Movie & Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

October 18, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Movie & Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Published by Phoenix on January 23, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller
Amazon | Book Depository
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Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

So what did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?

I love thrillers for the lasting impression they can give you, and Gone Girl is the best of them – twisted, fucked up, shocking, disturbing and absolutely riveting.

I’ve never read a book like Gone Girl, packed full of twists and turns that you will never see coming. The book constantly kept me guessing, and as soon as I think I’ve grasped the truth and I know with certainty what is happening – it will fall away from me and leave me gasping in shock and exhilaration.

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

The exploration of the highly complex characters Nick and Amy Dunne, who to outsiders are perfect in  blissful marriage was one that kept me on my toes. Nick’s stoic and emotionless actions to his wife’s disappearance, and Amy’s perfection is conveyed really well. You just want to get to the bottom of these two characters – although we never really will – as they balance each other so well, even when their marriage starts breaking down.

Marriage is not the only relationship that is explored, Nick and his twin sister Go have a wonderful close sibling relationship, which was really refreshing to see. From their parent’s influences and upbringing, to where they live, and their views and relationships with their parents, family and inlaws, each of these will have an affect on the people they are – and become.

There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.

Gillian Flynn’s writing is smart, intelligent and witty, and purposeful as every single line and lead will deliver it’s full impact throughout the story. The manipulation of the media, the opinion of the public, the nuances of a local Sheriff’s department and small town living – there is so much that is explored in this book, and it is seamless.

Just a warning – the ending is frustratingly open-ended and vague, but strangely fitting. It will leave you pondering the fate of the characters for a very long time.


Gone Girl is one of the best thrillers I have ever read – shocking, disturbing, smart and suspenseful – exactly what a thriller should be. I found it absolutely gripping from start to finish, and it’s one that leaves you with a lasting impression.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Movie Review

I saw the Gone Girl trailer and immediately picked up the book, it had such a suspenseful vibe to it I just wanted to know the answers. I’m really glad I read the book before the movie, so I could get a more complete, deeper version of a marriage gone wrong.

gone girl screenshot

The characters were all cast perfectly, with Ben Affleck’s emotionless face, his calm and collected composure, and his strange actions made us both doubt and believe him at the same time. Rosamund Pike was the perfect Amy, she was as Amazing and charming as the book made her out to be and you could just see how he could fall in love with her. The nuances of her character was captured really well, and there was something really chilling about her stare and her voice.

It was great having Gillian Flynn as the screenplay writer, as the movie mostly stayed true to the book except for some conveniences to convey the story better on screen. I actually didn’t mind the changes, but I was really glad to have the background knowledge from the book as well. There will be some key differences, especially to do with Desi and some characters that were cut out, but for the most part, the movie really captured the disturbing and suspenseful essence of the book.

gone girl 2

Watching the movie was a really powerful experience – even though I knew what was coming, I had my heart in my throat the whole time as I knew what was going to happen. While the story doesn’t have much action, the twists will really throw you especially as you see really shocking and disturbing things come into play on screen. If anything, I was even more disturbed and shocked from the happenings on screen, and it made it hard to sleep at night.

If you are looking for a disturbing, shocking, suspenseful and fucked up movie to watch – I completely recommend seeing Gone Girl, but be prepared for some disturbing scenes. You don’t have to read the book to enjoy the movie, but of course I’d recommend reading it as well to get to know what is going through the characters’ heads.

Verdict: GO SEE IT – if you don’t mind getting disturbed. 

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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36 responses to “Movie & Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  1. I literally need this book in my life. I just got my friend a Gillian Flynn boxed set for her birthday and now I totally wish that I'd kept it LOL! I think I need to go out and get myself another one. >< I love her writing style and how it can give you the creeps. I love thrillers but I never get enough of them. Plus, the movie! I need to have a book-to-movie adaptation marathon. I haven't even watched TFIOS. 😛
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…The TBR Tag (Part Two)My Profile

    • I think you do, that is so amazing that you got her that present lol! Definitely get Gone Girl, my gosh it is freaking amazing! I can't wait to read Sharp Objects and the other one! The movie is SO good. I hope you get your copy & watch it soon!

  2. Oh wow, I'm surprised they didn't like it, but I think it's not for everyone, it's so incredibly shocking and the characters are unlikable. The movie is fantastic, definitely recommended!

  3. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but my mother and sister both read it and really didn't like it. It's nice to hear the opposite side of things though. I am still unsure whether I want to see or it or not. I might just watch the movie and skip over the book, hehe!
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    • Oh my gosh you are in for a treat Joy, I have a friend reading it at the moment and she loves it so much. The reading experience is definitely not one for the faint hearted. Thank you Joy! I hope you do read it soon.

  4. I saw the movie over the weekend and I loved it! I haven't read the book (I tend to find if I read a book too close to seeing the movie, I end up disappointed, so it's mostly movies first!) but I sure plan to now! All I could think while watching it was 'gosh they are so AWFUL' lol but at the same time I was so caught up in their story, it's rare to have dislikeable main characters who are so engaging.
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    • Oh I loved it so much, I totally know what you mean about reading the book too close (which is what I did here and with Maze Runner) and I'm so glad I ended up enjoying it! YES they were both so unlikable but this is a prime example of how they can still build a compelling story with terrible protagonists.

  5. Oh my gosh, it is on my favourites list now as well, it was freaking brilliant and I still can't stop thinking about it and the movie! HAha it was so much fun seeing people get disturbed, my bf was definitely affected afterwards lol. I loved how the ending was true to the book but took it's own turn too. Thank you Lily!

  6. "his strange actions made us both doubt and believe him at the same time." This. I saw the movie yesterday, my friend wanted to go to the movies and I was curious about Gone Girl, it had gotten so many great reviews. I really enjoyed it, it was a really well thought out thriller. Haven't read the book though!
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    • Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you really loved the movie Alise, i thought it was freaking excellent. The book is definitely worth reading so much! you must have gotten such a shock during the movie XD

  7. Gone Girl is one of my favourite books ever and I remember being so excited when David Fincher came on board to direct the film. I loved watching the film and being in the theatre and seeing everyones reaction to things. It was easy to tell who who had read the book and who hadn't. The ones who hadn't left the movie shocked and disturbed–some even said a few profanities. Meanwhile, the ones who'd read the book were all laughing at everyones reaction and smiling (we were all just so happy the movies ending was completely true to the book). So glad you enjoyed both the film and the book Jeann!
    Lily recently posted…Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1 OR Addicted #2.1):ReviewMy Profile

  8. Glad to hear you enjoyed both of them, it was such an awesome experience doing both wasn't it? I was so glad it stayed true to the book and even made it better, and the music was fantastic. I did love the ending as well, they were very slightly different but both worked well. Thank you Genie!

  9. P.E. @ The Sirenic C

    I really need to find a way to read the book or watch the movie because this seems like an amazing story. The trailer was so good and I just need to find a friend interested in watching with me (and an English cinema… hmm). Glad you loved it!
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  10. I haven't seen it or read it… even though the premiere was near me!

    Partially I'm afraid I might harp on the surroundings if said place is actual and I've been there and Flynn doesn't portray it correctly…

    But I'm actually glad the author was a screenplay writer. It seems that when authors are the writers, the books do a better job most of the time. Fab review, Jeann! :3
    Sophia @ Bookwyrming recently posted…Book Blast + Giveaway: Jack Templar & the Lord of Werewolves by Jeff GunhusMy Profile

    • Oh wow, having a movie premiere near you sounds awesome – especially since it seems to be set around your area. I know, it definitely portrayed the book really well. Thanks Sophi!

  11. I still haven't read this book! I've been planing to read it for a while and I truly don't have any time now. But still I love good thrillers and I'm so happy that this one was one of them. Not to mention twisted turns and unpredictability!! Count me in! For me movie, I was a bit skeptical as I don't like Ben that much, but I'm so happy it turned out for the best. Amazing reviews, Jeann 🙂
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    • Oh wow, I know what you mean about not having time Tanja! I'm just taking things as they come. A good thriller is wonderful and this one was definitely one of the best I've read. Glad to hear you like the sound of it – yeah Ben actually plays a fairly accurate depiction of the MC.

  12. I haven't read nor see the films. I think it's a great idea that you watched the film immediately after reading the book, as your memory is still fresh.

    I have heard of its twisted core from a lot of friends. And have been the reason of why I want/can't read the novel.

    Great reviews, Jeann!
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  13. So I had to skim the book review because I haven't read it yet O_O BUT I totally agree with EVERYTHING in your movie review!!! It was definitely a highlight movie for me this year considering how it's stuck with me ever since I saw it. Definitely disturbing and chilling and Ben Affleck did an amazing job. He sold me. And Pike was just the epitome of chilling. I can't even process the experience correctly and it's been a couple of weeks now. Fantastic review, Jeann! <33 x

    • YAY I am so glad you saw the movie and it was brilliant regardless of whether you've read the book or not! Ben and Rosamund both did their parts brilliantly. Glad to hear you enjoyed it too!

  14. People have been raving about this book for a long time, and it's no wonder that it has been turned into a movie. It's so great that the author also wrote for the film. I think that really helps movies keep the integrity of the book. And I'm glad it does not disappoint. I'm not a big fan of thrillers, but I surely want to read the book and watch the film. I wonder how disturbed I'd be. Haha
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    • I know, and having it come out in the cinema forced me to take a look at it as well. And I had no regrets, it was excellent! It's not often a movie satisfies fans of the books as well, but this one did well. Haha it is pretty disturbing Francine.

  15. *crawls out of hiding* I…the movie was so not what I was expecting. I won tickets, and I HADN'T read the book (gasp…such a bad bookworm to see a movie first. 😉 so I thought there'd be more court and case-solving stuff. I WAS KIND OF NOT OKAY DURING THE MOVIE. lol It was just very not me. I shall be in the kids section of the library/movie theatre if you ever need me again. But the movie was acted and written brilliantly. I'm just… *flees to hide under bed again*
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  16. I've read the book and just seen the movie – and yes, they were both amazing! Although the movie did miss out on a few minor things, it still did stay true to the book which was good (and of course that makes sense since Gillian Flynn also wrote the screenplay). I love how the music made it so atmospheric at all the right times, and the ending in both the book/movie did work – even though we are left still wanting answers. Fantastic reviews Jeann!
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