It’s fairly safe to assume there will be plenty of spoilers within.
Gone Girl is one of the most gripping, chilling books I’ve ever read. And I loved every minute. It’s an English student’s wet dream to have notions of the unreliable narrator – let alone two (or we could say three) of them.
It’s safe to say that America’s sweetheart Amy Elliot Dunne is a goddamn psychopath. Vanity Fair actually did quite an interesting video on whether she has Munchausen Syndrome. But other way, she’s a total fruit loop.
The book sets the scene on the day of Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Nick comes across as a bit of a dick, but essentially harmless. He reports his wife missing (as you would when she’s, y’know, not there) and goes about his business helping the police where he can. To be fair to Nick he handles it all quite well which rings alarm bells for the reader (particularly as the cover tells you it’s “Thriller of the Year”, so there’s bound to be a twist or FIFTY MILLION). Nick also repeatedly tells us how “it’s always the husband” – I thought you wanted us to believe you Nick? Stop talking…
And then BOOM, first twist – Nick cheated on Amy with his fawning student, Andie. Beautiful, naive, incredibly annoying. You can imagine how Amy took it. Except Nick can’t, because he has no idea she knows. Gasp.
Second twist; Amy’s diary is revealed, and we believe Nick, our flawed (to be honest, I’d say douchey) narrator has hit her previously, she’s frightened of him, and wants to buy a gun to keep herself safe. Missing woman wants gun – husband is still around. Doesn’t take Sherlock to piece that jigsaw together.
Third twist; Amy is alive, and has set the whole damn thing up.
Bitches be craaaaaaaazy.
You could be fooled into thinking the plot could be summarised as:
- Man cheats on wife
- Wife gets angry and plots revenge
- Man and wife live happily ever after
…and to an extent you’d be a little bit right.
BUT THERE’S JUST SO MUCH MORE.
Amy is a delicious psychopath, to Shakespearean levels of drama and plotting, up there with the greats of tragedy such as Iago and Lady Macbeth. Gillian Flynn has brought together two highly unlikeable characters, and managed to get them to vie for your sympathy and attention – everything Amy craves. I can kind of see where Vanity Fair were going with this.
But the most terrifying part of all comes when Amy has finally returned home – bringing tales of her (relatively innocent) ex boyfriend kidnapping and repeatedly raping her. Once home with Nick she shows no guilt or regret, but sees it as what she had to do to make him love her again.
Not even content with her power play, Amy has herself impregnated with Nick’s IVF clinic sperm (yeah, here’s where it gets a little far fetched, if abusing herself with a wine bottle wasn’t already there), and threatens to never let him see his child if he doesn’t drop it. Drop what? THE FACT THAT SHE’S A NUTBAG.
Seriously, bitches be crazy.
I needed a few minutes after finishing reading to just digest what the heck had happened. It’s a fast-paced, drama filled romp through morality, that leaves you questioning whether anyone in the whole story is remotely likeable, and yet you STILL keep reading. Of the main characters only Nick’s twin sister Go (bit of a shrew, but look at the alternative) seems to be remotely innocent of psychological defects;
- Nick’s dad was abusive,
- Amy’s parents spent too much time analysing their fictional creation of their daughter and idolising their dead children to focus on their living daughter (probably the reason she’s a total loon),
- Nick is a douchey loverat who craves attention from women in a slightly less harmful way than Amy craves adoration (although you can argue he drove Amy to the brink of madness)
- Detectives Boney and Gilpin are too busy fitting the evidence to their theories to listen to anything other than “it’s always the husband”
- Desi might have come across as relatively harmless to begin with, until his superhero complex kicked in, and he did sort of hold Amy prisoner…albeit in a lake house with food, shelter, wifi, TV, attention and basically everything she wanted except a car and Nick.
Despite it dragging my brain to mad, messed up places, I’m really glad I put Gone Girl on my list of books to read in 2017, but also disappointed I can’t read it again. I’ll be keen to read more of Flynn’s work though, because Gone Girl certainly doesn’t disappoint!