* Spoilers * – basically just don’t read this if you don’t want the entire plot ruined.
I finally read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I suppose I could have cheated and just watched the movie and skipped the book. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one tempted to do as such. But as a policy I usually try to read the book first.
This book was particularly riveting. For those of you who don’t know, Gone Girl is basically about this guy, Nick, and his wife, Amy. They leave New York City for this little town in Missouri called Carthage. They’ve been married first for 5 years and Amy goes missing on their wedding anniversary. Then Nick is implicated for her murder.
That’s all I knew would be going in – a wife goes missing and a husband is implicated for her murder. I knew it didn’t make any sense because they hadn’t found Amy’s body, so therefore I knew (or strongly suspected) she wasn’t dead. But Nick also seemed like a bit of an asshole, or at least he’s far from perfect. This made sense at first, because Nick would explain how Amy did wrong things too. However, it would flip over to Amy’s chapters and nothing ever deteriorated in her point of view, she was always nice seeming and Nick was the bad guy.
Initially, Nick telling us all the story in the present time, during the first week or so after Amy went missing. Amy’s initial chapters take place periodically during the first few years where Amy and Nick met and the first years of their marriage. As Amy’s chapters get closer and closer to the present it gets weirder and weirder because Nick is describing Amy as someone who’s distinctly unhappy or miserable in some way and they both played a part in their marital problems. Nick contributed to the marital problems, which he knows, because he is emotionally distant, moody, that kind of thing. Meanwhile, in Amy’s description of herself is nothing like how Nick describes her (she’s nice and pleasant) but Nick is far worse then he let on, which is to say Amy thinks he’ll kill her. This seems kind of ridiculous, I was pretty sure Nick wasn’t actually abusive. It just seemed weird. Did he fuck up? Yes, because he had an affair, which you find out around 200-225 pages in (on my tablet the book was 543 pages), but he wasn’t going to kill his wife and I was pretty positive he was not responsible for what happened to Amy – someone else had done it. I wasn’t even sure what that unknown someone had done to Amy, but it wasn’t Nick who had done it. Their marriage had just failed and Nick messed up by cheating instead of leaving Amy. I abhor cheating but that is a far cry from murdering your wife.
I think that the real twist came in when I switched to part 2 of the book. I found out that Amy is alive and she framed her own husband for murder. It’s so beyond messed up. Ok, this girl is not well, a person who isn’t suffering from deep psychological problems on a deeply unhinged sociopathic level does something like that. She found out he was having an affair. Instead of leaving him because it would mean that he “won”, she decided to punish him by framing him for murder in a state with the death penalty. Once he was convicted, she would disappear for ever knowing he’d die for having cheated on her. This is really not a rational approach. If someone cheats on you, you leave their sorry ass in the dust. You don’t bloody well frame them for murder.
So any how, she spent a year planning how to punish him and created an air tight case. You find out she’s done crappy things like that to other people in her life and she escalated to framing her husband for murder. You find out she’s a raging sociopath in the most harmful way possible. She finally comes back because Nick knows she framed him and he finds a way to trick her to come back. But he can’t prove what she did to him so she doesn’t go to prison. Did I forget to mention how Amy killed someone towards the end and claimed the guy was her kidnapper?
Amy ends up manipulating Nick into staying because if he leaves she will kill him or arrange to send him to prison for attempted murder. It’s so so so messed up. And then she gets pregnant. I don’t even know how the hell she pulled that off cause Nick slept on the couch, all the while fearing she’d kill him. Maybe from the sperm bank? He did go to the sperm bank to donate so they could have a kid over a year before this.
Any ways it was all so messed up. I kind of hoped that Nick would prove what Amy had done and then she’d go to prison but the book ended on a creepy manipulative cliff hanger.
I must admit I’m a sucker for a good book and I really enjoyed Gone Girl. But the plot twist where Amy was basically a brilliant sociopath who was willing to frame her own husband for murder was a little bit much for me. When I was done the book, as much as I thought it was brilliantly written, I really just wanted to read another book with unicorns and fairies and happy endings. As much as I want to recommend the book to everyone who hasn’t read it yet, I was mortified by how dark and twisted it really was. Generally when things get dark and twisted, I want to know that the good guys win. Like in Criminal Minds, Hotchner and the BAU team always stop the bad guy and bring justice to those who lost their lives, it’s still dark and twisted and morbid to watch the serial killers and child kidnappers run around, but the good guys always “win” or find justice (at least eventually and in most of the episodes). It’s why I got sick of the Pretty Little Liars books because nothing good ever seemed to be happening for the characters, and Allison, another violent and murderous sociopath, keeps getting away with sick and twisted stuff. I still love the PLL show though because there are a few happy endings along the way, they really revised the story in the TV version of Pretty Little Liars. Can I also mention how concerned I am that there are just so so many violent, murderous sociopaths on tv and in books? For one, I don’t think it’s that common to be a sociopath. Secondly, I really don’t think every sociopath is a violent killer, they’re probably difficult people, but being difficult doesn’t equal killer.
Any ways, I’m a happy endings kind of girl. I like happy stories and I like stories where the good guys eventually come out on top. I don’t feel like that happened in Gone Girl. That unhinged sociopath, Amy, managed to get away with framing someone for murder, then murdering someone herself, and doing horrible things to other people, then in the end she gets to keep the guy she wants. Nick is far from perfect but still… I just wanted a happy ending where the bitch goes to prison or something like that. Ok, I am off to read the Princess Bride now, I’ve seen that movie so thankfully I know it it has a happy ending. Tata. Hope you are all enjoying your New Years.