Gone Girl – Book to Movie
Gillian Flynn really pulled out all the stops when she wrote Gone Girl. It is a story of a husband who is publicly accused of murdering his missing wife. There is more to the story, but it is worth a read and the small details really add to the suspense of the overall story.
The movie is rumored to deviate from the novel which for many of the fans is important. For the non-readers out there here is the trailer for the motion picture starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as main characters Nick and Amy Dunne. For those of you who have already read it stick around after the jump. Let’s discuss the mixed feeling we have.
Thar be spoilers ahead.
I have never read a book where I could not decide at the end if it was something I enjoyed or not. I have discussed this with others who have read it and we have argued about whether it was because of the ending or if the characters were to blame.
Gone girl takes place at rock bottom. Not just for the main characters, but for the world around them. A world that has just been rocked by a wave of economic hardships and bank foreclosures. The story has a hollow empty feeling to it going in. On top of all this struggle Amy Dunne goes missing and the blame falls on the most likely suspect, her husband, Nick Dunne.
Flynn plays with you for at least the first half of the story by setting Nick up as the abusive husband. Her diary entries have damning evidence and paint Amy as a reformed and forgiving wife. It feels like an open and shut story, then… her diary entries surpass the date which she went missing. Nick Dunne’s perspective is given a second look when you realize the lengths that Amy went through to make herself disappear so completely.
Amy is a complete psychopath with unlimited patience. Revenge is a dish best served cold and though most of us can understand that sentiment, but Amy has made this her mission statement. She has the patience of a long-con-man. She discovers her husband’s infidelity and hatches an extreme plan to obliterate him.
Nick upon discovering that his wife is not only alive, but responsible for her own disappearance and his supposed guilt, is unable to fight back. He basically chickens out at every turn. He has the pieces to expose her for the psycho she is, but he allows her to regain the upper hand. Nick is a weak man and he allows himself to remain in an abusive miserable relationship because he understands that on some level no one will ever work that hard to be with him. No one will ever care that much about him.
By the end of the story both characters are exposed and you understand how flawed they are. You are unable to relate to either of them and the one ray of hope for Nick is erased when Amy is able to outsmart him with a bombshell. She is pregnant with his child. He cannot leave her and he cannot leave the child alone with a woman incapable of love. This child is a living pawn in her game of crazy.
Flynn holds the perfect symmetrical ending in front of the reader’s eyes and then snatches it away in favor of a realistic conclusion for two codependent defective people.
As a reader I had a hard time leaving this story knowing that Amy did wrong and got away with it. It was doubly confusing because I enjoy a good villain, but perhaps when it is a super villain threatening to destroy the world with special abilities it is easier to enjoy than someone who poses as a vulnerable female and could actually exist. I am saddened to think that out there is a woman who is devious enough to cause this much discord in the world.
The book was very well written. No matter how uncomfortable I was with the murky morality of the characters the story telling was smooth and kept me on the edge of my seat. I did enjoy reading this, but I was physically affected by the way the story ended. It made me feel terrible. So do I think this is a good book or a bad book?
I still don’t know. I hope that the film adaptation can help wash this nasty taste from my mental palate.