I’m late to the party on Gone Girl. This isn’t a book I’d normally pick up, but the wave of hype was too big to swim out of. I had to see why. Also, boyfriend brought the movie home from the library so that bumped it up to my read now-or-never pile.
Once upon a time, not liking a wildly popular book made me feel like a num-num. I’m over that.
This is the story of a bad marriage between two nasty people, an over-privileged entitled sociopathic princess and a greedy, cheating egomaniac. Shall we spend a couple hundred hefty pages with them? The opening convinced me to proceed. Hubby Nick describes the fine shape of his wife Amy’s head in the detached way someone who perhaps intends to remove such a head might. I was in and ready for a dark plot to spread its hairy wings.
Structurally, we alternate from Nick’s POV beginning with their fifth anniversary, which is the day he discovers his wife is missing and there’s every reason to suspect foul play, and Amy’s POV. Through her catty diary entries, written in that hipstery to-cool-for-school magazine-y voice, we get to march through the history of their relationship from becoming an affluent couple in swanky Brooklyn Heights to losing most of it and moving to a McMansion in Nick’s hometown in Missouri, where Nick spends the last of Amy’s money to buy a bar and Amy stews in all she’s lost.
I was tempted to skip the diary entry chapters. In hindsight, the book would’ve been more enjoyable and the plot still would’ve held together. Nick is sort of fun to hate, but Amy’s character is awful. The missing person investigation escalates and it doesn’t look good for Nick. It’s always the husband, apparently.
Close to half way through the book I started getting really confused. The story was winding down, but the chunk of unread pages in my right hand way outnumbered the chunk of read pages on my left. Things shift in the middle and I guess that’s what people like about this, but I was ready for it to be over.
I stuck the tines of my fork in my bulbous egg yolk and swirled it, smearing the sun.
I did like where this story is coming from. People are complex and capable of anything. Nick makes a point about how people fall into playing roles – the missing wife, the bad husband. Here there’s a pay a price to be paid for fitting certain roles too well.
The plot adds up. The writing is well done. The books is readable.