I have never hated two characters as much as I hate Nick and Amy in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. And, that’s really the brilliance of this book.
Before I even started reading this book, all I heard was what a great plot twist it had, and how no one expected the end and so on and so forth. So when I went into this book, I was eagerly anticipating the plot twist. Which meant the first 50 pages of the book were especially dull.
The story begins with both Nick and Amy asynchronously narrating the story—Nick narrates at the present time, Amy narrates a few years behind. We learn how the two meet, fall in love, and what happens (from Nick’s perspective) the day Amy disappears and why (from Amy’s perspective) she disappears.
Let me give you a tip: in order to enjoy this book, just take it for what it is. This book is about the complexity of personalities, how the inner workings of people are so strange and unpredictable and how nothing is ever as it seems. This book is also about marriage, and how hard it is to really and intimately get to know the person you’re living with. Do you really know them? When you start reading, just read it. Don’t expect anything. Just get to know the characters.
Warning: Spoiler Alert. Stop reading now if you haven’t read this book. Or keep reading and spoil your ending.
I just knew all along that Nick was guilty. There was way too much blatant foreshadowing going on at the beginning for me to ignore. And it kind of made me annoyed, so much that I almost put the book down several times. I so wish that Flynn hadn’t been as over the top about it as she was. I think that even if I didn’t know there was going to be a twist, I wouldn’t have been surprise. I mean, she basically laid it all out in the first few pages.
The fact that Amy framed her husband for her imaginary murder is amazingly awesome. And when I got to that part of the book, I set it down and did a double fist pump in the air. Yes! This is awesome! I cannot believe the sadistic-ness of Amy for all she did. I mean, taking a year to build up to it? Writing a fake journal? This is literally the perfect crime. And that’s when I started to admire her genius and loathe her for being a despicable human being.
And once Amy became so heinous, I started liking Nick more. We’re on the same side! Yeah, you cheated on your wife, but no one deserves this! I’m with you, Nick! I applauded him for his devious plan at getting Amy to turn herself in.
And that’s when the plotline got a little contrived.
Flynn had to get Amy back in the picture. She knew that. Amy knew that. I as the reader knew that. But I sure did hate the Desi/Amy storyline. I didn’t like that she called him up, that he was a douchebag, that she killed him anyway, and that she had thought up an entire second story. I can applaud her for genius the first time around. The second is just too much. We all knew that Nick and Amy would end up staying together, but I didn’t like how she stole his sperm from the beginning and seemed like she planned this, too. I mean, it’s in her nature, sure, but even that just seemed way over the line.
And then, Nick actually did stay with her. Flynn made it to be all about the father/son relationship he had, but she never went deep enough into that for me to really sympathize with him. And all I thought was, Really, guy? I just supported you and now you’re going to stay with your evil spawn of a wife? COME ON, IDIOT.
So I ended the book despising both of these characters. Like, I threw the book against the wall and went to bed angry at them. And that’s where the brilliance really lies in this book. The way Flynn brought these contemptible creatures to life and how she made me want to reach inside and strangle them both.
I can’t wait for the movie.
Did you read this book? How did you feel about the characters? Or the ending? Did the plot twist catch you off guard, too?