So here we are. My very first post on booklikes.
How exciting is this!
So naturally, we're going to start with Gone Girl, the book I just finished. Remember, this is an impression, not a review. My thoughts will be all over the place. You've been warned.
Now I have very mixed feelings about this novel. On the one hand, I think Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer. Her ability to create three distinct voices for her characters, and her effortless flow between POVs is something to be appreciated. She definitely has some unforgettable characters in this book, for better or for worse.
Now let's get one thing out of the way. Gone Girl is a dark book. I don't mean it's dark as in deep. Honestly, the synopsis will lead you to believe it's making some existential commentary on marriage. Nope. It's just twisted. So keep that in mind when you read this book if you are one of the very few who haven't already. You are not going to finish it and have some new outlook on life and marriage, not that kind of read.
Once you've understood that, I think you're apt to enjoy the book for what it is, a twisted rollercoaster ride that will keep you turning the page. All you have to do is get past part one. Granted, I don't think it's as incredibly boring as some people seem to, but it is a slow start. So slow, in fact, that I completely misjudged the book after reading a couple of sample chapters the year it came out. Part One is basically backstory and an introduction to Nick and Amy. Part two is where the action really starts, and that's halfway through the book, unfortunately. But like I said part one isn't that dreadful in my opinion. It kept me on my toes, and I couldn't guess what would happen next. Even if I had an idea, the book constantly had me second guessing myself. I loved that.
Okay, where do we begin... The characters!
As far as I'm concerned, there really are no "heroes" in this novel. Amy and Nick are both very unlikable people. What people fail to realize is the author is fully aware of this. I'm sure she didn't accidently make Nick a douche or Amy apeshit crazy. And honestly, I love it. It's refreshing to have characters that shy away from the quirky cool characters that are popular at the moment. The lovable characters that go through whatever arc and learn a meaningful lesson in the end. These two don't learn shit. It's unconventional, people may not like that, but I thought it was bold.
It was interesting to delve into the minds of two sociopaths. I never knew who to trust or what to believe. I could never pick a side because just when I started liking either one of them, they did something that drew a side eye from me. But one thing is for sure, they always kept me interested. Could I relate to them? No. But I wouldn't want to. It's also been a while since I read a villain that is as well developed as Amy. What makes her so scary is the fact that she is so brilliant (sometimes debatable) and beautiful and sweet. "Perfect" in most people's eyes. By "most people" I mean the people in the book. No one would ever think that she would do anything heinous. She was Amazing Amy for goodness sake. Yet she is a compulsive and pathological liar, vindictive, manipulative, and straight up insane. She actually believes that she is incapable of being wrong. Anything she does, no matter how outrageous, has some logical justification that makes perfect sense to her. The result is a character you love to hate. Or maybe just flat-out hate. Either way, she is a superb villain.
Fuck you, Fuck this, fuck that, fuck it, fuck, fuck fuck, fu--
As I said, I think Gillian is a great writer, but one thing that turned me off in this book was the number of F-bombs. I mean I'm no prude, but when it gets to the point where I stop and notice how many times the characters say "fuck," you know you're doing too much. At first I figured it was Nick's favorite word, but turns out it's every speaking character in the book's favorite word. There is a reason most creative writers will tell you to use cursing sparingly in your work. If you're going to curse, you got to put some weight on it. Let the audience know that shit just got real whenever your character starts cursing. But here, it just got annoying.
Wait, what just happened? (The Story)
You know how I said Amy's intelligence could sometimes be debatable. Well, my number one example is her making buddies at that long term motel she was staying at with Jeff and Greta. When has she ever made friends just to do it and why in the world start now when she's on the run? I thought for sure that Amy would be out of there the minute Gretta saw her picture on TV. I mean I don't care if you gain 20 lbs, get a bad haircut, and dye your hair. You can't change your bone structure, your eye shape and color, the shape of your features. It's no way Greta could look her in the face and not realize who Amy was. It also annoys me that we never get a clear answer of whether or not Greta knew. There were some moments where I thought she knew, especially since she seemed to want to talk about the missing girl on TV a lot and often tried to keep Amy from changing the subject. But when she freaked out about how much money Amy had, I realized she had no clue who she was. I mean if anything I would have thought Greta would be disappointed because she thought Amy would have had more money. There is also the fact that she literally said "I don't know who you are or what you're running from, but I know you won't call the police." Seriously? Are you that stupid?
Oh, and if Amy is so brilliant, she should have seen that robbery coming. She noticed how Greta and Jeff started acting weird, but she stuck around? Amy is this genius who thinks of every damn thing. I mean the most miniscule details are already checked off her list. So how did she not see that situation coming? Same thing with the Desi situation. I was shocked when she actually went with him to his home. Did she really think he was going to show her around, let her know she has the option, then give her money and let her leave? Come on. Yeah, Nick said she doesn't have a "bullshit detector," but that's kind of hard to swallow with all of her elaborate schemes and her brilliance being hammered into our heads since part 2. I get Gillian needing to hit her plot points, but I think she took Amy out of character to achieve those twists, which was a mistake.
How about that ending?
A part of me really wanted Amy to get caught, just because I didn't like her. But at the same time, I knew she was too good for that. What I didn't get was how Nick gave in so easily. I mean she says she's pregnant, and everything goes out the window? I mean, I'm not an advocate of single parenting, but I think Nick gets a pass. I just wish he would have put up more of a fight, but I guess the book would have been pushing 700 pages if that happened. Still, I felt it kind of anticlimactic for it to end on such an average note. A woman traps her man into staying with her via a baby. Does Amy not see that as boring?
I think those are all the comments I wanted to make lol. All in all, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. For some reason, I get the feeling that this time, I'll like the movie better.