I don’t have much to say that hasn’t probably been said by a million other reviewers, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Basically, this book was crazy (in every sense of the word). On one hand, the author is masterful at getting deep into these characters’ psyches and exploring their minds and motivations. For the first half of the book, I was hooked. [Side note: One of the reasons I read so fast is because I often skim boring parts, and since I have the attention span of a gnat this usually means “almost everything other than dialogue”.] With Gone Girl, there was no skimming. I was reading every line word for word, examining these weird, fascinating, very human thoughts, seeing ideas that I recognized put into words.
Unfortunately, then it got to the big reveal: Amy is a nutcase. Yep, it was her, all along, just being a crazy, possessive, jealous, vengeful wife. Surprise surprise. Once this was revealed, I was pretty much done. Uninterested. Because as it turns out, every single other woman in this book basically followed the same pattern: Jealous. Money-grubbing. Vengeful.
(And no, I’m not using words like “crazy” and “nutcase” insensitively — she literally framed her husband for her murder in a state with the death penalty because he cheated on her.)
I am siiiiicccckkkkk of this “crazy woman” trope. Sick of it. Maybe that’s the point? I have no idea. I’m trying to find something redeeming about the way women were written here. The author touched on stuff like the “cool girl” trope, but then she turns around and shows how Amy uses that trope to get men, and then acts petty and vengeful when they fall for it because that’s not who she is and she just wants someone to ‘get’ her. Is the author trying to show the destructiveness of stereotypes like this? Is she trying to paint a “worst possible scenario” picture? I don’t think so. Because Amy is consistently painted as the epitome of crazy. She plans Nick’s downfall for upwards of a year. She poisons herself, then hides her poison-laced vomit in the freezer to frame him again if he ever leaves her. She cocks her head to the side in a bird-like, non-human way clearly meant to show her inability to feel what others are feelings. She’s a sociopath, through and through.
Of course, Nick has craziness in him too. In one scene, Nick has a jolt of pleasure realizing that he actually married a “crazy woman”. Every guy, he says, thinks his wife is crazy. He feels satisfaction at realizing that his actually is. By the end, [[more spoilers??]] he’s having vivid fantasies of strangling Amy, or bashing in her head, or realizing that no matter what he couldn’t ever go back to a “normal” girl [read: not a sociopath], because that would be so boooooring. But he’s given a redeeming quality: he doesn’t want to end up like his woman-hating dad. Boo hoo. Poor, noble man.
Sigh. What a trip. So basically the whole thing revolved around this couple who hated each other and often wanted the other dead or in jail or what have you, because it was fun for them to be constantly on edge around each other.
Idk mang. I’m not very well-versed in thrillers, but my feelings for this one kind of fell apart once I realized the stance it was taking. I honestly expected better coming from a female author.