Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gone Girl: A Review

I finally got to read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which apparently everyone in Fort Smith wanted to read. I had it on hold at the library for three or four months, with about fifty people in line in front of me.  I wasn't going to buy it, since from what I heard about it it was unlikely to be a book I wanted to keep.

Which, nope.

So many people raved about this book.  But holy hopping Cossacks, what a terrible book.  I mean, yes, very readable.  And many things about it were fun.  Well-structured, it kept you turning pages, and who doesn't love an unreliable narrator?

But also just ridiculous.  I guess we're supposed to sympathize with Amy, due to that self-serving Cool Girl rant she goes on in the middle of the book.

But it doesn't fit at all with any other aspect of her character, so it just feels like another scam she's playing on the reader. More bullshit, in other words.  Like when she claims to have given all her money to her Taker parents.

I mean, I guess we're supposed to believe that's a lie.  It certainly doesn't seem like anything Amy as we know her would actually do.  Except -- if she didn't do it, then where did all her money go?  This is what I mean.  The book is a mess.  The characters are a mess.

Is Nick a monster who uses Amy -- as we're supposed to believe, from that Cool Girl rant -- who takes her last dollar to start his bar and then cheats on her? Or is he a victim of this raving, fiendish, brilliant psychopath -- as the latter half of the book seems to imply?

(A brilliant psychopath who doesn't know how much milk costs, mind you, despite the fact that she's been living as an adult human, in a marriage, and we have to believe therefore buying groceries and such, in New York, for five years.  A brilliant manipulative psychopath who lets herself be trapped into captivity by a really sort of dopey weasel in the latter half of the book, who keeps her imprisoned on her estate and rapes her daily, because she isn't able to predict his behavior.  A brilliant psychopath who doesn't realize that two rednecks are going to rob her, when the reader knew that six chapters before she did.)

A victim who apparently likes being a victim, since he stays with her at the end: ostensibly to protect his unborn child, but how is it even possible that she's pregnant with his child, as she claims?  The timeline just doesn't work.  This has to be more Amy-manipulation.

Or bad plotting, I suppose.

God, what a stupid book.


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

A lot of people have recommended this book to me. I'm glad I read your review first. I'm gonna pass. Every now and then I read something that pop culture is raving about just to see what people are raving about. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), and more often I'm holding back mental vomit (50 Shades of Gray, Twilight - not coincidentally related books).

Anyway - you saved me some time, so I can read more philosophy. :)

delagar said...

Yes, do. I'm sorry I spent the time on this one!