This is my first book club post! I have briefly mentioned this in a previous post, but I will say it again: I am participating in a book club hosted by Bonnie at The Life of Bon. On her blog there is a book to read every month, and on the last Wednesday of the month participants write about what they read.
The February book was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Brief synopsis via Library Journal: Amy disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, and while Nick has not been a model husband, could he really have killed her? It’s soon evident that if Amy is dead, that’s the least of the reader’s worries.
****Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead!****
As soon as I started this book, I could not put it down. I am reading other bloggers’ reviews of Gone Girl, and many are saying “The first half was pretty slow and hard to get through, but things really got going for the last half. My experience was pretty different. I found the whole book exciting, and none of it “slow” at all.
The characters – I pretty much hated most of the main characters. Amy is a conniving sociopath who will do anything – literally, anything - to get her way. Nick, her husband, is lazy and, at times, callous. Amy’s parents hold their daughter to impossible standards. Nick’s dad is misogynistic. Desi was just…ugh *eye roll* Almost all of Desi’s actions made me want to puke.
The only character I really liked was Margo, also known as “Go,” Nick’s sister. She was the only one who seemed to have any sense left in them. However, it kind of bugged me that she went by “Go.” Every time I read something where Go was mentioned, I would think “‘Go’ is a verb, not a name!”
The theme of marriage – Marriage, its high points, its low points, the deterioration of marriage – these were all big themes in the book. And, since I am not married, maybe they were parts that I could not relate to on the level that a married person might be able to. But…yeah, Gone Girl does NOT paint a rosy picture of marriage. Hah.
The profanity - I want to respond to something that Bon said on her book club blog post:
“My question is this- do people really use the f word that often? … Drug dealers and addicts and gang members I am sure use the f word as freely as they please. But in Gone Girl the characters are none of those things. They are society contributing, responsible, educated adults. I get that people who are raised on the streets and uneducated are going to use the f word like it’s nobody’s business. But educated people? Lawyers and writers and your good old average joe on the street? I live in a conservative community and I come from a conservative state, so this one honestly just confuses me. Did you see the amount of f words in Gone Girl as an accurate representation of how often most responsible, educated adults in our country use the f word?”
I have been around educated adults who use colorful language, and that includes the occasional F-bomb. A couple of professors I have had have, at times, used unsavory language in the presence of their students. Maybe this is a regional thing, I don’t know. But I think the abundance of “F words” in this book is because of the bizzarre circumstances that are occurring. I’m not saying it’s right, but I find it more understandable that characters would say the F word a lot if they’re in the middle of a possible kidnap-murder situation.
So, I don’t think the amount of F words used in Gone Girl are an accurate representation of how often most responsible, educated adults in our country use the F word – because most responsible, educated adults are not dealing with having been framed for murder!
Or maybe I just have a high threshold for profanity. I mean, Reservoir Dogs is my favorite movie…
The ending - I already gave a spoiler alert, but in case anyone ignored that and kept reading I’m not going to give away the end to you. But I WILL say that if you like justice, you probably won’t like the ending. When I read the last line and closed the book, I was scratching my head, thinking “Hmm…really?”
Overall verdict – So far I have told you that I disliked many of the characters, couldn’t relate to the talk of marriage and was not satisfied with the ending. It may sound like I didn’t enjoy this book, but I did. I really, really did. It was exciting and unpredictable. I think the fact that I hated the characters and yet thoroughly enjoyed the book is a testament to how talented of a writer Gillian Flynn is. She has two other books besides Gone Girl, and they are on my reading list now.
Word and Film gave this great description of the novel that I whole-heartedly agree with: “Gone Girl resonates so deeply because of Flynn’s rare emotional intelligence combined with her of-the-moment subject matter that informs every page of her story of two thirty-somethings grappling with a double-dose of disillusionment at the shoddy state of their five-year-old marriage run aground on the post-infatuation shoals of boredom and selfishness. This is all happening in the wake of watching their careers vaporize after being laid off from newly extinct jobs writing for magazines.”
Thus concludes my two cents on Gone Girl. March’s book is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I went out and bought it today, and I’ll be starting on it tonight! My next book club post will be March 27.