Everyone and their grandmother is reading Gone Girl right now. It’s #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list, and it has been talked about and reviewed without *really* being talked about, because to say to much would be to give away the plot. I went in, not knowing what to expect. I have much to say (but I’ll also do my best to avoid spoiling it for anyone who wants to read it).
I think I might be the only person who hated this book. It’s sad, too, because I wanted to believe in it. I wanted to like it, so much, and I was initially enthralled by the mystery’s setup. Ms. Flynn did an excellent job at pitting two sides of the same story against each other and in setting the plot in motion. I do like a good mystery, and this had all the makings of one. Parts I and II expertly establish the tension in the plot, with little clues sprinkled throughout to tell us that all may not be what it seems.
And then Part III came along and spoiled the whole party. I’m trying to be vague, so that if you haven’t read and choose to do so, you won’t be spoiled. But let’s just say I found myself huffing in frustration more than once, and I felt like I was veering into Lifetime movie territory. Maybe it’s because I found the major characters completely unlikeable. Maybe I’m a skeptical snob. Maybe it was a combination of both.
I’ll give Ms. Flynn kudos for making the reader flip-flop between stances and sympathies. At first, I agreed that Nick was a lying douchebag, and unforgivably stupid. But I’d just like to say that Amy completely pissed me off, through her creepy, little-miss-perfect-victim-rich-girl diary entries, and other accounts. Some of her diary entries made her sympathetic, but then there were other smug, entitled moments (especially with those quizzes), where I just lost patience.
I realize that the book has generated a lot of discussion about the unraveling of a “perfect” marriage, of the lengths someone will go to get revenge, etc. But I am not interested in reading about someone who is so concerned about getting the better of someone else that he/she will literally harm his/her physical self just to get back at someone else. The ending tipped me over the edge, and I thought it took a very Noir-ish story and turned it into War of the Roses. And I just don’t have time for that nonsense.