[Book review] Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

It has begun. The lack of posting. But I did read some books during my non-blogging time!

I finally got a chance to read Gone Girl. I know, everyone and their mom has read it or seen the movie. I can see how people can say that their take away from the movie is that “never cheat on a crazy woman” – quoting my friend verbatim or that Amy was plain and simply – crazy.

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The novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn provides a better perspective on both Nick and Amy. Nick is not just a scum bag cheater and Amy is not just some spoiled crazy bitch.

If you’ve seen the movie (or not), basically we have a guy, named Nick, who relocated his wife and himself to his home town in Missouri from their life in New York to care for his ailing parents 2 years prior. Then on his 5th wedding anniversary arrive home to a crime scene. Wife missing, living room in a mess. Looks like a struggle? So it must be obvious that the wife, Amy, has been abducted. So who would want to kidnap the wife? From my ramblings above, you can guess what happens next but I won’t spoil you.

I’ve heard mixed reviews. People who’ve seen the movie calling it brilliant, amazing, surprising, etc. While there are ones who’ve read the books call it hateful. I’m on the brilliant, amazing side. I think both the movie and the book, especially deserve 5 stars!

Flynn captures perfectly the inner minds of unhappy marriages. What you’re afraid to say outloud about your husband, it’s in this book. I’ve felt that a lot of the passages of Diary Amy really speak to me. Everyone must experience some sort of frustration one way or another with their significant other. Big or small, it’s there. At least once. And if you haven’t – you’re probably the one causing the other person grief! Perhaps, not everyone will experience this extreme but this excerpt really got me.

“I have never been a nag. I have always been rather proud of my un-nagginess. So it pisses me off, that Nick is forcing me to nag. I am willing to live with a certain amount of sloppiness, of laziness, of the lackadaisical life. I realize I am more type A than Nick, and I try not to inflict my neat-freaky, to-do-list nature on him. Nick is not the kind of guy who is going to think to vacuum or clean out the fridge. He truly doesn’t see that kind of stuff. Fine. Really. But I do like a certain standard of living – I think it’s fair to say the garbage shouldn’t literally overflow, the plates shouldn’t sit in the sink for a week with smears of bean burrito dried on them. That is just being a good grown-up roommate. And Nick’s doing anything anymore, so I nag, and it pisses me off: You are turning me into what I never have been and never wanted to be, a nag because you are not living up to your end of a very basic compact. Don’t do that, It’s not ok to do.”

There are countless other truths or rather opinions that Amy has that I wholeheartedly agree with. It was as if Flynn was writing my own diary. The only difference is the latter portion of her diary.

Nick is not without his own faults (cheating notwithstanding). The book echoes my fears of truly being yourself and not having the other person like you. I mean, on dates, you are your most charming self. Even the first few months even. Perhaps years. But then it gets really tiresome and people don’t try. The result? Unhappy marriages. I see them as people who wore a certain mask at first and got tired of it. Or didn’t feel it worth the effort to continue and when you show your true self to the one person who’s supposed to be OK with it, they’re not. So you resent them. Well, I can only imagine…

If you allow me to go on a tangent… There are a lot of articles on the internet that says do this and make your woman/man fall in love with you. Traits that women/men like. Try to have a hobby together. Etc. But is that really you? If you stop doing that, will he/she still love you?

“Wear this, don’t wear that. Do this chore now and do this chore when you get a chance and by that I mean now. And definitely, definitely give up the things you love fro me, so I will have proof that you love me best. It’s the female pissing contest — as we swan around our book clubs and our cocktail hours, there are few things women love more than being able to detail the sacrifices our men make for us. A call-and-response, the response being: “Ohh, that’s so sweet.”

At face value, it’s a great thriller. Scum bag cheating husband punished by crazy wife. On another level, it gives you food for thought. Another amazing book by Gillian Flynn. I also recommend Dark Places (although my book club would disagree) and Sharp Objects!

5/5 // Cross-posted on my new book review blog: She Reads (anndreachan.com)

One thought on “[Book review] Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

  1. Great review! It’s a bit cliché to say, but the book is almost always better than the movie. I actually haven’t seen it yet, or read the book. It sounds fairly interesting though.

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