“The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked.” –Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Oh my. This book though. I don’t know exactly what kind of things rattle around in Gillian Flynn‘s brain, but wow. Beware of spoilers ahead. Just know that I really really want you to read Gone Girl if you plan on stopping here.
So anyway, this book seems to be about Nick and Amy Dunne who have the perfect little marriage on the outside. Nick has a twin sister and teaches journalism classes and Amy used to write personality quizzes for magazines. Her parents spoiled her to death as a child and even went as far as to write a series of children’s books about her. But in reality, Amy and Nick are both miserable. The novel alternates between narrators, so we readers can get perspective on what it is like for each person. Nick hates Amy because she’s Satan and she hates him because he’s whiny and moody. And neither of them are really wrong. Honest to God, Nick and Amy are probably the worst humans on the face of the planet.
Their wedding anniversary comes around Amy goes missing!!! DUN DUN DUN!!! Clues left behind indicate that Nick had something to do with her disappearance– including the discovery that Amy was pregnant when she went missing. Later, police decide that Amy was likely murdered and try to pin it on Nick.
But just kidding! Turns out both our narrators are big fat liars! Nick is trying to cover up his affair with one of his students and Amy isn’t really dead– she planted all the evidence to frame Nick as revenge for his affair. This part of the novel hit me like a sack of bricks. I never saw it coming. Thank you Gillian Flynn. She isn’t even pregnant. Amy reaches out to her ex-boyfriend, Desi, under the pretenses of getting back together and he helps her hide.
Eventually, Nick figures out Amy’s little mind games and goes on national television and asks her to come back. And Amy being Amy, kills Desi and goes back to Nick. She covers up Desi’s murder by fabricating yet another big fat lie that Desi kidnapped her and was raping her so she had to kill him to escape. But the joke is on her– Nick has a plan to expose all her secrets and lies. But then Amy finds out and impregnates herself with his sperm that they had been saving at a sperm bank and threatens to never let him see his child. At this point of the novel I was screaming, “RUN NICK, RUN! YOU DON’T WANT THE SATAN SPAWN ANYWAY!” But Nick being Nick, does away with his plan and stays with Amy instead. And we get this line:
“’My gosh, Nick, why are you so wonderful to me?’
He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you.
But he said, ‘Because I feel sorry for you.’
‘Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.’” -Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
BAM! And the two lived unhappily ever after. The end.
This book is an emotional roller coaster. Definitely make sure you’re emotionally charged enough to read this, because it will drain your batteries faster than anything.
Also, the film version was decent. It stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy. Neil Patrick Harris (who is one of my all time favorite people ever) even gets a minor role as Desi. But that Rosamund Pike. Dang. She truly brings creepy, cold Amy to life. I’ve never seen her in anything else, but I’m definitely a little bit afraid of her now. I would recommend giving the film a try after you read the book. Hang in there– it’s a little long.