Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know, sometimes divorce is a good idea. I know people don’t want to hear that. They want love that triumphs in the face of overwhelming odds, in spite of everything. They want happily ever afters that last forever. But sometimes the way to find your happily every after is to get a divorce. Maybe happily ever after means being alone. Or at least not being married to a monster. Nick and Amy’s relationship starts out as a textbook example of when people are just done. Then it gets worse. Gone Girl is another deeply disturbing book which Flynn has done an incredible job writing. Her characters are completely real. I’m delighted to say I don’t know any of them, and you will be too once you realize what they are like. Because likeable characters are few and far between in this book. I think I found two? I won’t tell you who they are. You’ll figure it out. Unless repeated, descriptive violence, murder, sexual assault, and misogyny is a problem. Because if that’s the case you’re going to just tuck this book back on the shelf and read a mystery where the blood doesn’t actually drip off the page. Might I suggest The Cat Who… series by Lillian Jackson Braun? All the mystery of a mystery, none of the gore. Bonus adorable cats. There is an adorable cat in Gone Girl, but he doesn’t show up much and he doesn’t help solve the mystery. Don’t read this book for the adorable cat.
The other interesting thing Flynn put in this book was the mini-quizzes. Amy writes personality quizzes for women’s magazines and she speckles her parts of the book with one question, multiple choice mini-quizzes on how to be the perfect girlfriend/wife/significant other. Be the Cool Girl. Which basically boils down to “liking everything he likes and never complaining” (223). Which basically boils down to not existing. Don’t be a person separate from him. Don’t be real. I appreciate seeing someone slice through all the fakeness, through the assumption that all of your complaints are invalid neuroses, and that you just need to loosen up and let your man do what he wants! Flynn makes that a counterpoint to Nick’s complaints about trying to keep his wife happy, trying to be a man. Wanting someone who will appreciate him just the way he is and not make him jump through hoops to prove that he loves her. There’s a few relationship fallacies, like the idea that being insanely jealous of your partner means you love them. (Blech.) Overall, their problems are almost ironic mirrors of each other. They both want to be valued for who they are, and to be allowed to be themselves. Or rather, that’s the problem on the surface. The real problem is much, much worse. I won’t tell you what it is because that would completely spoil the story. But take my word for it that a personality quiz in a magazine isn’t going to help these two in the slightest.

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One thought on “Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  1. Cheryl Ernst

    Woo hoo! You were on a roll writing this one; I can practically hear you chuckling as you write. Well done. And I don’t even want to read the book.


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