This is my first book review here, so I just want to start by saying that this isn’t supposed to be formal, and as far as I can I won’t include any major spoilers.
I decided to read Gone Girl this month, a novel by Gillian Flynn. I’d never heard of her before this book, but having read it I will look into her other books. I knew the film was coming out so I wanted to read it before I saw it in cinema (I always find that when you invest your time in a book, it’s way better if you don’t know the outcome. If I know what’s going to happen, I can never bring myself to spend the time).
From the beginning, I questioned whether Nick was telling us the whole truth. The first chapter paints a fairly bland description of their lives- a glittering past replaced by a dull, less comfortable existence. The second chapter is from Amy’s perspective, and immediately made me wonder if these two people were really experiencing the same lives. The way the first half is written sums up how I feel about life in general sometimes- that I am experiencing a completely different world, a different version of events to everyone else around me. Nick and Amy’s experiences were so different, their takes on the reality they live in so contrasting that it was difficult to be able to tell what was really happening. A little bit like The Catcher In The Rye (everything could relate back to that book), where his viewpoint is so skewed that you can’t imagine that world could possibly exist- but it does for him. Just as it does for Nick and Amy.
So Nick as a character is very flawed. The nature of the novel is that big things are revealed to you very slowly throughout, so I can’t exactly say why without ruining it, but he makes very poor decisions throughout. A lot of his choices were a bit…unrealistic, a lot of the excuses he makes are very…pointless? I couldn’t really empathise with him a lot of the time, because it’s like he intentionally makes things difficult for himself by being a compulsive liar.
Amy on the other hand appears to be exactly what a loving wife should be- a little too perfect I thought. I don’t want to go into depth unless anyone reads this so I’m going to leave it at: Amy was an intensely annoying character who also made very poor decisions, and constantly thought she was more clever than she actually was.
The book as a whole:
I want to kind of concentrate on how the book made me feel, because I think that’s a very important part of reading- what the book leaves with the reader, what messages resonate with them, and how they will remember it.
I read this two weeks ago now (I know, this has been a draft for a long time, I just never got round to reading it) and I remember very well how I felt after I’d finished. The book left me with an uneasy feeling. My head felt a little messed with, confused, uncomfortable, claustrophobic and trapped. I felt frustrated with Nick for his complacency and the resolution to the situation and I felt confused with Amy for her explanation of the ending. The whole novel she seemed to feel that people should do her bidding because she deserved it- but it was never explained why she deserved it (other than having mental problems). I did like the last sentence from Nick in her narrative, which was almost like the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to her, because neither of them would ever get what they wanted from this relationship.
I was also very disturbed by the idea that there maybe there isn’t a difference between pretending to do things and actually doing them. Maybe what we pretend is real even though in our heads it’s not real, we’re still doing them, so isn’t it reality? Doesn’t that just mean that even though they were pretending, it was real? Okay so that sounds really vague unless you’ve read it left me thinking some really deep questions about life.
Overall I’m glad I read this book this month, It was a good read, it kept me gripped the whole way. I don’t know if I’ll see the film- I’ve heard it’s very long, but it depends on whether I can keep to my budget.