Book Review: Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)

gone girl

Plot: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

*Contains spoilers*

I had such a good experience finally reading Gone Girl. I watched the movie  in 2014 (I can’t believe it’s’ been three years!) and rated it my favorite film of 2014  . I plan on watching it soon again to be able to compare with the book, which I’ve owned almost equally as long but didn’t have the inclination to read. Finally picking up the novel was a good idea. I have the slight wish of not having seen the film before I read the book, because instead of discovering that plot twist I was merely awaiting it’s arrival. Would I have seen it coming? I don’t think so. Amy’s diary entries are so sweet and caring and she seems stupidly devoted and optimistic towards her marriage. Nick seems desperate and slimy and an all-around horrible spouse, a man whose frail ego was damaged when he lost his job and his wife didn’t fawn over him all the time. Amy seems like a sweet-hearted fool for about half of the book and then you get to know the psychotic sociopath beneath her pretty exterior.

Gone Girl has a fast tempo and I found it written well. I enjoyed Flynn’s writing style and the way her character’s thought patterns works. The characters are flawed indeed. I sincerely hope there aren’t any Amy’s’ out there in the real world. Amy and Nick are both repulsing, and they are a strong reminder to know your partner very well before even contemplating marriage.

Gone Girl is not a book that celebrates the best in human kind or is sweet, fluffy or romantic. It is full of nasty realizations about relationships and how bad they can be. I have to say that while I usually pick up more lighthearted novels I did enjoy this one. It’s more realistic than most though there are elements which are hopefully too shocking to be true.

I wasn’t fond of the end. Amy gets away with so much and in return she gets more leverage over Nick and no repercussions.  It jarred with my (and probably everybody’s) sense of justice. Nick in no way deserves an easy existence – he really is quite a slime ball, but Amy getting everything she wants just didn’t feel right and had the book fall slightly on its’ face in the end – like a Goosebumps for adults, the world isn’t rid of Amy’s evil.

It is just a thought here, but I think the book can also send a negative message to the world. So many women are murdered by their husbands, are abused and discarded when they cease to hold interest for their spouses, where a book where the female is clearly the villain and clearly a psychopath does not do well for the eradication for these murders.

Gone Girl was a good read, highlighting the craziness that a couple can bring forth in one another. It’s (hopefully) much dramatized but kept me entertained for the entirety of the book. Have you read Gone Girl? Let me know!

Rating: 8/10

Blindspot 2017: Basic Instinct (1992)

basic instinct

Plot: A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved. 

 I had a vague, vague idea what this film was about. Turns out it was so vague it was barely an idea. I was expecting some mildly sexy murder drama. MY POOR EYES. It is just wild sex and murder and flashing vaginas everywhere. Did I like it? I’m actually not even sure. Objectively thinking I know it was a good thriller. It is shocking to behold. I can’t help but be of the opinion that the films that are currently being produced is relatively tame compared to some of these classics. My benchmark up to here for risqué old school thrillers had been Cruel Intentions, but after watching Basic Instinct Cruel Intentions is a Disney animation comparatively.

 Excellent writing, acting and directing makes sure neither the watcher nor the investigators know whether Catherine Tramell is guilty of the brutal slaughtering of her lover. She’s cold and brilliant. It is excellent work by Sharon Stone, who is a master of manipulating her emotions on screen – she’s cold and distant, overtly sexual, sweet and charming and devastated at the snap of her fingers, expertly bringing Catherine to life in a way few other actresses would have been able to.

 BASIC INSTINCT

Michael Douglas is the male protagonist who you aren’t ever sure is a protagonist. He’s a cop with questionable ethical values, a heavy drinker and recreational drug user who seems to have a habit of accidentally shooting people. His addictive personality is activated after meeting Catherine and he becomes obsessed with her on multiple levels. Only someone with a damaged psyche would even go close to such a person as Catherine, and that is great insight on his character.

 I enjoyed the tone of the film as well. It is a slow paced thriller with a soundtrack that suits every scene, with great cinematography. Director Paul Verhoeven is a good with creating atmosphere. The perpetual dread and distrust Detective Curren experiences is portrayed well to the audience.

 Basic Instinct is a shocker of a film and was clearly desired to be. Sharon Stone is a standout performer as this film and it is clear to see why it has become such an iconic role. I was really disturbed and shocked. It is not easy watching and will stay with you for quite a while (it is STILL with me and I watched this the beginning of April!). As for the Blindspot selections, it is worthy if only for being thought provoking and I can finally say I’ve seen it. Have you seen Basic Instinct? Let me know what you thought!

 Rating: a traumatized 7/10