Note: This post contains spoilers!
I think I’m probably the last person to get on the Gone Girl wagon, but now that has been righted! I finished reading it in a mere ten days, which is ridiculously fast for me if I’m not on vacation. It was that good.
Like everyone else who has read this book (or seen the movie, I assume), my attachment to the various characters can be summarized thus: I liked and/or sympathized with certain characters until I didn’t, and vice versa. It was a sudden, 180-degree turn. If you’ve read the book, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Nick is a thoroughly unlikable character throughout the first part of the book, due partly to the chapters in his point of view and partly to the way Amy describes him and their relationship in her diary entries. Author Gillian Flynn does a fantastic job of making the reader hate Nick right off the bat by hinting (in no uncertain terms) that he played a major role in Amy’s disappearance and potential death. From what we know of his character, this seems more and more likely as we read on, and we hate him more and more, until we get to Part 2 and turn the page and everything changes in about two sentences.
At this point, of course, the tides completely turned for me. All of a sudden I saw everything in a completely new light, which was obviously Flynn’s strategy all along, so kudos to her. As I continued reading and even as I finished the book, my overwhelming thought was (and still is), “Amy Elliott Dunne is freaking psycho.” What kind of disturbed sociopath would you have to be to fake your own murder, sending your husband to prison and ultimately the death penalty, because you found out he was cheating? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a terrible human being himself, but STILL. Plus she obviously has no trouble offing Desi Collings later in the book, but only after she forces him into having sex with her so she can accuse him of rape when she returns home. And all this because she decides that Nick will forgive her after all and that she can force him into loving her again. Are there actual human beings in the world who are this cold, unfeeling, and utterly insane? I sincerely hope not.
In a way though, the complete psychosis of the story and the characters, particularly Amy, made the book that much more fun to read. Not fun in a light hearted, easy-beach-read way, obviously, but in a gripping way that made me not want to put it down. I haven’t felt like that since I discovered Dan Brown’s books (but before I realized they were actually all the same book). The way Nick and Amy constantly try to outsmart each other and predict each other’s next move is jaw-droppingly twisted.
I haven’t decided yet if I will see the movie. To be honest, I feel like this is the type of movie that would freak me out even though I already know exactly what’s going to happen. Also, while I did spend the entire book picturing Ben Affleck as Nick, I couldn’t bring myself to envision Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings. In my mind, NPH plays the classy gentleman, whereas Desi struck me as an extremely weak, whiny child who would go to extremes to get his way just for the sake of getting his way. But maybe I’ll be surprised.
In case you haven’t gathered, this is a book I totally recommend, if not for the faint of heart (Mom, this book is not for you!). And it allows me to check off the first book of the 2015 Reading Challenge: A book that’s currently on the bestseller list!
Have you read (or seen) Gone Girl? What are your thoughts? I’d love to chat more about it with you!