This is my first book review in the blog.
Marketing gimmicks work sometimes. With “the addictive No. 1 best seller that everyone is talking about” and its film adaptation with David Fincher as director, “Gone Girl” sure raises my interest. With high expectation and the feeling after reading the book … a horror marriage story of a psycho couple that is not as good as it should be.
The couple is Nick and Amy. “Gone Girl” is divided into 3 parts in consecutive chapters written in first person from Nick and Amy respectively. In Part 1 “Boy Loses Girl”, it started from Amy’s disappearance in their fifth wedding anniversary. As police investigation went on, all the evidences pointed to Nick as the killer of his wife. Trying to understand the recent life of his wife, Nick followed Amy’s hints for a treasure hunt – a tradition for their wedding anniversary. But soon, we learned that he was having an affair. In parallel, Amy’s diary from 2005 to 2012 was presented. The diary recorded how she and Nick met, dated, married and how their love fell apart. Part 1 is actually not an enjoyable read. The odd narrative and frequent jump between the past and present made me worried about the following parts.
Fortunately, Part 2 “Boy Meets Girl” provided a twist to the story. Amy was alive and she hid in a motel. She actually was the alpha female – she framed Nick for her death in revenge for his unfaithful. However things didn’t go as planned. She was robbed and lost all her money. With no other options, she contacted her ex-boyfriend Desi. As her long-term admirer, Desi let Amy to stay in his mansion. Soon Amy felt trapped and she had another thought. On the other hand, Nick also figured out Amy’s plan. The hints for the treasure hunt actually brought him to places where he and his lover met. When more secrets were exposed, he faced more pressure from the public.
When Nick was desperate and prepared for the worse, Amy returned in Part 3 “Boy Gets Girl Back (Or Vice Versa)”. Amy killed Desi and blamed him for kidnapping her. Although her story was suspected by the police, she was viewed as a hero. So would Nick reveal the true identity of Amy in the end? A disappointed answer: No. And don’t ask why, that’s it.
There are goods and bads of “Gone Girl”. It’s clever and creative, but it’s also slow and faulty. To me, “Gone Girl” is overpraised. I kept thinking during my read: “Why am I not enjoying it when it is so highly praised by everyone?” If I need to give it a rating: 3 out of 5.
“I was told love should be unconditional. That’s the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge? I am supposed to love Nick despite all his shortcomings. And Nick is supposed to love me despite my quirks. But clearly, neither of us does. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times.”
– Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl