Don't Cheat - A Lesson by Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Before you call a woman crazy - read Gone Girl and learn how crazy a woman can really be. Then thank your lucky stars that your woman is nowhere near as crazy as Amy. Many may have already watched the movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, but the novel Gone Girl only heightens the level of dread as you realize how severely someone can try to ruin your life. Even Neil Patrick Harris can’t make you feel better.
The book begins by flipping between the point of view of Nick and Amy sharing their perspectives on their marriage. Amy views Nick as someone who is selfish, aggressive and threatening while Nick views Amy as unreasonable, demanding, and a perfectionist. Nick and Amy used to live in New York City, until they moved to Missouri to help take care of Nick’s sick mother. Amy starts to resent Nick for displacing her from their lives in New York. By their next anniversary, Amy disappears without a trace. Due to Nick not seeming to care about his wife’s disappearance as well as proof that she was pregnant, Nick is automatically deemed as a murder suspect.
Later on in the book, it is revealed that Amy is in fact alive and has pulled off this elaborate plan to frame Nick for her murder as revenge. She found out that Nick was cheating on her and created false diary entries as well as faked her pregnancy in order to further incriminate Nick. During her disappearance, she was living in a motel under disguise, until she gets robbed. Broke and scared, she seeks out her ex-boyfriend, Desi, who lets her live in his lake house. He begins to become more possessive of her, which starts to make her resent and fear him too. Looks like crazy attracts more crazy.
Back on the search for his wife, Nick discovers clues that may prove that his wife is not only still alive, but is framing him. In order to cover his own ass, he makes an appearance on TV to say he is sorry about his affair and wishes his wife would come back home. Afterwards, the police discover enough evidence, including puppets covered in Amy’s blood, to finally arrest Nick. Meanwhile, Amy sees the TV appearance and believes Nick is truly repentful of his transgressions and wants her back. She murders Desi in order to escape, and returns while fabricating a story that she was kidnapped by Desi. Even though Nick knows Amy is lying, he is forced to live with their marriage. Behind her back, he tries writing a memoir about her deceit, until Amy discovers this and using Nick’s frozen semen she saved, gets herself pregnant. Nick is forced to stay with her for the sake of their unborn child’s life and scraps the memoir.
Final Rating: 9/10
This lady is so CRAZY! Now to be fair, Nick really was a jerk. He moved her from New York and then had an affair with someone else. But, she should have just left his ass!!! This is a whole new level of petty from the pits of pettyville where she was Queen Petty. I have read the book numerous times and watched the movie and I still can’t believe anyone could be this petty. She didn’t just try to blackmail him or threaten him, Amy done disappeared and framed this man for her MURDER!!! The amount of planning, detail, and commitment that this took - she was MAD as hell. I am wondering how she even got this idea.
This book left me completely shook and I don’t like to compare characters to their authors but… Gillian Flynn must have just a little crazy because she knew exactly how Amy should go about planning to frame her husband for murder. I can imagine her telling her husband the plot of this book, and him getting her flowers immediately to remind her that he’s not a cheating lying dirt bag so please don’t frame him for murder.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the flimsy way she managed to return back. I understand that she made herself look like the victim who was kidnapped, but they had to have investigated the crime scene and found something that would have shown it was homicide versus defense. I also think it just set it up too easy for her to be able to shift the blame of Nick for her murder to Desi for her kidnapping. Nick’s situation took an entire year of meticulous planning, and Desi’s took what? A few weeks? I am just not buying it. I wouldn’t say this is a problem with the writing so much as the story and making it believable.
Other than this, I thought the consistency behind Amy’s actions were such a strong part of the book. She didn’t just disappear and hope they would accuse Nick. She did an entire year worth of false diary entries. She managed to fake a pregnancy. She bought numerous items “for Nick” and hid in his sister’s garage. She hid a peg from the table to ensure she had some kind of “weapon” for the supposed crime. She also somehow got her blood on numerous items to really seal the deal. This makes me wonder in that entire year of planning, how did Nick not notice? If he was more present in his own marriage, would he have noticed? Is this a case of a psychotic meticulous woman or a neglectful husband? I suppose a combination of both.
I also think the movie did an incredible job adapting the book. Rosamund, who plays Amy, had that cold, calculated persona that perfectly encapsulates Amy. It is clear that she is manipulative to everyone around her, which is why she can get away with pulling this off. I also enjoyed the scenes when it showed her actually creating and planting evidence knowing that she was setting Nick up. Both the book and the movie are just terrific. As crazy as Amy is, she just might be one of my favorite characters (even though I think I am supposed to hate her, I can’t help it). I recommend this book to everybody because this is what a true psychological thriller should look like.