On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.
Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
I like to read the books movies are based on before the movies are released. With Gone Girl the movie fast approaching, and Gone Girl being raved about, I decided it was time I cracked open the book itself. I kept an open mind. something of which I believe is important to do when you read something with tremendous hype. Except, I didn’t expect the amount of frustration, exasperation, and anger that Gone Girl would elicit from me.
I don’t blame the story, not entirely, for my dislike of it. It’s difficult reading a story you’ve heard about. How are you meant to have your mind-blown when you’ve heard others have had their mind-blown by it? How are you meant to enjoy a twist-filled thriller when you know there will be shocks and turns you’re not meant to expect? I honestly don’t know and it doesn’t matter that I did not read reviews about Gone Girl. Knowing it was meant to be all these things puts you on tenterhooks to begin with.
Personally, I couldn’t help wondering what was around the corner. The thing is, I now don’t know if the predictability I experienced was due to the story itself, or due to my expectations. I wasn’t surprised so much as under-whelmed. I questioned everything.
What made it worse was my thorough dislike for the characters. This was still in the beginning of the story. I disliked them. I couldn’t find anything even remotely relateable or likeable (even villains can be likeable) and by the end I utterly loathed them. I wanted them all to die. I wanted them all to die a horribly gruesome death! Even the secondary characters. Even the characters that were not given a name.
In the end it was all mostly down to feeling like I’d been duped. I don’t mean with the plot either, but with the time I spent reading it and than not feeling like I’ve read the story. All the characters are lying to you. They are all insane. They start off in one vein and end up in another by the end. All I kept thinking, as the story came to a close, was writing guides extolling “don’t lie to your readers.” I feel bamboozled.
This won’t be the first and only Gillian Flynn novel I read, but it will be a while before I read another.