If you’re an avid reader or even remotely aware of the latest vogue publications, you, most likely, have already read the book that everyone’s been talking about. At least, you’ve heard about the book that everyone’s been talking about. The book which – on its back cover – promises greatness, a psychological thriller that will leave you speechless.
True, this story of an all-pleasing, seemingly unemotional husband (Nick Dunne) and his frantic search for his missing wife (Amy Elliott Dunne) is fraught with surprises, plot twists, and a story which actively avoids the norm. However, Gone Girl, the best-selling novel by author, Gillian Flynn, did it all in an entirely mediocre and deceitful way. In actuality, the story resembles a tale rife with brutality, intrigue, and an escalating procession of mutant-like lies told from two atrociously manipulative people who are clueless when it comes to themselves, each other, and their relationship.
There is nothing unique or incredible about this work, only your reaction to it. There are people who absolutely love it, though are somehow befuddled by it. There are people who can’t and wont venture past the first eighty pages. And then, there are people who keep going, from cover to cover, though they are stuck in an unimpressed, intensely irritated state for the entirety of their reading experience.
Guess which category I fall into.
Gone Girl reminds me of one of those horrible Lifetime movies, like a traffic accident, you can’t look away or protect yourself from the carnage before you.
Divided into three parts with alternating points of view throughout, the writing style, expected to be dark by the type of nightmarish subject matter, is almost too young. As if you could just delete a few swear words and it would be a YA novel (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). There’s actually nothing disastrous about the writing itself – it’s quite good – but the (almost stale and slow-paced) storyline is lacking. In part one, the voice does not match the plot, they contradict one another. In part two, the story executes an entire overhaul. It feels as if, somehow, you’re reading an entirely different story than the one you started with. You are flabbergasted by only the first few opening sentences of part two.
I know you’re saying, “Kim, what’s wrong with that? Good books should surprise you.” Yeah, that would be okay if the characters weren’t utterly despicable or minimally relatable. Nick is static, selfish, and obviously hiding something. Amy? You need an entire year’s worth of therapy to simply scratch the surface of what her character has done to your own personal psyche. The characters do nothing but make the disastrous story, indeed, less likable.
By the end of the novel, you’re left mute, scratching your head, wondering what the hell just happened. Thinking, that’s it? Are there pages missing? That’s all there is? Which, essentially, explains why Gillian Flynn felt it necessary to rewrite the entire third act for the upcoming film. Can you really blame her? Even if it goes against everything we believe in when it comes to film adaptations? I can’t, because I wish she’d rewritten the entire screenplay, the entire novel. I felt only boredom and betrayal as I read this book.
Honestly, I don’t think I have ever wanted to return a book. I was left so unsatisfied, I wanted to scream. I am sorely tempted to walk into Barnes & Noble and demand my money back. However, even as I’m writing this, I can’t help but think I’ve missed something, that I’ve overlooked the novel’s intentions. What am I missing that everyone else so obviously sees? Maybe in a few years I’ll pick the book back up and find some fulfillment from it, but until then, I’m happy where I am.
Book Rating: D
Have you read Gone Girl? Will you? What did you think of the book? Would you recommend it to someone? What were your impressions of the characters? The plot? Were you satisfied by the ending or just plain confused? How do you think the ending will be changed for the film? Tell me in the comments!