Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

08/01/15

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[Spoilers]

The first thing I want to superficially declare is how much I love the cover of this book. It’s difficult to capture on camera but it has this wonderful velveteen-chalk kind of texture that retains the smudges of your fingers. (It’s the little things in life.)

The second thing I want to simply declare is that I love this story. It’s just brilliant, I haven’t felt so emotionally involved in a book for a long time. Amy’s plan to dismantle Nick’s life is wonderfully executed in its disturbing, italicised bitterness. Split into two sections: “BOY LOSES GIRL” & “BOY MEETS GIRL”, Flynn gives equal weight to both Nick and Amy’s versions of events, in alternating chapters. What I should note is that I saw Gone Girl the film last year, and therefore started reading this with the prior knowledge that I was being lied to by both parties. Yet even as the novel concluded, I never felt as though I knew the “real” versions of these characters. There was Diary Amy – the ‘cool girl’ – Amazing Amy, Dead Amy, and her counterparts of Nick the Loyal Husband, Nick the Adulterer, Nick the Bereaved.

Pages 80-81 hold one of the most interesting cogs of the novel for me. What is discussed is the vapours of postmodernism; the experience of the world through a screen. “I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. It’s a very different era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless automat of characters.” I’ll let you decide whose perspective this was: Nick’s or Amy’s.

Favourite quote: “‘If I had a dick, I would fuck this peanut butter’, deliberately spraying cracker bits toward me.” [Not reflective of the mood of the novel as a whole, but I still found it hilarious at the time.]

Favourite character: Now I’m going to be rather cheeky here and bend the rules before I’ve even set them. I cannot decide on a singular favourite character, it is definitely a delicate balance between Nick Dunne and Margot Dunne. Twins. I loved how their relationship was never neglected in the marital tempest of the plot, how easily it could have been underdeveloped. Nick to me was like an unravelling spool of cotton, and always aware of the mess he had created, but unable to stop himself. It was a placid acceptance of the situation. I often put myself in Margot’s shoes and thought how I would feel – all signs are leading towards the notion that my twin brother killed his wife, the repercussions of which he is handling so badly. Her unbottled, no-nonsense snark was perfectly written.

This made me want to read: Sharp Objects (Gillian Flynn’s debut novel)

Rosie’s Review: 9.5 bindings of 10. Absolute whirlwind of a novel to start the year.

(Fuck me, this was a long review.)

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