Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ★★★★★
That was my immediate reaction after finishing this book. Pretty clearly that's not how it ends. It doesn't END that way. Yet, when I tapped Shadow's screen to turn the page (Shadow's my Nook's name, FYI) - there were only acknowledgements.
And then I thought about it... I gave it just a few minutes' thought, and I decided that I thought the ending was appropriate. Fucked up? Oh my, yes. But fitting too, in a way. We do dig our own graves, don't we?
This book kind of reminded of Lemarchand's Box. Every time you try to figure it out, it draws you deeper in, and in the end, reveals the kind of depravity that seemingly knows no bounds. Ineffable.
And I kind of loved it.
I thought I had this book figured out so early. I even thought I was being clever, despite knowing, KNOWING, that I was being carefully, artfully led to these conclusions. I was creative though. I had it all figured out. All I was waiting for was the vindication when the book caught up with me.
And then WHATTHEFUCK?! The twist. Oh my. I never, never saw it coming. Despite having accidentally seen the table of contents, which kind of give it away. But, then if you know me, you know that I don't want to know anything - so I put it out of my mind. And I'm glad that I did.
The first line of the Chapter of the Twist floored me. I read it four times, and still felt sluggishly stupid. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I had never read Gillian Flynn before, only knew that her stories were dark, thriller types. But in that one sentence, I wondered if all along I've been reading a haunting story and not even realizing it. In a way that was right, but it's just haunting in the wrong sense. Or the right one, depending on your point of view.
This book kind of... resonated. It's easy to get caught up in it - or it was for me. I could see myself, my boyfriend, my friends and their significant others, pretty much ANY relationship, in this book. And that's disturbing. Everyone changes in a relationship. Everyone. I thought, early on, "Oh, this is a story of how relationships go bad when expectations aren't met - when people change, and grow lax in their status quo relationship..."
And it was, in a way. If the When-Relationships-Go-Bad-O-Meter goes to 11. Why not just make 10 more intense? Because this one kind of situation requires it go to ELEVEN.
The thriller aspect of this book was fantastic. It's not one of those non-stop rollercoaster thrill-ride books, where every page turn is another exciting development. This was like watching the water drain out of a tub, slowly, allowing you to see, little by little,what lies under the surface. And you realize that it's recognizable but stunted and deformed, horrifying, and clearly dead inside. But you can't quite stop looking. I loved every second of it. Learning about Nick and Amy's relationship, both how it was so right, and how it went so very wrong. The characters were real, disturbingly real. Every word was expertly placed to take the reader along on this journey, and it was brilliantly done. Loved it.
The moral of this story: Make an effort. It won't kill you... ;)