Monday, April 1, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥♥♥
Cover of: Gone girl by Gillian Flynn
Sick, twisted, wtf-ery. Ye gods, I loved this book!

This isn't a romance novel - far from it - but I read it a few days ago and I can't stop thinking about it so I thought I would just get it all out of my system here.

GF is a woman I wish I was friends with. She has written a book of such diabolical, perverse, purple humor that it leads me to believe she must be a woman of great wit and nonsense. Someone with whom I would very much like to have brunch.

On a very basic level, Gone Girl is about the un-spooling of the marriage between two extremely difficult-to-love people. The meta-story (because we live in times where everything has to have a meta something) is revealed by a series of questions about marriage that one of the main characters asks himself a few times: "Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?"

The main story was about Nick Dunne who comes home one day to discover that his wife, Amy is missing. The circumstances look suspicious and Nick becomes the prime suspect (no surprise here for if we have learned anything from the Crime & Investigation Network - it's always the husband). Nick insists he didn't have anything to do with his wife's disappearance and I spent most of the book being tossed from the for Nick to violently against camps again and again like a poor dead leaf in a storm. I discovered things (horrific, sad, heartbreaking things) about both Nick and Amy along the way that made me feel gut-deep sympathy for both characters. But then as I read on, that sympathy warred furiously with an equally gut-level disgust I felt for the both of them. By the end of it all I was left an exhausted and weak shell of a person with severe stomach pain.

You know when you watch one of those documentaries about space where the camera makes a huge swoop and you feel like you are shooting into deep space, everything around you getting darker and everything you know fading rapidly to a tiny speck behind you? That's how I felt the deeper I got into the book. I started off with a jellylike idea of what happened, and all of a sudden, without warning, the author dropped me into holycowwtf territory and my mind was literally blown. 

The main thing I learned after getting to the intensely uncomfortable ending of this novel is that I guess I don't know anything about people at all. I had brazenly assumed that I had a finely tuned ear and understanding for the inner weirdities of people and characters. I thought, in my utter naivete, that having read a lot of deep books by dead french dudes I knew something about the world - but now I realize that was all just kindergarten stuff. I didn't even have the brain-elasticity to imagine that this type of mind- f#ery could exist. 

My inner goody two shoes hated, HATED the ending. I mean, it was a nightmarish scenario for a person who desperately wants to live in a world where good triumphs over evil. But then there was this sick, grinning devil inside me who experienced a sensual zippety-zap of terrified enjoyment when I read the end that GF offers up. 

Ok I won't say more because its just going to be spoiler-y. Let me just end with this. I thought Gone Girl was a fantastic read. I devoured it in the matter of a day, I didn't sleep and I didn't eat and if I had kids they would be calling child services on me because I just didn't care about anything except getting to the bottom of the mystery. 

The ending, while disturbing, was eminently interesting. I would never have imagined it in a million years, because, as I said earlier, I couldn't have even constructed an imaginary character that screwed up. And the fact that Gillian Flynn did makes me want to meet her, learn from her and make her my friend. 

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