So. Since I last checked in, I’ve finished reading Gone Girl, as the mysterious river of snot that’s taken up permanent residence in my noggin had me skipping work today. That is: Gone Girl was my nanny-abductor, the kind of you’re-locked-to-me presence that kept promising that it’ll all be better soon, darling dearest—besides, wasn’t it the best company anyway? That is: I write this having uncurled myself from the fetal position I’d frozen into—thanks, Gillian Flynn: I hardly know what hit me.
Sasha, remember how you told yourself you didn’t much like mysteries or detective stories or psychological thrillers because they agitate you—because you are the kind of reader that must establish you’re at least of equal intelligence to the author? That you like to guess, and you were almost always right, and hot damn, I saw that plot twist from miles and miles away. I’ve read it all, Dear Author, you bluster. Hah.
Oh, this little monster. Just yesterday—nearing the halfway-point of the book, I was—I told you all how much I’m liking Amy. To quote, “completely understandable and cringingly relatable.” Nick, on the other hand, though I never suspected of actual murder [BECAUSE I AM SMART, SEE, AUTHOR?!], I was extremely frustrated about, because there’s never been a more hapless asshole this side of fiction. The guy just keeps on implicating himself with his cleft chin and his sparkly-smile-jazz-hands, and good lord you are so fucking good, Gillian Flynn, what are you that you could do this?
Because you can’t be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Out kind of love can go into remission, but it’s always waiting to return. Like the world’s sweetest cancer.
But one day I will wear him down, I will catch him off guard, and he will lose the energy for the nightly battle, and he will get in bed with me. In the middle of the night, I’ll turn to face him and press myself against him. I’ll hold myself to him like a climbing, coiling vine until I have invaded every part of him and made him mine.
I guess that’s why I loved this book so much, even just starting out: Despite the too-real undercurrent of menace, these were two perfectly normal people, locked in that good ol’ institution, The Marriage That Is Falling Apart. From Amy’s diary entries, we see how it all began, how charming it all was, how decidedly in love the two were. From Nick’s real-time score, we see a love eroded, only needing the acknowledgment of two people for it to simply wither. Amy’s diary entries and Nick’s remembrances, all about the same event, show these misaims, the tangled miscomprehensions—not so much inconsistencies, for me, but just two different perspectives on a single truth. Sure, Amy’s been abducted, sure Nick isn’t helping his case any, sure it’s all suspicious and you are scared out of your wits—but at the core of it, I told myself, was a marriage. This was all a big misunderstanding.
And then Major Plot Twist happened and it was fucking genius. All those whispers of, “Something is not right”—are those whispers mandatory in a psych thriller, seasoned readers of the genre—finally come to a head, and there you are, dear reader, shaking and crying on the floor, holding the blanket to your chin, wadded tissue stemming your goddamned cold. You’ve been spending all these time with these sick little fuckers, and you like them—hot damn, you are so fucking impressed with their cunning, with their evil, with their machinations.
And underneath all that, still: It’s a marriage. It’s a screwed-up, royally fucked marriage of two incredibly ill-fated people—but it’s a marriage. [Irreverent aside: I wanted to tell P., “Hey, at least when shit was going down between us, I didn’t disappear and make it look like you’d killed me ineptly!” I even have seven years’ of diaries, holy cheesecake.] Nick and Amy—the two most innocuous names ever, you are gold, Gillian Flynn—are married, they were in love, and then they were not, and then—in what I suspect was a deliberate, incredibly chilling anticlimax of ending—well, again, dear reader: It is a marriage.
PS: Quite obviously—Gone Girl has made its rounds in the blogosphere—in fact, you should head over to Jenny-and-Theresa’s, which published their thoughts on the books just this morning (they’re got it down pat). I’ll be heading there for some spoiler-y goodness discussion in the comments section!