This past Sunday the girls of the Unputdownable Book Club gathered at my house to discuss Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. You can read more on the plot of Gone Girl by reading Cat’s Books with Buzz post from April. In this post, I’ll just share a short and sweet recap of what our girls thought of the book.
The overall consensus amongst the ladies of Unputdownable was: “What the f***?”! Pardon the obscenity; however, this story had all of us swearing, fist clenching and slamming the pages shut in disbelief. This book is raw, desperate, and completely messed up. Perhaps that’s what makes a good book – at least if the ratings are any indication. The girls gave Gone Girl ratings starting at 3.5 and higher, including a few 5/5s. However, ratings aside, we all agreed that GG it isn’t necessarily a life-changing book. It is though, one hell of a page-turner and certainly good fuel for any book club discussion.
Everyone agreed that Flynn is a master of character development. She nails the main characters Nick and Amy, portraying two enormously self-absorbed, selfish and remorseless individuals.
“Diary Amy” (or Amy from part one) gave several insightful points about women, men, life and relationships. She is relatable and believable – the product of “Real Amy’s” wonderfully sinister imagination. Well done, Gillian. The real Amy (or post-diary Amy) was equally hated by all members. Flynn does an amazing job of getting inside the mind of a sadistic, narcissistic sociopath. Amy’s true character is vulgar and cruel, but, admittedly, totally brilliant – ever mindful that the devil is in the details. You are meant to hate her but at the same time can’t help being fascinated by her every move.
Whereas Amy’s plans may have fascinated, and, dare I say, impressed, Nick did little to inspire much of anything. Few in the UBC empathized with the passive object of Amy’s schemes. Words such as spineless, lazy, and selfish (I chose the kinder ones) dominated the discussion. He was easy to loathe from the very beginning and the feeling intensified as the story progressed. That being said, the parts written from his perspective were still compelling and interesting.
But Nick and Amy aren’t the only characters that Flynn nails. The minor players are equally as fascinating and well developed. Many of the girls loved Tanner Bolt, Nick’s lawyer. Praise was also given to the portrayal of Nick’s mother; the police officers; Desi Collings; and Nick’s twin, Margo.
If you’ve finished the book, you know that no book club meeting would be complete without discussing the ending. The UBC girl’s opinions certainly varied when it came to the ending. Some of us were still in total shock and disbelief. Some of us thought it was perfect – everything waswrapped up, and when all was said and done, both characters got what they deserved. Others, however, weren’t blown away by the ending, but thought it no more than a decent ending to the mess Amy and Nick created. On the other hand, some were very disappointed. They thought the ending offered no redemption or justice and left the girls feeling unsatisfied.
There was one minor negative point: some parts of the story are a little unbelievable – maybe too CSI-esque. Flynn could have toned it down just a little to make it a little more credible.
In all, it was agreed that the book offers some humor, insight, and enough mayhem to satisfy most minds. In terms of recommending it to anyone, most of us said that it would be best suited for our friends and family who don’t read often – casual readers looking for some guilty pleasure.
What are your thoughts on Gone Girl? Would love to hear them!