I finally got around to reading this after winning a copy back in December of 2012 from Rebecca at Love at First Book. And my first response is WOW. I don’t know how I do it, but somehow I managed to avoid all spoilers about this book and as just as shocked/pissed/angry as I would’ve been two years ago if I read it when I first won a copy. In an attempt to not reveal any spoilers, this will be a very short and very vague response to the novel.
If there is one thing I dislike about many books, it is unreliable narrators, when you added in that this book has two unreliable narrators that seriously like to mess with each other mentally I’m surprised I made it through the novel. It is definitely a page turner and as you get further into the mental mire that is Nick and Amy’s relationship, you can’t get out as easily. When I turned the page to “Part Two: Boy Meets Girl,” I swore out loud and my sister thought I had finally lost it, but I was just that mad at the book.
It cannot be denied that Gillian Flynn is a master storyteller and suspense writer. I did not know what to believe for 95% of the story and even as it neared the end I kept thinking “no effing way” to myself. The way that it ended made me seriously question my own, and others, sanity. If a book can end like this why can’t this be happening in real life.
I definitely appreciated Flynn’s characters outside of their psychoses and how she threw in humorous lines periodically: “He did apologize profusely. (Does anyone do anything profusely except apologize? Sweat I guess.)” (196); AND she made a passing reference to what I do for a living: “I recognized this one—just my college alum fund looking for money.” (80), it made me laugh!
Recommendation: DEFINITELY check it out. I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as everyone else because of my distaste for unreliable (aka psychotic) narrators, but it was a fascinating read and I’m glad I read it. Now to decide if I will actually watch the film or not. I did pick up a copy of Dark Places and plan to read that in the next few weeks!
Opening Line: “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.”
Closing Line: “Two words, always.” (Whited out.)
Additional Quotes from Gone Girl
“It was enough to be near her and hear her talk, it didn’t always matter what she was saying. It should have, but it didn’t.” (19)
“‘Of course you are,’ murmured Go, who had a long-stymied mission to turn me into a rebel. It wouldn’t take. I was the kid in high school who made curfew; I was the writer who hit my deadlines, even the fake ones. I respect rules, because if you follow rules, things go smoothly, usually.” (53)
“It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful sing-song of the blasé: Seeeen it. I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.” (72-3)
“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate because we don’t have genuine souls.” (73)