Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’m disappointed in myself, I thought I would be blogging at least once a week and I haven’t stuck to it. In good news, I had an interview for a job and read some books that have been on my list. One of them is… Gone Girl!

Here be spoilers…

I devoured it. Like, staying up till 2am, deluding myself that I’d go to sleep after another chapter kind of devour. I don’t know why I hadn’t stumbled across it before, props to my Auntie (a fellow bookworm) for recommending it.

Premise: Amy Dunne, Nick’s wife, has gone missing on their fifth wedding anniversary and eventually evidence starts to mount against Nick and everyone in their small Missouri town starts to point the finger.

Thoughts? One of the best things about this novel is that it’s self-aware and so are the main characters. Anyone who’s read Gone Girl has probably seen an episode of CSI or Law & Order and we all think we know where it’s going. The husband murdered his wife. End of story. Nick’s narrative does not help his case either. At one point he lies to the police about a reservation and says: “It was my fifth lie to the police. I was just starting.” Doesn’t that just scream guilty? Nick’s aware of it too; he references clichés from crime shows and is aware of the way he is portrayed in the media circus that ensues around Amy’s disappearance. He even describes himself as a working class Irish man trapped in the body of a douchebag.

What’s even more interesting is that we have Amy’s diary alongside Nick’s narrative so we get two different versions of the same relationship. Amy sees Nick as being angry and distant whereas Nick describes her as a “razor wire knot” and a brittle woman.

But nothing really prepared me for the second part when we discover that the diary Amy made was fake. Also that she’s alive and well and set everything up.

Damn.

I was not prepared for that curveball!

The deconstruction of marriage and relationships was harsh yet fun to read. Amy talking about the myth of the Cool Girl was a brilliant touch, especially this bit:

“I was pretending, the way I often did, pretending to have a personality. I can’t help it, it’s what I’ve always done: The way some women change fashion regularly, I changed personalities. What persona feels good, what’s coveted, what’s au courant? I think most people do this, they just don’t admit it, or else they settle on one personal because they’re too lazy or stupid to pull off a switch.”

I’m a big fan of postmodern themes so when a novel is self aware about its genre and makes comments on the fluidity of identity, I’m all in. In a way, I agree with Amy, we can put on facades to fool people and sometimes ourselves. The book definitely leaves you wondering ‘Can I ever really know anyone?’

Even though the third act stretches suspension of disbelief, it’s the only complaint I have. For me, Gone Girl has complex, flawed characters, a good solid plot and it is a new favourite of mine. Honestly, by the end of it I felt sorry for them both. It ends neither with victory or defeat, just an incredibly bittersweet compromise.

PS. So the film adaptation is coming out later this year and I’ve read that the third act is going to change. What are they going to do? Is Amy going to go to jail? I know it won’t be a happy ending because this is David Fincher we’re talking about (Se7en? Box, anyone?) but still, I’m intrigued…

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