You know that thing that happens when a book becomes popular and all you hear is how great it is and how it’s going to make a great movie and how EVERYONE should read it? Normally, I avoid reading those books because I don’t like being swept away in book hysteria (except for Harry Potter because the hysteria only made those books better). I prefer to read books quietly, after all the hype has died down. But occasionally, a book will come along that I just can’t resist reading at the same time as everyone else. Gone Girl was one of those books.
I’d seen it in every bookstore. I’d heard the staff recommending it to customers. I’d seen it on promotion because it was a bestseller. I’d even flipped through the first few pages and liked every word I read. And yet, I still put it off. I finally caved because I went away for a week and a good thriller is a great distraction for those of us with a slight fear of flying. I was not disappointed. In fact, Gone Girl was better than I thought it would be. I loved Gillian Flynn’s writing and will definitely read her other books. I loved both the co-narrators, Nick and Amy Dunne. That’s an odd thing to admit because they are both manipulative and a little crazy, but I’m a sucker for characters that seem so real you just want to reach through the page and slap them in the face. Besides, how can you not like Amy after her whole cool girl speech:
“Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”
You’re going to absolutely love or hate the ending, there is no in between. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t read it yet, but if you have, here’s Gillian Flynn’s own take on the ending that has caused such a controversy. Gone Girl was fun to read. And I agree with this book review from Esquire: “There’s no good guy (or girl) in this book, no one to root for, and no happily ever after. How many books can you say that about?” So if you don’t like books with characters that are fun to hate and an ending that leaves you feeling slightly uneasy, then Gone Girl isn’t for you. But I have a feeling you’ll read it someday. It’s hard to resist book hype when the book actually deserves it.