Apr 24, 2013

Gone Girl

It's hard to describe Gone Girl without revealing a major spoiler, however, that spoiler was part of a book blurb I read prior to reading this novel so I'm going to say it anyway.  I'll block it out so you can look at it at your own discretion : SHE ISN'T DEAD, SHE RAN AWAY AND STAGED EVERYTHING.


Gone Girl is the story of a husband, Nick, and wife, Amy, who would seemingly be on the fast track to divorce city if Amy hadn't suddenly gone missing.  Soon it is widely suspected that Amy was murdered at the hands of Nick.  Readers follow the story through alternating chapters of Nick's narration and Amy's diary entries (and later narration), two voices clashing against one another to tell their tales of courtship and marriage and defend their past choices.

I'll be honest. For about a fourth of the book I completely despised it.  I kept thinking that the novel was only reaffirming my love for children's and young adult novels (as you know, that's all I typically read these days), because this novel is just dripping with passive aggressive attacks and pathological blame for parents, family, wives, friends, EVERYONE. No one took responsibility for actions.  It also has a healthy helping of the typical "there's no hope for future happiness now that I'm almost a middle-aged adult" tone that plagues adult fiction (in my opinion).  I hated it.  But my friend Bridget had insisted I drop everything and read this novel (which I didn't do, sorry Bridget!), and Lord knows she has read every YA book I've insisted she read (thanks Bridget!), so I kept on going.


Because then the twist happens and makes it totally worth it.  You find out that maybe Nick isn't the most deplorable character of the novel (he's still terrible - an incredibly misogynistic and passive aggressive man) and it turns into quite a thrill to see who will come out on top as the most psychopathic and who will get knocked down in the process.  Post-twist, the passive aggressiveness and blaming still exist in large quantities, but become much more palatable as they play a larger role in the plot.

I will admit that some of the language got tiresome, but that's a personal taste reflective of my preference for children's and YA lit (although they can get colorful with the language too). Was it all necessary to the plot? Mostly, so I'll let it slide.

All in all, extraordinarily developed characters and unreliable narration make Gone Girl a lot more than your standard thriller novel.  If you haven't already read it, do what Bridget advised me to earlier: drop everything and read it now.

1 comment:

  1. I've never intended to read this book, but I'm rather pleased to know what the twist is so that I don't feel like I'm left out of the discussion. Thanks for posting your review!