Gone Girl – Book Review

Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl…


 

This quote and the recent Ben Affleck starrer movie trailer made me pick up and read Gone Girl . If you click on the linked text it will re-direct you to the wiki page and the plot will be given away. So don’t. Quite tempting it is I know, so don’t.

Gone Girl is a fast read. It is a New York Times Bestseller (2012). It is Gillian Flynn’s third book. And it is just so damn insanely smartly creepy.

It is a love story and to borrow Flynn’s words – it is a nuclear love story. The plot is fast, racy and saucy when it needs to be. The timing of the turns and twists mostly unpredictable with very strongly predictable characters is more than impeccable, it is honestly a bit insulting. There are shades of Sheldon like narration and just when you think you know where this is going she gets to you right just like that and you are like – ok, what just happened there.

The characters are very real. They can be easily identified with. The first person narration-putting the characters voice in your head, something (probably the only thing) which has worked in great favour for The Fifty Shades and Twilight series – once again works, it makes the reading easy and it makes the reader feel so involved, especially when Flynn chooses to mock the social norms prevalent in Amy’s intelligent disapproving voice.


 

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The social commentary is simply crazy, insane, nuclear. She comments on marriages, love, infidelity, parents, cops, rich people, poor people, New York people, small town people, diseased people, the press, the paparazzi, the judicial system, lawyers, siblings – all of us have been mocked, all the norms have been cut,dissected and put on a display for all us, to see the error of our ways.

Amy’s observations of this less than perfect world are loaded with frank factual conclusions. Amy mocks everyone. And then I guess Flynn has mocked Amy by painting her the way she has – in this crazy nuclear way making her say all those nasty true things. Meta-mockery.

The book is easy to read – alternate he-she narration, almost linear parallel time line, complete characters, a well-researched plot – basically it had all the right ingredients for David Fincher ( yes, yes Fight Club !) to make a movie out of it.

I could tell you all about the book and the plot but I think it would make for a different reading experience. Do read it.

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