Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Crown
2012 
415 pages 

"I was told love should be unconditional. That's the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge?" (pg. 414) 

I drank the Kool-Aid with this one and my God, was this gooooood.

Gone Girl is the summer's hottest book, currently enjoying the #1 spot on The New York Times Bestseller list. It is the book that every blogger is talking about (well, along with that other book). Normally, with all this kind of hype, I wouldn't want anything to do with this book, but this one was absolutely irresistible.

For starters, it's a mystery, and I don't do mysteries. I scare easily, and I started this while The Husband was out of town for the night. This isn't a fright-fest, per se; this is more of a "what the fuck?!" fest.

(And that's in every sense of the word. Really. Be forewarned that if the likes of the f-word and a lot of gratuituous acts and descriptions thereof are not your thing, Gone Girl has all of the above in abundance. And then some. And then some MORE. I wound up wanting to give this 4.5 stars on Goodreads, and that minus .5 was because of the language and descriptive goings-on and I am far from easily offended.)

For those who have no idea what Gone Girl is about, allow me to give you just the most barest of plot summaries - because this is one of those books that the less you know about it, the better. Nick and Amy Dunne have been married for 5 years. On the morning of their 5th anniversary, Amy goes missing. ("I took a cue from your beloved Mark Twain: What ought to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of anniversaries? Mere killing would be too light." (pg. 109) 

OK, enough said.

Sounds simple enough, but there's nothing simple about this book - nor these crazy as hell people who are incredibly, bizarrely complex.
"I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.
And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul-mate, because we don't have genuine souls.
It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else.
I would have done anything to feel real again." (pg. 73)
Nick and Amy string each other along and you, as the reader, are just along for the literary equivalent of Mister Toad's Wild Ride.

Just check out my status updates on Goodreads as proof (I read this on my Kindle):

6% done:  "This chick needs some therapy, stat. And her parents are child psychologists? Definitely needs some therapy stat. All the hype is justified. Can't put this down. I am going to be a gone girl to my family until I am done this. Goodbye."

33 % done: "WHAT THE!!! I'm on the equivalent of page 139 and nearly just screamed. What a mindf%#;* of a book. Love it."

63%  done: "Remember that Rick Springfield song "Don't Talk to Strangers"? That's going through my mind right now, even though it's about a guy and a girl. This is going to come undone."


81% done: "Yikes. Ohmigodohmigodohmigod. This isn't going to end well. Well, maybe it will. Maybe. But this isn't good."

But it is.

It really, really is. 

4.5 stars.





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2 comments:

Keetha said...

And the ending? I was so mad when I finished it but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that really, that was the only way it could have ended.

Have you read any of Tana French's books? Broken Harbor, which came out in July, is excellent.

healthsangel said...

I loved Gone Girl! I read it over the course of a weekend. Definitely could not put it down. I loved the quote about us all reading from the same dog-eared script.