like to read the book before I watch the movie, I knew I had to read it or face a repeat of my TFIOS disaster (still haven’t seen the movie, only read the book a few weeks ago).

Gone Girl is a book about a couple, Nick and Amy.  They don’t have the best relationship.  On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing.  All clues increasingly point to Nick – credit card debts, friends claiming Amy was afraid of him, blood stains on the kitchen floor, strange activity from Nick, and of course, Amy’s diary.  Nick claims he doesn’t know anything about any of this, and that he just wants to find his wife.  But is he telling the truth?

The blurb says that you’ll want your friends to read it just so you can discuss it with them.  It’s completely right!

The Book

Firstly, I’ll just say it.  I LOVED this book.  I thought the way it was written, with the shifting POV between Nick and Amy, was perfect for the story and really built suspense, especially in section 1 which features Amy’s diary entries. I won’t spoil too much, but I loved that both narrators weren’t exactly honest to begin with, and then as the story unfolded the truth became increasingly apparent.

I won’t really say much about the plot of sections 2 and 3 as that would give a lot away, but where section 1 draws you in, sections 2 and 3 keep you turning the pages wanting to find out how it ends.

The characters, although not necessarily likable, are believable, complex and fascinating.  This includes the minor characters who make an appearance, not just Nick and Amy.

The writing is fantastic.  The book is easy to read and difficult to put down.  Perhaps it’s just because I love thrillers, but the book really sucked me in and I found myself unable to stop reading – I just wanted to know what happened next! I think it took me perhaps two or three days to read it, whenever I had a spare moment I devoured it.

I know the ending caused a lot of controversy, and a lot of people absolutely HATED it, but I actually found it added to the story more than a ‘Hollywood’ ending would have.  Obviously you’ll have to read it to decide for yourself, but I didn’t find it the let down a lot of other people did.

Overall, a fantastic, gripping novel.  I would definitely recommend it, even if you don’t necessarily like thrillers or realistic fiction (I find I love to watch thrillers but I prefer to read fantasy).  10/10.

The Movie

I’ll be honest – I don’t go into movie adaptations of books with many expectations, especially not books I love.  I’ve been disappointed too many times, so it’s easier not to expect anything.

Gone Girl blew me away completely.  I was curious to see how the film would deal with the split POV narration, but they completely nailed it through Amy’s diary flashbacks and the use of the chapter titles (One day gone etc) to provide a timeline.

Ben Affleck was perfect as Nick (in my opinion).  He nailed Nick’s emotionally blank personality, his inability to express his sadness and other emotions, and the somewhat unlikable personality Nick has.  Rosamund Pike was perfect as Amy, portraying all sides of her personality fantastically.

I have to admit, I wasn’t too impressed with a few of the supporting cast.  For example, Neil Patrick Harris, although I love him, has far too much pop culture presence as both Barney from How I Met Your Mother and as the fantastically adorable gay man he is in real life to suitably portray Desi, Amy’s old love interest and current, well, read the book. I just couldn’t believe him as the character, which really spoiled those scenes a little bit for me.  I also HATED the way they portrayed the male detective, he was less annoying and pretentious in the novel.

The soundtrack was haunting, captivating, and perfectly reflected the novel.  It added so much to the movie that I’m tempted to reread the novel with the soundtrack playing!

I also loved that the movie didn’t fall into the trap of the ‘Hollywood’ perfect ending.  Although it was altered slightly, it stayed true to the main theme of the ending which I absolutely loved.

Although usually I would recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, I think in this case it doesn’t matter.  Obviously reading the book first ‘spoils’ the plot, but I still found the movie captivating, suspenseful, and interesting.  The movie was also so faithful to the book that you could watch it first and enjoy it without feeling as though you were missing something.

Overall, I would definitely recommend both the book and the film to anyone (as long as you’re an adult or very mature older teenager, there are some VERY adult themes and scenes) in any order.  Basically, GO OUT AND READ/WATCH IT SO I CAN DISCUSS IT WITH YOU!

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3 thoughts on “Rachel Reviews: Gone Girl (Book and Movie)

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