Remind me to never re-read a suspense again. I’ve had such a strange relationship with this book. I read half the book when it came out in 2012 and for some reason never got around to finishing it (despite having it been my choice for a book club I was part of). Then I watched the movie before completing the book. And here I am – guilty reader that I am – pulling it from my pile of books again, the problem this time though is I know what happens next. I didn’t quite remember the ending though. Why. Do. I. Do. This. To. Myself?
I’m not sure if this is how I would have done this review when I first engaged with the book. But that’s how books are right? They mean different things to you at different points in your life. Literally, the same book could have a gazillion meanings for the gazillion times you read it. That’s the pleasure of actually owning books – you get to reread them and take new meanings from them each time.
Gone Girl is a twisted suspense mainly about just how easy it is to recreate oneself, reinvent, become that which we are not or never thought we would be, for love, for vengeance, for control. Isn’t that exactly what we ultimately yearn for, control, absolute control, of our lives, right down to how the people we love or those who love us, react and treat us? I believe at our core this is the utopia of human existance – total control. The main character, Amy, is so obsessed with this hunger for control that she controls even how the reader reacts to her in an effort to get her point across.
The book is divided into three parts. Flynn has a talent in character development – she definitely achieved the purpose of all good plots, transporting me into an alternate reality. I don’t know about you but I’m one of those people, if I watch a really good movie, series or read a really good book, I can literally think of nothing else, even when I change focus, my subconscious leeches on to that narrative until I find myself dreaming of the actual story – sometimes I’m an extra character in the story, other times I’m the narrator, steering the story the way I want it to go, but if I’m gripped by a story in any way, it almost inevitably creeps up in my dreams.
Also I’m a predictable reader, I fall in love with the protagonist and absolutely hate the antagonist. But somehow I hated both Amy and her husband Nick. Amy, the antagonist, very easy to hate even when she plays the protagonist (though it’s a hindsight hate), and Nick the protagonist is just so darn weak, even when he attempts to be an antagonist.
I guess this is also why I didn’t really like or remember the ending. Come on – the bad guy wins? Again? And even how it’s delivered, such an anticlimax for such a jam-packed book. That ending is wanting. I’m sorry it left me wanting, like I literally kept flipping past the acknowledgements section looking for the actual ending. Perhaps tonight I will dream up a more appropriate ending, perhaps a more suscinct cliff hanger … something.
However for the narrative, the story, the plot, the originality and the brilliant mind-games this book definitely deserved all the hype it got when it first came out. Flynn is definitely operating within her space and I’d love to read more from her.
Gone Girl is a brief window into the mind of a stunning female pschycopath’s mind in her late thirties. Brief enough to leave you unsettled, because, to be honest; Amy could be anyone. We all hunger for love and attention to some degree.