Hmm, July 3, 2013

'Gone Girl' Gillian Flynn

***

This is one of those books I would never have read if I hadn't been going on a loooong plane journey. And for that, it was perfect: addictive, not requiring too much brain power to follow the twists and turns. I was hooked early on, and read voraciously until the (yes, annoying) end.

Having said that, this is also one of those books I ended up cursing, because it could have been so good if it hadn't gone so badly wrong. Still reading? Okay, here are my gripes, and they do contain spoilers, so you've been warned!

1.) Amy. Yes, she was fun to hate, but ultimately she was irritatingly unbelievable. You all know the term Mary Sue? Well, Amy is the anti-Mary Sue: so good at being bad that I stopped believing in her long before the book finished. Don't get me wrong, I love the Amy's-a-sociopath twist as a concept, and didn't even find it predictable. But as it played out, Amy's character became more and more impossible. No one is good at everything, yet Amy is apparently knock-out gorgeous, MENSA smart, and so charming that no one ever questions the certifiably bizarre things that happen to her. She's able to get the best of everybody, all the time, and I think that's why the book's ending annoyed so many people, including me. It's not just that we expect the villain to get her just deserts, it's that she doesn't even have to struggle not to get them.

2.) Amy's parents. Never mind that their bestselling book series would never get off the ground in Real Life, how can two well-educated psychologists fail to notice that their daughter is a sociopath? Even allowing for a bit of denial, given their stillbirth history, it's hard to believe they never noticed anything weird about their daughter's recurrent victimhood. Parents know when something's not right, and parents of sociopaths generally admit to having known, even if they never spoke up before the proverbial s--- hit the fan.

3.) Amy's disguise. So she dyed her hair, put on glasses and gained a few pounds. The woman is all over national T.V., and more to the point, the people in the hotel admit to watching the news stories about her. They are suspicious of her and ultimately steal a lot of money from her. Did they seriously never click that this was Amy?

4.) Amy's planned suicide. Really? I mean, REALLY? This woman would never actually kill herself over a cheating husband. What would be the point? Where would her satisfaction in revenge come from if she dies as well? Makes no sense.

5.) Desi. Another apparently clueless victim. Yeah, he thinks she's hot and he's a bit neurotic to boot. But again, no suspicion of her after what went down with them in boarding school, and what he knows went down when she framed her husband for murder?

6.) The fingerprints on the stuff in the shed. Amy hauled all of that stuff up to the bedroom and put her husband's fingerprints all over it and he never woke up? What about the forensic guys - wouldn't they see that these things had not been handled in the way a real, waking person would handle them?

7.) The crowning glory, the pregnancy. First of all, she got pregnant mighty fast. But second, and most important, I can't see how she would ever have been able to do it without her husband knowing. I've been through infertility treatments. Unless you've signed something, both partners have to sign off on everything, every step of the way. So yes, I think in the end that the conclusion was a dirty trick.

And so - an entertaining read, but so very, annoyingly flawed!

By sarah on 09 November 2013 |