I finally gave into the hype and read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Initially I was going to use it as my “Book that was turned into a movie.” Instead, I will use it as my Thriller, because I probably won’t read another and I have several other books that were turned into movies. As always, spoilers ahead.
Lately, books have been taking me longer to read. The ones I read quickly are because I force myself to finish them quickly. But Gone Girl I read in three days simply because I couldn’t stop. It’s not much of a mystery, especially with movie spoilers all over the place. The reader pretty much knows who did it from the outset. And yet…there are still questions.
The book takes a while to get a hold of. First, the reader is subjected to Amy’s diary as her side of the story. It leaves it pretty cut and dry that Nick is the bad guy and she’s the victim. Especially since, even though Nick’s section is also written in first person, it continuously feels like he’s holding back information. Amy’s diary is so convincing that, even when we see who she really is, it’s hard to shake the feeling that she’s the good guy.
But the truth is, nobody is innocent in this book. Amy’s a psychopath, Nick’s a cheater, even Desi is emotionally manipulative and possessive. It’s not even that they’re all human, it’s that they’re all, to some degree, bad people, which is not something that books often explore.
The ending is a new strange twist. With what we know of Amy, it makes perfect sense, even though you’d never see it coming. Some people I’ve discussed the book with don’t find the ending satisfying. I, on the other hand, think everybody ended up pretty much where they could have expected. Amy’s too smart to get caught and Nick’s too caught up in her to go anywhere.
Quick word on the movie: I didn’t like it nearly as much. It didn’t feel like we got to see the insides of their minds as much
My most favorite thing about this book: The fact that Nick didn’t kill his wife, but he’s still shown to be a bad guy. Not all bad guys are abusers and murderers.
My least favorite thing about this book: I really hated the scene where Amy gets her money stolen because, when I read it, I was still in “Amy as victim” mode and it makes me feel very sorry for her. However, my absolute least favorite thing is that she accused someone of raping her and was shown to be lying in order to get revenge. I hate when anyone in fiction claims rape and is then proved to be lying because that is such a statistical minority compared to those who were raped and aren’t believed.
Who I would most like to recommend this book to: Anyone who likes a thriller, I guess. That isn’t usually me, but the fact that this one was written by a woman made me very happy.
Where this book sits on my bookshelf: After Beastly by Alex Flinn and before J. Smith.