I’ve Never Hated People From A Book So Much In My Entire Life

(This entry is spoiler-free, but the comment section will not be. Don’t read the comments on this entry if you want to remain unspoiled.) I really REALLY REALLY disliked Gone Girl because I absolutely DESPISED the main characters.

Now…this is one of those books the “people are talking about”. I love getting on a bandwagon before it’s full! I was very excited to read it before everyone I knew did…which is usually what happens. And the premise? So intriguing! I was prepared for a Win/Win.

But here’s the thing…I slogged through the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the book just hating different characters to different degrees. When I finally got to the middle of the book (Everyone who has read it knows what this point is) it got suspenseful. But I do not intend that to be a compliment – just an explanation as to why I kept going. I just was suddenly truly desperate to see what happened to these people that I was hating more and more. There was only one character in the entire book that I liked but I won’t tell you who that is (If it comes up I will in the comments). Just know that my affection for this character was still minimal compared to my hatred for the others.

I stuck with it and couldn’t put it down until the last page when I decided I hated it SO MUCH because I didn’t feel like the resolution gave me any satisfaction whatsoever for spending so much time with these despicable people.

I can see why people like it – it’s definitely a page-turner and has a lot of great “WHAT IN THE HELL?” moments to throw you for a loop. But I’m driven to books by characters and if I hate the characters and have no one I feel like pulling for? I’m going to hate the book. No matter how suspenseful the story is.

Did you read it? Did you want to punch everyone in the face too? We can discuss freely in the comments.

22 Comments

  • Amber

    Hey! I actually liked the book, but I maybe read it differently? To me, the whole thing was kind of an allegory for doomed relationships. By that I mean: Just on the surface, you have two people who meet and put on their best faces for each other. They get together and are happy for awhile. They get married. Then their best faces start to fall away and things get ugly. So they “fight” — hurt each other — go through an ugly breakup. Then, in the end, they decide to stay together — despite overwhelming odds, despite glaring evidence that they will probably destroy each other — for the sake of a kid. Yes, they are both terrible people, and at least one of them is completely insane, but I appreciated the cleverness of how it was written. The author managed to take kind of an age-old cliche and turn into something that is compulsively readable. Anyway. Just my two cents.

  • Robin (noteverstill)

    The last line KILLED me. Don’t you want to smack her? I agree- I read it annoyed the whole time but it had to have a good resolution, right? And it totally didn’t. I read it about a month ago and it’s still annoying me, actually.

    • zoot

      Yes! I was waiting for some final vindication and then she was pregnant and I knew there was no punishment I would want b/c then the baby would be punished and AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! HATE!!!! 🙂

  • Kelli Oliver George

    I loved the entire “anatomy of a marriage” aspect to it. LOVED.

    However, I can see why YOU didn’t enjoy it . Meaning, you are a positive person who doesn’t enjoy negative things — to the point of avoiding negative TV, Tweets, blogs, articles, etc. I can understand it would be hard for someone like you to enjoy a book such as this (does that make sense?)

    My book club is getting to read another one of hers (Flynn is from KC and one of our members is friends with her, so there is hope to get her to a meeting) Flynn is one author’s brain I would LOVE a chance to pick at.

    • zoot

      Just like I can see WHY people like it – I really can – it just totally upset me. I STRESS ATE OVER THAT STUPID BOOK. 😉

  • Jenn D

    I, too, was happy I actually read a book before everyone else “found out” about it. That never happens.

    I LOVED it and once I started I could NOT put it down. The first couple chapters were a little slow-going for me but, wow, it really took off. I finished it up in a couple days.

    I also liked that it took place in small-town Missouri, a place I’m very familiar with.

    • zoot

      Once I got past the middle when we find out she’s alive and the diary is fake? I couldn’t put it down. I really couldn’t!

  • Christina G

    I’m about a 1/4 of the way through the book and thought it was just me, since everyone I know that has read it, loved it. I’m just having a very hard time getting into it and like you, I don’t love any of the characters so far. Glad I’m not alone!

  • Lisa

    I’m with you on the characters. And though I didn’t really care for Nick, I also didn’t think he killed Amy. It was like the author tried too hard to make him look guilty, I felt like there had to be a catch. And I got a little frustrated that the story seemed to be a Scott Peterson copycat — man goes out, man comes home to find wife missing, man can’t confirm where he was, we find out man was cheating.

    I thought the ending was so disappointing. I’m fine with unhappy endings to stories, but I thought that ending was so bland. A story should build up to something bigger and it never did. Oh, she’s back, what’s going to happen?!?! Nothing. Oh, she’s being questioned for hours and her answers suck, what’s going to happen?!?! Nothing. Oh, she confessed everything to Nick, what is he going to do?!?!?! Nothing. I honestly wanted him to kill her in a fit of rage so *something* would actually happen. And how messed up would it be if he spends all this time trying to prove he didn’t kill her and then ends up actually killing her? I’d find that deliciously messed up, I can deal with endings like that, I just hate the ones that fade away into nothing.

  • Amy

    I haven’t read this one but I read Dark Places by her and I had the same issue. I didn’t feel any sympathy towards any of the characters in the book. Mostly I pushed on just because I wanted to see:

    1. who done it….
    and
    2. I mean the main character really can’t be “that” bad right?

    Well she was. I thought maybe this book might be different but now I am thinking twice.

  • EmilysHollow

    I liked it initially. Maybe not even the first third. Then I started not liking it. By the halfway point and through the end, hate hate hate hate. RAGE. OMG. The ending seriously pissed me off. Also? I get more mad as time goes by. I am seriously pissed at her for writing it.

  • Erin

    I really liked it, but only after I made peace with the fact that every character in the book was completely unlikeable. (That was during the slog through the first half.) Once I decided I was ok with hating them all, I was totally swept away by the suspense and Flynn’s writing. But yeah, I can see why you disliked it. I read Dark Places after Gone Girl and it was a similar situation. I felt more sympathy for the characters in DP (I felt NONE for the characters in GG), so there was that, but it seems to me that Flynn writes wonderfully suspenseful WTF stories about characters who suck. 🙂

  • suz

    I really liked it. I love inventive storytelling methods, and this definitely had that. I hated Nick when I first started reading it, but I knew there was some trick to what was going on, but I didn’t know what. I thought that the dad with Alzheimer’s had something to do with it all. Then the fake diary … but it didn’t make me start to like Nick bc he still had that floozy.

    I think, though, that it’s rare that I can like a book while disliking the characters. But this book did it for me.

    (I only liked Go.)

  • Ginger

    Two of the most despicable characters ever created. I won’t say I HATED the book, but I definitely did not enjoy it, and when I got done my first thought was “That’s it?” followed by “I wish I had read Insurgent instead.”

    I have a really hard time when I don’t at least SORT of like at least one of the main characters. And I loathed these two. I kept thinking I kind of wished they’d both end up dead somehow (War of the Roses or some such twist). But NOOOOO, they just…are.

    Ugh. I can see why people like it, and I will admit that I felt compelled to finish it, but…ugh.

  • Elizabeth

    Everyone time someone else dislikes this book as much as I did it makes me feel slightly less insane, because I haaaaaaaated it and everyone else loved it and I thought “Man, it just must be me, but really? REALLY?” because MAN I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK AT ALL. So um, thank you for agreeing with me and my obviously correct opinion. 🙂
    It was just so nasty and gross and icky feeling. It felt really weird and tricksy and false. No one really IS that way, so what is this, actually? An exercise in some kind of fancy writing? Yick. I don’t know. Not for me, man, not for me AT ALL.

  • Sarah

    I haven’t finished it yet but hate both the main characters so much right now. I’m about 80% done. Blech. I dunno. I’m finishing it but am thankful I got it for free.

  • Catherine

    I’ll give it credit for being “inventive,” but halfway through it I hated every loathsome character in it, and continued just to see how it would end. Hated the ending so very, very much. The audio format was I think more compelling than it would have been in print. The readers were great, and it’s really hard to throw an audiobook across the room in disgust. And of course I was able to do other things while listening, so I wasn’t left wanting those hours of my life back.

    I finished it over a month ago and still had to comment here on how much I hated those despicable narcissistic monsters. I will give the author credit because it certainly WAS the sort of novel that haunts you after you finish it. I hate it like it was yesterday.

  • Monica

    I hated this book, too! I was getting ready to start it when I read your blog post, and I almost didn’t read it as a result. I should have heeded your warning and not read the darn thing. I didn’t read the comments here until after I finished because I hate to know anything about a book before I read it. I started disliking it as soon as I read the name “Go.” Who calls someone Go?! There was no one, not one single person, in this book to pull for. And I think the worst part of all was that these two horrible people were bringing a baby into the world.

  • Tara

    I read all 3 of Gillian Flynn’s books while I was on vacation this summer. “Sharp Objects” was far and away the best, but I enjoyed “Dark Places” as well. “Gone Girl” made me want to punch something. I got sucked into the story, despite hating the main characters, and while I think it ended the only way it could have, it wasn’t satisfying at all.

  • Candy

    I am in total agreement. I read it because I had enjoyed her other books, and yes, the hype on this one was amazing. I recommended it to a friend before I started for the same reasons. At the end we were both sending each other texts saying HOW MUCH WE HATED THIS BOOK AND EVERYONE IN IT. I think her premises are very interesting, but she lacks something in the execution.