I reserved this from the library after seeing it on a WTF list. (I also added Chuck Palahniuk’s Rant, which I got bored with and quit, and Herman Koch’s The Dinner, which I thoroughly enjoyed.)
Most of my Goodreads friends gave five stars. I don’t trust other people to enjoy what I enjoy, so I was sceptical. If this wasn’t an OMG-amazing novel, I would judge my friends for it, not the author.
And thus Gone Girl is a victim of its own hype. It’s been so buzzed to the extent that it was never going to live up to the expectation of greatness.
Gillian Flynn has a witty way with words, and certainly doesn’t hold back on creating grotesque characters. Her social commentary is clever: everything from “Cool Girl” to public perception. And how at the start of a relationship each party pretends to be what the other wants, and the charade disappears the longer they remain. But alongside the awful people doing awful things is Margo, who’s a beacon of awesome in all her scenes. She’s definitely more likeable than the leading couple, who prove that terrible people belong together.
Some say Nick and Amy are just as bad as each other. You know those stalker “romances” in which the possessiveness and obsession creeps you out? The Dunnes are like that, but at least they’re honest enough to admit that their bond is unhealthy, and Nick really does want to escape. Only he can’t because of blackmail and whatever else his conniving wife could do to him next. His complicity annoys, but Amy’s doubtlessly the more evil. The ending was bound to irk unless one or both of them died. ‘Til death do us part, indeed.
In short, had it not been super-hyped, I probably would’ve given four stars, but it loses a mark for disappointment. It’s far from a bad book, and is sure to spark lively discussion. Don’t know how the film will fare, if viewers go in already knowing the twist, though.