Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has been on my radar since last summer. The best-selling novel outlining the disappearance of Amy Dunne has captured the hearts of millions of readers, including my trusted source, The New York Times. Then the film’s trailer premiered, and it became even more obvious that I was missing out on something. I was officially intrigued, and willing to shell out $7 on Amazon.
To be quite frank, I don’t normally do this. I spend a lot of my time these days getting lost in the library walls, picking out books that I either find on Goodreads that have a 3.5 rating or more or that are consistently on The New York Times best-sellers list. I do this because I don’t want to splurge on a book I’m not sure I’m going to really like. But hell, this book looked interesting. I mean, a woman goes missing and the husband is pinned as the killer? It sounded like one of those stories that keep Nancy Grace up at night. I didn’t even think when I clicked the “Buy This With One Click” button.
I didn’t realize I’d go from “Sign Me Up!” to “I think I may try and ask Amazon for my money back” to “Oh my god, this just got better!” to “!!!” all to end it out with “Meh, really?”
To call this reading experience a crazy, emotional roller coaster is a complete understatement. Seriously, what a trip! It’s amazing to see how I went from completely frustrated to eagerly swiping the screen of my Amazon Kindle. I’m not sure if this is normal; all I know is, it sure as hell never happened to me with a book before, and I read a lot of books.
Let me explain my initial impression first. The book starts out switching between Nick Dunne’s diary when his wife’s disappears and Amy Dunne’s diary before the disappearance. This is the set up. Like every other reader, I found myself siding with Amy over Nick, believing that he was a jackass and a possible killer. However, Amy wasn’t perfect either. She was pretentious, annoying, and selfish. Once I realized that I hated her too, I didn’t understand why I was reading about two characters I didn’t like.
But I continued reading, and I’m glad I did. Once I got to page 205 or so, “the big twist” happened and things started to really pick up.
I don’t want to give anything away to spoil the movie or the book, but this twist was so OMG-worthy that I had to keep reading. I couldn’t stop. These characters were still such shitty people, but I had to know what happened next. I spent the last few nights cradled with my Kindle before going to bed. I was finally reading the highly acclaimed book everyone was talking about.
Then I hit the end.
I’ll hold myself back again for spoiler purposes, but the end? It made me realize why I didn’t feel any sympathy for these characters in the beginning. These people are so fucked up, it’s insane. That’s the real moral of the story with this book: these people are so insane that they practically deserve each other, for better or for worse.
This book was good. Just good. It wasn’t amazing and it was definitely worth a library check out over an Amazon purchase. I may have felt differently if Flynn omitted 100 pages (Amy’s diary in the beginning at least) and the book had a different ending. But since that’s not going to be the case, I would probably give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, at best.
As for the movie? The actors/actresses for this role (most especially Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne) are so spot on, whoever was in charge of casting should receive a medal. The only person I’m not so sure fits is Neil Patrick Harris as Desi. No offense to NPH, but I just couldn’t picture him as an obsessed stalker. This may change once the movie hits the silver screen though. Until then, I play the waiting game, in hopes that the film will be up to my satisfaction come October. Regardless if that happens, you’ll hear it all played in a review of the film here on Pop-Break.com.