Bex's Reviews > Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2012

** spoiler alert ** The first half of Gone Girl pivots on an essential question: What happened to Amy Dunne on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary? The point of view shifts from her diary entries dating back several years and her husband’s first person narrative in the present tense. He’s clearly not telling the whole truth and his impressions of her stand in contrast to her version of events in her diary entries.

Then, at the halfway point of the novel, the essential question is turned on its head. I hate to say anything about the second half of the book except it takes a dramatic turn. In fact it’s hard to talk about this book at all without spoiling the plot.

But, while the plot was fun—dark, twisted, psychotic fun—it was the way in which our societal roles dictate our behavior that was very cleverly exploited and of great interest to me. I’m not going to go into any specific spoilers but it’s kind of hard to talk about this book at all without it being a spoiler so:

Nick is a jerk. He’s narcissistic and the kind of guy who will tell you anything to avoid honest communication, particularly if it will lead to him feeling uncomfortable in any way. He's an avoider. Amy is brilliant but crazy. However, they both adopt disguises in life and marriage to pass among the regular people, unnoticed for how twisted they really are.

Thematically, the book takes the feminist theory idea that femininity is a disguise—perhaps even a construct women adopt to pass in a patriarchal society–and takes it to its darkest conclusion: that femininity is a kind of sociopathy (and also that patriarchal entitlement is a kind of endless narcissism). In this way, Flynn neatly unpacks lots of tropes about male and female behavior, but wraps it up in a plot that is darkly comedic and very often just dark but never boring.

It’s well-plotted, darkly funny, and, over the several days that I read it, I found myself thinking about it in the middle of the day and wondering how it could all be resolved. I wasn’t disappointed.
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Reading Progress

August 22, 2012 – Started Reading
August 22, 2012 – Shelved
August 24, 2012 – Shelved as: read-2012
August 24, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Jean I agree with your interpretation and felt that it was clever.

Lisa Findley Thanks for articulating why I liked this book so much--it's the way these two act out extreme femininity and masculinity as dictated by societal norms, and it ain't pretty.

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