**spoiler alert** A brief synopsis for those who may want to read the book: Nick Dunne is a washed up writer who returns to Missouri with his New York**spoiler alert** A brief synopsis for those who may want to read the book: Nick Dunne is a washed up writer who returns to Missouri with his New York wife Amy. Time have been tough for them both and tensions rise? Then on their 5th anniversary Amy disappears, and the clues all point to Nick. The book is read in Nick’s first person thoughts and in diary entries. I haven not read Gillian Flynn’s other novels but apparently this is her style. The author makes good use of suspense at the end of a chapter that makes you want to skip ahead and see what happens.
I head about the movie first. Then I wanted to read the book and follow up with the film… I’m familiar with thrillers, on the back of the book the praise reads “Ingenious”, “Terrifying”, “Razor Sharp”, “Sinister”, “Menacing”.
Was it really all they said it was?
No, sadly not.
Briefly, my major criticism was the ending. It felt to me that Gillian Flynn didn’t know how to end her book, or maybe she did and just wasn’t good at it. It’s funny because most of the time authors have figured out their beginning and endings. Some authors just write. I was expecting more, a resolution, an affirmation, redemption. None of that. The book just stops and isn’t interesting anymore. There could have been a better, more satisfying ending. Now, perhaps that’s being unfair to the dramatis personæ. Perhaps the way the book ends is the most realistic ending, maybe life is banal, sad and we rarely escape only to go on day after day, and that could be the really horror.
I find I can relate a lot of books to Albert Camus’ “The Outsider”. In the Outsider the main character Meursault, is convicted because he doesn’t seem to care his mother passed away. In fact he lack of emotion about the matter is what condemns him. I thought the same happened here with Nick Dunne. He’s constantly referred to as a bad husband but I’ll defend him and say he’s just an ordinary guy. Why doesn’t he care? I read an article a while ago about domestic abuse. As soon as I say that what do you think? “Nick’s a man, hits her.”
I was talking about women who abuse their men. It’s a pretty serious problem. Men are generally too proud and then ashamed to ask for help. Some lie about their bruises. It’s interesting how society reacts and assumes that men are the bad guys, always. Because female to male abuse is a real thing. In response to a comment on IMDB about why Nick didn’t just leave at the end said it best: LukeLovesFilm28: Good, honest men won't leave. They'll live with the abuse of women. It's not because they don't value themselves. It's because society doesn't allow men to be victims like women. Suck it up is what society constantly teaches boys. Men develop a sense of duty and responsibility toward family. I don’t want to say, “all men cheat” lots do, and so I am not surprised that Nick has a mistress, there is nothing shocking about that. I’m reminded of that movie, “Double Jeopardy” where a husband kills his wife because he needs to look like he’s dead so he can start a new life and escape the financial difficulties of their marriage. Too bad from him the plot of Double Jeopardy means that you can’t be killed if you’re already presumed dead. Gone Girl, it’s the same story oddly, just reverse the roles and change the plot. Maybe reading the novel from the perspective of a sociopath determined to have her misguided revenge is what makes Gone Girl a well received thriller.
At first I was convinced it was Nick and then I wasn’t so sure, he seemed like a a good guy to me, then Amy begins to speak to us in her own voice and at first I thought, oh it’s just like “Dress Lodger” (2001) where the narrator has been dead this whole time. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t even as clever (if overdone) a twist as Jeffery Deaver’s crime novels. No in fact, it was so simple and possible that it was scary. Amy has read a good deal of thrillers and studied hard to implicate her husband for her murder. What’s refreshing is that she gets a taste of the real world when the has-beens of her hide-away camp steal her money and she quickly gives up and returns home swooning for Nick who is rightly infuriated at her ruining his life. And that’s where I expected: -Nick to kill Amy -Amy to threaten Nick only to be gunned down by Detective Boney -Nick to commit suicide with Margo’s help to frame Amy -Amy to slip up and be thrown in jail
None of those sensible outcomes happen. Instead they just go on living together. Amy impregnates herself and Nick can’t bear the thought of losing his child to her. He stays, and he devastates his sister, Detective Boney and his faithful lawyer. Because, perhaps that’s the most realistic ending. Nick would rather torture himself and live with crazy Amy then let her go and continue to hurt other men. He’s taken one for the team and sadly, we never know how that turns out.
Gone Girl wasn’t ingenious because we’ve seen this format before. Terrifying? Yes because it was so simple that it could actually happen, provided that all the pieces were in place, dumb husband, sociopathic wife, etc. Razor Sharp? No, I felt the last part was the weakest, like Flynn had run out of ideas. Up until that point the book was ok. Sinister? Yes, charmingly evil, as I’ve been told is Flynn’s style. Menacing? Possibly, Nick certainly has some menace but really he’s more tragic than dark, and Amy is ingenious but I felt she was so incredibly exposed when she was robbed that Nick just doesn’t she has weaknesses.
I closed the book and brooded over the fact that the authorities blamed the man so quickly. That it just seemed easier. And then further, that Desi’s death and Amy’s explanation were accepted except by Boney and Bolt, that I was frustrated with the other characters.
You know, I went to see the movie and I had read somewhere that Gillian Flynn who wrote the screenplay had changed the ending so that readers would have something to look forward to and be surprised. There was no surprise. It was exactly the same. I really hoped that something dramatic would have happened. Just once. Maybe that is the most terrifying of all is summarized in this quote from the film:
Nick Dunne: Fuck. You're delusional. I mean, you're insane, why would you even want this? Yes, I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain. Amy Dunne: That's marriage....more