Gone Girl – Novel by Gillian Flynn
There are some books that seem to blow up all at once. It’s as if suddenly EVERYONE is reading it, EVERYONE is talking about it, and EVERYONE is waiting movie adaptation. These books are thrilling and successful, but are hardly ever very good (think The Da Vinci Code, 50 Shades of Grey), and typically have a great plot with surface level characters. Frankly, these trendy books just don’t have much depth.
Gone Girl, in many ways, falls into the category of the book-of-the-moment. Flynn’s third novel was wildly successful, with readers spanning from teenagers to parents to everyone in-between. It was one of those novels everyone stayed up until 4am reading, just trying to get through one more chapter, and couldn’t wait to gush about to their peers. But Flynn’s characters were complex. As a reader, I developed emotions towards them: distrust, empathy, anger. I found myself connected to their story. I spoke about Nick and Amy Dunne as if they were real people. I was obsessed.
The ending of Gone Girl was a sensitive subject for most but I do feel that since this was one of those top reads that everyone expected the concrete ending that most best sellers have. I found the ending to be successful, with just enough information to know that something terrible is still going to happen, without explicitly knowing what. The ending leaves your imagination to run away with itself in the right way, but I understand why most found it unfulfilling. Flynn is a talented author, and Gone Girl led me to read her two other books which I really enjoyed. While Gone Girl was definitely the strongest, I’m excited to see what comes next from Gillian Flynn.
“Gone Girl” – Directed by David Fincher
There are so many ways “Gone Girl” could have gone horribly wrong. It could have been poorly cast, terribly written, hard to understand, or too over the top to be impactful. This move got a lot of hype, and even those who didn’t read the novel were eager to see the movie. I do have to say, reading the book helped with digesting the movie. For example, when Amy (played by Rosamund Pike) turns up on Nick’s doorstep covered in blood and looking distressed, I knew that she was just being typical, crazy Amy. But for most of those in the theater, they found it comical. People were laughing. I also think many of the non-book-readers found the whole story to be slow. The build up wasn’t as intense when you aren’t hearing the information through first person and became, in a way, boring.
The book was better, plain and simple.
The obvious aside, Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike did an incredible job and were perfectly cast. There was something about the way Pike carried herself that really nailed it for me. Her smile was mechanical and her movements were calculated – and almost robotic – at times. As beautiful as she is, Pike’s smile made me cringe. Affleck also did a really great job playing Nick, although I feel like he wasn’t so much playing a part but playing himself. You hate him almost as much as you hate Amy, which is exactly what he is supposed to do. Of course there were bits and pieces left out of the movie, but they actually followed the storyline honorably well, moreso than many other mooks. I still don’t really understand why the scene with Desi became so graphic, but I guess visually for those who didn’t read the book it may have been more thrilling.
In general, “Gone Girl” was a good movie but for all points and purposes just read the damn book.
Mook Rating – ★★★