{good girl gone}

OH MY GOD SO MANY SPOILERS.

(I know I’ve already warned you, but actually. If you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, click away now  because I’m about to spoil the hell out of this thing.)

Part One: I find little in life more depressing than a promising relationship gone bad. Here, embarrassing as it is and as much as I am blushing as I type this, are various Gone Girl-related texts I sent to a friend today while reading Part One:

3:19 p.m. I’m getting increasingly more depressed by all this doggedly trying to save a failing relationship.

3:20 p.m. Also just found out about nick’s mistress and am almost happy for a legit reason to hate him so much.

3:20 p.m. Wahhhh

3:27 p.m. I like it so far in the way that i need a lot of ice cream, but also i don’t have ice cream so i am alternating chapters with friends episodes to make me feel better about myself.

4:17 p.m. AHH THIS BOOK PART TWO I CAN’T EVEN

To which my friend derisively and justifiably replied, “Hahahahaha.”

Yes, I did definitely identify with Part One Amy. I felt almost physically ill with familiarity 20 pages in, when she got so mad at Nick for not understanding her anniversary treasure hunt clues. And then—surprise!—she’s a raging, lying sociopath. (But, like, guys—she really got me. You know?)

So I spent most of Part Two reeling over that little hurdle. And also getting over the additional hurdle that, wow, this chick’s planning was damn impressive(Do you think I could ever be that smart? Like, if I really had to.) I never did stop hating Nick: In my mind, there is no coming back after having an affair. Although I guess if your wife is actually certifiably insane and dangerously vindictive, there could be allowances. (But also, he didn’t know that at the time. So I still hate you, Nick.)

So who was I rooting for as I careened into Part Three? Nick, I guess. Namely because for all my admiration of Amy’s planning, she was still effing nuts. And super dangerous! On principle, I don’t trust people who are smarter than me, especially fictional ones, so I was straight up terrified of Amy. And then the ending—OH GOD THE ENDING. That left me super on edge—namely because I could not even begin to believe that Nick could keep up the charade for the entire duration of their child’s life (Amy, now, Amy I had no doubt about, because again, she was insane) and it left me terrified for that poor, doomed, unborn child. (Yet another reason to be terrified of pregnancy—your partner might be a sociopath in disguise!)

In fact, the only thing that saved me from a full-on nervous breakdown during Gone Girl was the occasional distractions by the writing style. My same friend had mentioned that he had been annoyed by the pervasive use of colons, and while I probably wouldn’t have noticed it otherwise, I started counting them. (And to be fair, there were a lot.) What I noticed, mainly, were the lapses into (in my opinion) incredibly cheesy vernacular, namely when the characters were sarcastically joking about something. I’m actually glad those distractions were there, though—they pulled me out of the novel’s constant threat of being “too real.” So we’re all happy.

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4 responses

  1. I love this review. Finally one with spoilers so I can comment with my real feelings! I am with you about part two. I feel like I was literally slapped in the face by Gillian Flynn upon the first two sentences of part two. But I loved it. I can’t say that I hated Nick like you did. I grew a little fond of him, minus the whole affair thing. I was just glad to find out he wasn’t an insane wife-murderer. I found his and Go’s relationship a little strange…I get that they have a twin bond and all, but it was a little too close for comfort. I think that Amy all along was insanely jealous of Go and the attention that Nick gives her.
    I was astounded by Flynn’s great portrayal of psycho Amy. She was so perfectly nuts! It scares me how little we really know about some people in our lives. At one point during reading, I turned to my boyfriend (who I have been dating for 10 years, since high school) and said “wow I sure am glad I’ve known you almost all of my life and know for sure that you aren’t some psychotic liar.” That’s how much this book messed with my head!
    As for the ending…..I really wasn’t shocked. I was actually happily satisfied. I think Nick’s restraint from killing Amy as well as him staying with her really drives home Flynn’s portrayal of him as a weak people pleaser, wanting always to appear “perfect.” Killing her or even revealing her secrets would paint him as “the bad guy” again which is the last thing in the world he wants. The ending was just so f-ed up…and a perfect ending to a wonderfully f-ed up book.

    • Sarah—glad you enjoyed it! I guess I didn’t completely HATE Nick… honestly, he reminded me so much of guys I date (and part one Amy reminded me so much of myself) that it was just a little too unsettling hahaha. I was definitely rooting for him by the end, but it just took me so long to get over the shock of part two! I also totally agree with you about the ending—I didn’t even think of it that way, but you’re right, it was really the only choice that worked with Nick’s character. (Again—so my type. UGH.) Totally a book to mess with your head—I guess it’s just good that we recognize that? 🙂

  2. Ahh! I just finished this book today and finally allowed myself to read your review, which I’d been avoiding due to the spoiler warnings. Thanks for those, by the way. Because at one point this week (when I was still in part one of the book), I came across a blog post called “12 books women should read” and one of them was “Gone Girl … a thrilling look into the mind of a female psychopath”. Ugh. At that point I knew that the story must be about to take a major twist, and either Go or Amy would turn out to be nutzo.

    My reaction to this book was completely different from yours, though. It went more like this:

    Early Part 1: This woman is SO annoying and whiny about her crummy relationship. So is this man. I didn’t mean for my precious reading-for-pleasure time to be spent listening people bitch and moan about their pathetic relationships. Should I stop reading?

    “Just one olive, though”. Come ON. This is nauseating.

    Later Part 1: I found out about the book being about a female sociopath. Decide to keep reading.

    Part 2: Okay, so Amy is a sociopath She is terrifying. I’ve had a fear of sociopaths ever since reading some book in middle school in one of David Mandelblatt’s classes about a sociopath who kills one of his teachers. Down with Amy! I hope Nick prevails!

    Part 3: Nick has some sort of Stockholm syndrome/brainwashing to think that he and Amy need each other. This just became extremely creepy and if Nick doesn’t manage to get Amy locked away in prison, he should probably just kill himself before she can do it.

    … end of book: Wow. that was incredibly depressing. I don’t know if it was worth reading.

    I felt like there were a lot of holes in the story and implausible plot twists. What about when Amy went to that cabin place and had her money stolen? As such a strict planner, sociopath, there’s no way she would have allowed herself to lapse into such careless behavior. I think that’s out of line with the rest of her psychological profile and made me have trouble believing in her character – Gillian Flynn lost a lot of credibility in that part of the book.. It almost seems like she didn’t spend enough time researching the sociopath personality profile.

    ANYWAY I didn’t mean for this to be such a long and rambling review/response, but I just finished this book and needed to put it out there somewhere, haha.

    • I’m trying to remember my impression of the cabin portion (at this point it’s been a while…). I’m pretty sure I did not expect her to get robbed, thinking Flynn was just building some red herring suspense. And it for sure got weird when Amy was trapped in Desi’s castle. So yes, I agree there were some discrepancies. For me, I guess it was still worth it for the page-turning adrenaline rush!

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