By Gillian Flynn
Crown Publishing Group, Random House
Ebook, 432 pages
Part of me wants to just echo Jill’s famous review of this book and just say “Whole E. Shit.” But then there is that other part of me, the wordy part, who has Things to Say and is desperate to Say Them, so I’m giving into that side.
But still. Whole E. Shit.
So, if you don’t know the plot of this book, here’s a bit of a summary for you. And I’ll try to keep the smart ass comments to myself as much as possible. You know, until we get to the part where I let ‘er have it.
Nick and Amy Dunne are celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary. Nick wakes to find Amy in the kitchen preparing crepes. The two have been going through a rough patch, but Amy seems optimistic they can work it out. She wants to work it out. Nick doesn’t. Nick goes on to work at the bar he and his twin sister bought when Nick and Amy moved back home from New York City. Nick had been a writer, but after the dot-com bust, he and Amy were both out of work. At the bar, he talks to his sis a bit, has a drink, then gets a call from a neighbor. His door is wide open and the cat (an indoor cat) is outside. Nick is pretty much “eh, whatever” but he comes home to find the door is indeed open, the cat is indeed outside, and the wife is missing. Oh, and the place is a wreck.
Flynn does her absolute stinking best to make Nick into a horrible human being. And she succeeds in spades. Everyone thinks he killed his wife. The neighbors. Amy’s best friend. The cops. The media. Everyone except his sister (who has her suspicions) and Amy’s parents (surprisingly). Flynn works so hard to color Nick the bad guy that you automatically know he isn’t.
Or is he?
Because y’all, nothing is as it seems in this book. Nothing.
Despite the over-the-top melodrama, the ridiculous plot, the back and forth (and back and forth) of who-done-its, and the IN YOUR FACE-NESS of this book, I couldn’t help but be swept away by it. I instantly loved hating Nick. I loved hating Amy! I instantly hated Amy’s parents (and boy howdy, that never changed). I loved the not-knowing-but-knowing what the hell was going on. I love love loved the way Flynn portrayed the media. The media has Nick arrested, tried, and convicted without hours of the announcement that Amy was MISSING. Flynn got this detail spot. on. I hate the way the media influences public perceptions of suspects, and victims in today’s society. I loved and hated the way there was absolutely no one you could trust in this book. I love an unreliable narrator and wow, there are many in this book. This is definitely a novel of never knowing who to trust. Seriously. In this novel, don’t trust anyone. And the way Flynn depicts marriage? Makes you wonder why anyone would do it, goodness.
What I didn’t like was the ending. O.M.G. How I hated the ending. It fit, in it’s very own weird (very) way. But GEEZ. By the end of this book I had to take a deep breath. I felt like I’d been on a marathon. (I read it in like 24 hours, so yeah, I guess in a way, I had been!) Just hold on and enjoy the ride. And then kick the hell out of that ending. Despite the can’t put it down-ness of the novel, I wasn’t wowed, or surprised, or shocked so much as just slightly sickened by the whole thing. I saw everything that came, coming from a mile away. Oh, and yeah, I just a wee bit pissed off when it was all said and done. That ending…. *shakes head* Let’s just say if I hadn’t been reading it on my Nook, it may have hit the wall.
My review feels a little bit like a hot mess, but when I think about it, that’s how I feel about the book. Like it was a hot, couldn’t put it down, mess.
Bits I liked:
Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.
Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it. (OMG So true)
Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if onlyrelationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.
Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.